Genocide of a Culture through Crystal Meth
Written by Lorraine on July 24, 2012
The Hoopa tribe of Indians is located on the 90,000 acre reservation nestled in a beautiful forested valley by the Trinity River; however, these majestic surroundings are the backdrop for a devastating story that is unfolding. In 2006, the Bureau of Indian Affairs reported that American Indians had higher rates of methamphetamine abuse than any other ethnic groups. The widespread addiction to meth on the reservation has destroyed the Hoopa tribe by destroying families and killing the tribal members.
Meth abuse has also caused health problems for the Hoopa people. Dr. Eva Smith, lead physician at the Hoopa Tribe’s medical center, reports that many young types of meth addicted Hoopa Indians have been receiving dialysis for kidney damage as a result from meth use. Since the drug is often injected into the body, meth addicts run the risk of contracting infectious diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV/AIDS. In the Hoopa tribe, Hepatitis C is widespread, affecting the elderly members and tribal council members.
Meth addiction may cause legal and family/relationship problems for addicts. These problems are evident for the Hoopa tribe. According to the California Indian Legal Services, 65 percent of all documented child neglect cases seen have been a direct result of parents’ abusing meth which has caused their families to be torn apart.
Entering a detox and drug rehab program for meth addiction is an effective first step towards recovery. For the Hoopa people, their addiction is keeping many members from seeking treatment and unfortunately may result in a rich culture disappearing.