Can naloxone help end overdoses in Indian Country?
WHITE EARTH RESERVATION, Minn. — She smokes cigarettes constantly. Her fingernail polish is flaking. She lives with her aunt and has pictures of Jesus on her walls. She wipes a spot of blood from her arm and drops a used needle into a red container embellished with a bright orange sticker bearing a biohazard symbol. Triina, 25, is an Ojibwe tribal member and was born and raised on the White Earth Reservation.
“I used to go hard and stay high for days and days,” said Triina, who agreed to be interviewed if her real name wasn’t used. “I don’t do it as much, and I don’t go as hard, and I don’t run like I used to. My body is not what it used to be.”
She crossed her legs on the edge of her bed and lit a cigarette, unsatisfied with her high. She couldn’t get her hands on heroin, her favorite drug, and settled for mainlining meth in the meantime. For Triina, drugs — from cocaine to heroin — can cost her a couple of hundred dollars a day.