Illegal Drug Usage is a Crisis in Indian Country. Now is the Time to Act.
August 22, 2022
The end of this month marks International Overdose Awareness Day. Each year on August 31, the day is recognized globally to bring focus to prescription opioid overdose risk and preventing drug-related harm.
Unfortunately, we don't have to leave Indian Country to see the severe damage drugs are wreaking on our tribal communities. Even with unprecedented opportunities available to Indian Country - a resurgence of our Indigenous culture, historic levels of federal funding and several universities offering tuition waivers for Native students - drugs serve as a major threat to progress and well-being in Indian Country.
At the recent summer meeting of the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST), there was a time slot on the agenda for a roundtable discussion with tribal leaders from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa. The notion behind the roundtable was to give leaders an open forum to talk about what is happening within their tribes and to voice their concerns.