The Emerging Issue of Cr Ystal Methamphetamine
use among people in some First Nations communities (both in Canada and the United States) has evolved into an issue that is requiring more and more attention. Indicative of this, in July of 2005, the Assembly of
First Nations (AFN in Canada passed a resolution specifica lly directed at this emerging issue.
As a result o this resolution, the AFN has identified the n eed for the development of a First Nations
National Task Force on Crystal Meth to deve lop a Strategic Action Plan to Address the
Emerging issue of Crystal Meth in First Nations Communities.
Generally speaking, this paper provid es basic information about crystal methamphetamine as well as information that is
First Nations specific.
The first part of the paper discusses: what crystal meth is; who is using it; how it used; how it is made and; how it affects the body, mind, rela tionships and the environment.
In Part II, interactio ns between governments
(e.g.: health/drug strategies), large pharmaceutical companies and organized crime are examined (e.g.: production levels of amphetamines). The role that these entitie s play in activities surrounding the production and sale of crystal methamphetamine—with an emphasis on issues related to First
Nations— is articulated. First Nations crystal meth treatment strategies are also examined. Part III, aspires to put a ‘human face’ on the rising problem of crystal methamphetamine addiction in First Nations communities. Tala
Tootoosis’ (Plains Cr ee/Nakota) story is briefly stated and the crystal meth addicti on situation across the border on the Navajo
Nation is commented upon. These examples aim to illustrate how crystal meth addiction has negatively affected a First Nations indivi dual and the devastating impact the drug has had on one Native American community.
It is important to recognize from the outset of this paper that crys tal methamphetamine is not a