Methamphetamine, an illegal stimulant often referred to by street names such as crank, speed, ice, or crystal, has reached many tribal communities across the United States. Methamphetamine is cheap and extremely addictive. The facilities used to produce meth can range in size from small do-it-yourself labs to large industrial scale super labs. Meth labs and their waste products pose serious health risks to families, individuals, and to the law enforcement professionals who investigate and dismantle meth labs.
Many tribal leaders have identified substance abuse, including the use of methamphetamine, as a public safety threat to their communities. This is supported by the fact that a large percentage of the violent crimes in Indian country prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices involve individuals under the influence of methamphetamine or other illegal substances. The fight against this highly addictive drug requires coordination at the federal, tribal, state, and local levels.
The Department of Justice, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy have worked together to develop public service announcements that can be used in tribal communities to discourage the use of meth. These public resources can be accessed by clicking on www.methresources.gov. For more information about meth in Indian country, click on www.ncai.org/meth.
Perceptions of Methamphetamine Use in Three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country