due to the growth of usage and alcohol abuse in indigenous populations of brazil, this research aims to investigate alcohol consumption in the potiguara community, in the state of paraíba, considering its specific cultural and regional differences of ethnicity. this is an exploratory field study. the sample consisted of 55 indians, aged over 18 years and of both sexes. the instrument was a semistructured interview administered individually. for data analysis, we used the spss software and qualitative analysis. the results revealed that 41.8% of the sample have at least one family member who uses alcohol, mostly distilled, and that use starts at an early age, being detached from the culture and rituals. of the respondents 27.3% said that drinking brings many problems for the entire family, including death. we can concluded that in the indigenous population studied, consumption of alcoholic beverages is abused and starts early; so a more effective prevention and recovery of the culture of this community are needed.