People use drugs for many reasons–for fun; to feel good, better or different; to block out negative feelings; because they are bored or curious; because their friends or family do it; or because they have a dependence on the drug.
In order to understand the underlying reasons of why Aboriginal people may take drugs we must also understand past histories that are still impacting on generations today.
We must recognise past trauma, grief and loss that Aboriginal people have experienced and still continue to experience today. There were many past government policies such as the assimilation policy, the Stolen Generation, The White Australia Policy, The Aboriginal Protection Boards, the lack of citizenship recognition up until the 1967 Referendum and more. These past policies impacted immensely on Aboriginal way of life and resulted in many circumstances of abuse, poverty, dislocation and disposition, loss of culture and languages, removal from family and kinship ties, loss of identify, social exclusion, inequity and prejudice and much more.
Today, Aboriginal people are still dealing with either the direct or trans-generational trauma of the past and this can have huge impacts on why Aboriginal people consume alcohol or drugs in harmful ways.