Addiction – First nation

I watched a documentary today, about.. Opiate addiction amongst Canadian ‘First nation’s people’. In a ‘featured’ community area, it seems that opiate use is widespread, with many interviewees saying they used ‘Oxycontin’ & other similar drugs on a daily basis. They also showed treatment programs, where drugs are dispensed to counter/block the effects of these opiates.
Several of the interviewees, said that this high drug use (& suicide rate) was mainly due to loss of traditional values & lifestyle. They showed efforts by community leaders (chiefs) to revise/reinvigorate these ceremonies, traditions & especially; the Language. To my mind, it was good to see that the DRUG issues seem to be, being addressed by treatment, first & NOT Law Enforcement !

I see similar issues amongst other ‘first nations’ people (In Australian Aborigines, NZ Maori & Pacific Islanders).. BUT here in Aotearoa/NZ, Law enforcement appears to be the main ‘deterrent’, with Maori making up about 20% of the overall population, BUT 50% of the prison population. I read that, official Stats. show that over half of ‘first offences’ ARE ‘Drug related’ 😦

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