Methamphetamine is an addictive drug that causes several harmful effects in users, including addiction, long-term health conditions, and death. While anyone can become hooked on the drug and while meth-related deaths are climbing nationwide, studies show meth addiction and death are having a disproportionate effect on Native American communities, particularly on Native American youths.
Upon winning a significant settlement against multiple pharmaceutical opioid manufacturers, the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma is using its settlement monies to fund the construction of a residential addiction treatment center on the tribe’s reservation.
Indigenous tribes across the nation have made national headlines for officially labeling opioid overdose deaths as national emergencies. Indigenous tribes such as the Blackfeet of Montana and the Cherokee of Oklahoma are just two of the latest tribal nations to announce that opioid addiction is a crisis-level emergency within their tribal lands.
While it is true that each state in the U.S. struggles with some degree of drug addiction among its residents, drug use trends differ, state-to-state. What does drug abuse look like in a mostly rural state like Oklahoma?