Beginning with an exploration of ACEs and their impacts on the general population, this article then examines research on ACEs specific to the American Indian/Alaskan Native population and ends by describing strategies to strengthen protective factors that buffer against the impact of ACEs and reduce their deleterious long-term impacts on tribal communities, including substance abuse.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in collaboration with Discovery Education and the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), launched “Good Medicine Bundles,” a set of hands-on, science-based, standards-aligned resources for elementary and middle school students to address the nation’s opioid crisis and encourage resiliency through a Native approach to balance and wellness. The no-cost digital program is designed to help students understand how their connection to community and nature can restore balance and support better decision-making. These bundles combine traditional storytelling, the medicine wheel, and other Native practices of wellness with the insights of modern science to help students form a better response to trauma and stressors.
Co-authored by Leo Belgarde, Sr., it provides a first person account of his experiences as a tribal officer, Bureau of Indian Affairs officer, city officer, and county police officer. It describes events that precipitated him seeking treatment for PTSD and the consequences he faced due to accessing treatment. Healing Our Protectors is a resource that has been developed to provide strength-based, positive, culturally responsive strategies for Indigenous law enforcement officers. If the officer does not connect with this aspect of their culture, this resource still supports a cultural representation of where they are policing and can be modified to meet their needs.
There has been a lot of attention and funding provided to the national opioid epidemic within recent years, especially the devastating impact it can have in Tribal communities. The collective intent of these funding opportunities is to reduce opioid related deaths in Tribal communities by implementing activities such as strategic plans, prevention and education medication assisted therapy, different forms of treatment, workforce development activities, community recovery support, and so forth. This Tribal Opioid Response Resource Toolkit provides an array of materials, tools, resources and links to support Tribes as they are working to combat the epidemic within their communities.
Recovery from substance use disorders is a living reality in Native American communities across the United States. This webinar provides an overview of the recovery models and movements in Indian Country and presents three programs that use peer-based supports, tribal cultural practices, and other evidence-supported approaches to promote recovery, foster positive reentry, and enhance community resilience. To view a PDF version of the slide deck from this webinar, click here.
This article includes the following topics:
Stress is a major concern among American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) populations because of the toll it takes on mental and physical health, as well as the strong relationship between stress and relapse into addictive behaviors. Indeed, chronic stress places AI/AN populations at higher risk for chronic disease, mental health disorders, and substance abuse than the general population. Further, susceptibility to chronic stress is exacerbated by issues such as adverse childhood experiences as well as those specific to tribal populations, such as historical trauma, political turmoil, and systemic injustice.
For Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP) grantees—and anyone else— working to address substance abuse in tribal areas, this article offers support to identify stress and anxiety and how they affect behavioral health outcomes in Native American populations while also offering ways to mitigate, handle, and even embrace stress.
The Inter Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (ITCA) Tribal Epidemiology Center (TEC) compiled background data to describe the epidemic in Indian Country using a variety of Arizona state data sources. This White Paper highlights important areas of concern related to the opioid epidemic, including policy and litigation that may impact Tribes in Arizona.