Danger of Methamphetamine Use Among American Indian and Alaska Native Populations

Methamphetamine is a highly addictive narcotic that wrecks the lives of millions. Research conducted by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) shows that deaths resulting from methamphetamine overdoses have risen sharply in the past eight years. Perhaps most surprising is the racial groups that have been most affected by this trend.

American Indian and Alaska Native Populations Hit Hardest

The highest amount of death rates in the past eight years occurred in American Indian and Alaska Native populations. From 2011 to 2018, both groups experienced higher than four times the number of deaths that involved methamphetamines.

Both American Indian and Alaska Native populations experience higher poverty rates and discrimination when it comes to receiving health services. Nora D. Volkow, M.D., NIDA director and a senior author of the study, confirms this. “While much attention is focused on the opioid crisis, a methamphetamine crisis has been quietly, but actively, gaining steam—particularly among American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are disproportionately affected by a number of health conditions,” states Volkow.

Some experts believe that working within these communities to develop treatment approaches that incorporate their traditions can be beneficial. Incorporating traditions can include more in-depth conversations between treatment providers and their patients. Popular among these groups are holistic approaches that may assist a person in need of help with their addiction.

Health Risks of Using Methamphetamines

While recent data shows that the most common age group for methamphetamine use is people between 25 and 54, addiction can occur at any age. It also affects both men and women. Many severe and often deadly health risks can arise when using methamphetamines, including the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Fast breathing
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Damage to the liver, lungs, and kidneys
  • Dental damage
  • Change in appetite and sleep patterns
  • Paranoia and hallucinations
  • Erratic and violent behavior
  • Overdose

Methamphetamine overdoses have increased in the past eight years. American Indians and Alaska Natives have seen a sharp increase of four times, causing alarm among their populations. The Detox Center of Colorado has experts who know how to guide a patient through the detoxification process. We can provide medical and psychological support while you detox in our homelike environment located in the scenic Denver area. If you or someone you love struggles with an addiction to methamphetamines, call us now to get started on the road to recovery. We are here to help! (303) 952-5035

Call Now ButtonCall Now