Federal dollars to help tribes combat meth use, suicide

Alaska tribes and health providers are using federal dollars to combat methamphetamine use and suicide.

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KTUU-TV reports the federal Indian Health Service awarded Alaska Native Tribal Health Corp. $200,000 out of the $1.6 million that was set aside in September for suicide and meth use prevention efforts.

The corporation hosted one of two recent conferences in Anchorage that sought to educate officials about warning signs of meth use as well as spotting labs where the drug is being cooked.

Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. program evaluator Mark Anaruk said most suicides occur while people are under the influence.

Detectives and experts say meth is one of the top drugs of choice in Alaska.

Bethel-based Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corp. and the Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage were each awarded $275,000.