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The Significance of Methamphetamine Use in the Native American Culture - Essay Example

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The Significance of Methamphetamine Use in the Native American Culture Introduction Methamphetamine often referred to as “crystal meth", "meth", "crystal", "ice", "p", "shabu" or "glass” is a white, odorless, bitter, and a prescription drug that is used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression and obesity…
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The Significance of Methamphetamine Use in the Native American Culture
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The Significance of Methamphetamine Use in the Native American Culture

Download file to see previous pages... In the year 1950s to 1960s there were 31 million prescriptions of methamphetamine for depression and obesity in the United States alone (Anglin et al 2000). Because of its rampant abuse, methamphetamine is now classified as a Schedule II drug (http://drugabuse.gov/infofacts/methamphetamine.html). High dosage of methamphetamine and drug abuse results to loss of appetite, wakefulness, boost of energy, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and euphoria. Methamphetamine works by increasing the production of dopamine in the brain (Volkow et al 2001). A high level of dopamine makes one feel happy, and euphoric, making it addictive for its chronic users. Though methamphetamine leaves one feeling euphoric, prolonged exposure to the said drug can result to several negative side effects. Methamphetamine destroys dopamine receptors which can make the person unable to feel pleasure in the long run. Methamphetamine overdose can also result to neurodegenerative disorders due to dopamine toxicity (Mark et al 2004), which can lead to reduced motor skills (London et al 2004). Also, in a study made by Naidoo and Smith (2011), people using methamphetamine will develop severe dental problem called meth mouth wherein they suffer from poor dental appearance, halitosis and dental pains; severity of meth mouth depends on the number of years and dosage a person is exposed to methamphetamine. Oral and dental problems are the most common prevalence among methamphetamine users (Shetty et al 2010). Fetuses exposed to methamphetamine have 3.5% chance to be smaller for gestational age and develop abnormalities later in life compared to infants not exposed to methamphetamine (Smith et al 2006). Methamphetamine abusers also experience psychotic behaviors such paranoia, insomnia, aggressiveness, anxiety and depression that can affect their relationship with their friends and family members (Rawson et al 2004). Other negative side effects of methamphetamine include sagging of the skin, rapid weight loss, blisters and wounds take longer time to heal. Native Americans and Methamphetamine Abuse of methamphetamine and other substances is a major concern in the United States, particularly in the western part of the country (Freese et al 2000). According to the Office of the National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Native Americans (American Indians, native Alaskans, and native Hawaiians) use methamphetamine twice more than other ethnic groups (http://www.cadca.org/resources/detail/native-americans-targeted-anti-meth-ad-campaign). Substance such as methamphetamine abuse is also more common than alcohol abuse among Native Americans (Rawson 2004). According to the National Survey in Drug Use and Health Report (NSDUH) in 2004, 1.7% of Alaskan Natives’ and 2.2% of Native Hawaiians’ populations have tried abusing methamphetamine; these rates are relatively higher compared to the other ethnic group with whites’ having 0.7%, Asians’ 0.2%, Hispanics’ 0.5% and African-Americans’0.1%. In addition to this, around 30% of tribal employees or leaders in White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona have admitted to abusing methamphetamine (NSDUH 2004). The rampant abuse of methamphet ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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