The community of Indian Wells on the Navajo Nation is fighting the mounting threat of substance abuse, especially abuse of methamphetamine, by reaching out to neighbors to help elevate awareness of this life threating epidemic. Their efforts culminated into the “Meth éí Dooda Awareness Day.”
“Meth éí Dooda Awareness Day,” a community gathering included a 5K Walk & Run.
According to the National Indian Country Methamphetamine Initiative, American Indian teens and young adults are two to three times more likely to abuse Crystal Meth and American Indians between the ages of 18 and 25 use Meth at a rate twice that of non-American Indians. Moreover, treatment for American Indians is twice that of the national average. American Indian and Alaskan Native populations show a 60 percent increase in treatment admissions for Meth abuse between 2001 and 2007.
Meth éí Dooda Awareness Day attendees ranged from grandchildren to grandparents who were welcomed by Navajo County Chairman Jonathan Nez. Chairman Nez thanked the Navajo Nation Police, County Sheriff Deputies, and behavioral health non-profits “because they are on the front lines daily keeping our families safe or doing their best to shift the direction of victims for the better.”
Keynote speaker Lyle Claw shared his personal experience with meth abuse and his story of how he overcame his addiction to meth.
Navajo County Supervisor Jesse Thompson stated, “It is so important that we hold these types of events for our communities because the issue of substance abuse cannot be solved by one person or just a few. It requires a community effort where we all act together under one banner. This is a big step forward in making a difference for our loved ones and creating a healthier environment for future generations.”