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September 2007Vol. 8, No. 8Assessing Methamphetamine Use in Tribal Communities

An increase of methamphetamine use in Tribal communities has raised concerns about the safety and well-being of children in Tribal families. In response to these growing concerns, the Tribal Law and Policy Institute sponsored a survey of professionals in three western Tribal communities to assess their perceptions of methamphetamine use and the implications for child abuse in the communities in which they work. The specific purpose of the survey was to assess community perceptions and awareness of methamphetamine use and the impact on child maltreatment, permanency outcomes, and agency workloads.

The survey methodology, questions, and results are the subject of a new report, Perceptions of Methamphetamine Use in Three Western Tribal Communities: Implications for Child Abuse in Indian Country. Quantitative and qualitative results indicate:

  • Greater awareness of methamphetamine use, production, and distribution
  • Increases in the incidence of child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and sexual assault
  • Increases in the workload of law enforcement, social services, child protection, and other agencies in Tribal communities as a result of methamphetamine use
  • Concern for the long-term impact on communities and their children

The authors also offer recommendations to promote agency collaboration and family reunification, and they suggest strategies for funding, programs, and research that could help combat the impact of methamphetamine on Tribal communities.

The full report, by Roe Bubar, Marc Winokur, and Winona Bartlemay, is available online: (PDF - 816 KB)