'People don't have time to grieve' | Tribal Nations Turn to Harm Reduction in Battle Against Opioids


Aurora Conley (left) and Philomena Kebec (right) founded Gwayakobimaadiziwin Bad River Needle Exchange, one of the first organizations in the US providing overdose prevention services to Native American communities. (Photo: Overdose Crisis Response Fund).

A group of children from the Pala Band of Mission Indians was walking home from school in 2016 when they found a plastic bag holding 100 bright blue pills.

The kids tossed the bag back and forth as they walked to the tribe's youth center, where they turned it into the staff.

The staff at the youth center quickly called law enforcement, who informed them the pills were fentanyl, a highly potent synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.



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