Opioid Overdose Prevention in Tribal Communities

On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose[i]. The number of overdose deaths has increased over time, including among American Indian and Alaska Native people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is committed to comprehensive efforts to address the opioid crisis in tribal and urban Indian communities.

Overdose Deaths Involving Opioids
Among American Indian and Alaskan Natives, U.S. 2000-2016
The rate of drug overdose deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives is above the national average and recent data show this trend continuing.

The rate of drug overdose deaths among American Indians and Alaska Natives is above the national average and recent data show this trend continuing.

At a Glance
FY20 Total Tribal Funding

 

$12,571,643

 

 

NCIPC’s funding strengthens partnerships among tribal public health and local, state, and federal entities. NCIPC-funded tribal partner projects are supported to improve opioid overdose surveillance and data infrastructure, as well as develop and implement culturally appropriate prevention strategies.

Funded Organizations

In partnership with other Centers at CDC, NCIPC is providing approximately $12 million in supplemental funds to 11 Tribal Epidemiology Centers and 15 tribes or tribal-serving organizations. These collaborations address issues of data quality, completeness, accuracy, and timeliness. Funding also supports regional strategic planning to address opioid overdose prevention, so that strategies appropriate to tribal communities are developed, and the strengths inherent to tribal organizations are built upon.

Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TECs)

This supplemental funding supports 11 TECs to (1) provide technical support to tribes and key partners for data collection, use, and sharing; (2) improve classification across race; (3) expand data sharing to enhance non-fatal overdose data collection from Emergency Departments; and (4) improve data abstraction from death certificates to collect timely data on opioid-related overdose deaths.

  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (Alaska)
  • Albuquerque Area Indian Health Board (New Mexico)
  • California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc. (California )
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. (Wisconsin)
  • Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board (South Dakota)
  • Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, Inc. (Arizona)
  • Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (Oregon)
  • Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (Montana)
  • Seattle Indian Health Board/Urban Indian Health Institute (Washington)
  • Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Foundation (Oklahoma)
  • United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (Tennessee)
Tribes and Tribal-serving Organizations

Partner tribes and tribal organizations receiving this supplemental funding are addressing strategic planning in opioid overdose prevention. From strategic planning efforts, they are working to address (1) epidemiologic surveillance and public health data infrastructure; (2) implementation of evidence-based health systems interventions; or (3) innovative community-based strategies.

  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (Alaska)
  • Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation (Alaska)
  • California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc. (California)
  • Cherokee Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Chickasaw Nation (Oklahoma)
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (North Carolina)
  • Forest County Potawatomi Community (Wisconsin)
  • Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council, Inc. (Wisconsin)
  • Lummi Nation (Washington)
  • Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (Oregon)
  • Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council (Montana)
  • Southern Plains Tribal Health Board Foundation (Oklahoma)
  • United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc. (Tennessee)
  • Wabanaki Health and Wellness (Maine)
  • White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians (Minnesota)
National Indian Health Board (NIHB)

NIHB works in partnership with NCIPC to move science into action by adapting and implementing a toolkit based on the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. It will be piloted in several tribally managed health centers. The project will provide technical and capacity building assistance to tribal health administrators and providers to engage in more safe and effective opioid prescribing practices, and more effectively identify and respond to signs of opioid misuse and addiction. NIHB will also expand a national harm reduction meeting to include a track focused on opioid overdose prevention.

National Network of Public Health Institutes (NNPHI)

NNPHI offers technical assistance and capacity building for tribes and tribal organizations in opioid overdose prevention, in collaboration with NCIPC. NNPHI works closely Seven Directions, a member national public health institute dedicated to Indigenous health and wellness, to support the (1) strengthening of public health systems infrastructure; (2) improvement of data and information systems; and (3) identification of evidence-based programs and services. Partners have established a tribal opioid overdose technical expert advisory group to assist with the development and implementation of a technical assistance and training plan.

Funding Impact on Tribal Communities
  • With critical funding in tribal communities, CDC works with tribal communities to improve the quality, accuracy, and timeliness of drug overdose surveillance data to target effective treatment and prevention activities in tribal communities. Arizona partnered with tribes to eliminate barriers to Indian Health Service (IHS ) providers’ ability to access the Arizona Prescription Drug Monitoring Program as means to improve clinical decision making and public health surveillance.

  • CDC funding directly supports tribal communities in building capacity to expand availability of services that may respond to opioid addiction and overdose, such as medication assisted treatment and naloxone distribution programs. New Mexico coordinated with tribes, pueblos, and nations to convene multidisciplinary workgroups to address improving prescribing practices and increase availability of naloxone.

CDC’s Response Framework

CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control plays a critical role in addressing the opioid overdose epidemic by driving progress in the five key strategies that guide CDC’s response framework for preventing opioid overdoses.