Meth is sweeping through Indian country, tearing families apart and leaving a trail of violence and tears, says USA Today. The highly addictive stimulant produces euphoria, increased alertness and physical activity when snorted, swallowed, injected, or smoked. Native American leaders nationwide, especially in the West, report a meth-induced surge of domestic violence, juvenile sex, and meth-addicted babies. Federal authorities say foreign drug cartels are targeting tribal lands as distribution beachheads.
This month, the Native American-oriented website Indianz.com reported that meth was “the single biggest issue discussed among tribal leaders” during a February meeting of the National Congress of American Indians. “Glass” has become public enemy No. 1 for many tribal leaders. “Just about everything possible is being done to attack this problem,” said Eric Pritchett, police chief on the Cherokee reservation, who recently put 30 officers through a drug interdiction training program. The U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee returns to meth April 5 when Chairman John McCain (R-AZ.) convenes a hearing on the issue.