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Read the latest news about how tribal communities are addressing alcohol and drug use disorders, and download issues of Prevention & Recovery, a quarterly publication highlighting prevention practices and success stories in Indian country.

Latest News

SAMHSA Announces New Director, Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse

Last month, SAMHSA announced Marcella “Marcy” Ronyak, Ph.D., LCSW, CDP as its new Director in the Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse (OIASA). Dr. Ronyak is a member of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in Nespelem, Washington and comes to SAMHSA from the Indian Health Service's (IHS) Division of Behavioral Health. She served as the IHS Alcohol and Substance Abuse Lead and has been a member of boards and committees at the local, state, and federal levels advocating on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native issues. Previously, Dr. Ronyak worked for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation as the Tribal Psychologist and an independent contractor providing clinical services to children and families within the community. She received her doctorate degree in Counseling Psychology and Educational Leadership from Washington State University and completed her pre-doctoral internship with Colorado State University Counseling Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was appointed as the American Indian Community Representative for the Institutional Review Board for Washington State University. Dr. Ronyak has demonstrated leadership for organizational change, enhanced educational models, and enriched understanding of underutilization of services within the Colville Tribe. Dr. Ronyak researched and developed a clinical program that was implemented at Paschal Sherman Indian School to address co-occurring issues in an effort to improve the quality of life for many young Native American students and their families.

The President's Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Proposal

The President's Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposes $20.9 billion, a $1.5 billion (8%) increase over the 2015 enacted level, across a wide range of federal programs that serve Tribes, including education, social services, justice, health, infrastructure, and stewardship of land, water, and other natural resources. More details are available in the HHS Tribal FY 2016 Budget Fact Sheet (PDF | 436 KB).

HHS Awards $386 Million to Support Families through the Home Visiting Program

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell today announced $386 million in grant awards to states, territories, and nonprofit organizations to support the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (Home Visiting Program). These funds will allow states to continue to expand voluntary, evidence-based home visiting services to women during pregnancy and to parents with young children. Administered by HRSA, in close partnership with the Administration for Children and Families, the Home Visiting Program is one part of President Obama’s Early Learning Initiative that focuses on both high-quality infant and toddler care through Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships and universal Pre-K to improve the essential foundations in early childhood for future healthy development and well-being. Current authority for the Home Visiting Program expires on March 31, 2015.

SAMHSA’s American Indian/Alaska Native Culture Card

In 2009, SAMHSA developed the American Indian/Alaska Native Culture Card. The purpose of the product is to “provide basic information for Federal disaster responders and other service providers who may be deployed or otherwise assigned to provide or coordinate services in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. This guide is intended to serve as a general briefing to enhance cultural competence while providing services to AI/AN communities.” This is a great opportunity for those who do a lot of training or education on AI/AN issues!

Bureau of Justice Assistance Explores Lessons Learned from Tribal Judges Regarding Implementation of Tribal Law and Order Act's Enhanced Sentencing Authority

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, today announced the release of Enhanced Sentencing in Tribal Courts: Lessons Learned from Tribes – 2015 (PDF | 5.1 MB). The publication, funded by BJA, was created in partnership with the American Probation and Parole Association, the National Tribal Judicial Center, and the Tribal Judicial Institute.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Launches National Mentoring Resource Center

The Office of Justice Program's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) announced the launch of the National Mentoring Resource Center. OJJDP established the Center to support effective youth mentoring programs and healthy youth development.

National Native Youth Network

As part of the President's "Generation Indigenous" initiative, the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute (CNAY) is launching a national native youth network to provide a sustainable platform to reach out, engage, and provide educational and economic opportunities for Native youth. The network will focus on support for attainment of higher education, entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and creating a platform to integrate Native youth voices into the national dialogue. Learn more about the National Native Youth Network.

FY 2015 DFC Applicant Workshops

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program is a Federal grant program that provides funding to community-based coalitions that organize to prevent youth substance use. The FY 2015 DFC Request for Applications (RFA) was released in January 2015. Community coalitions interested in applying for the DFC Program are encouraged to attend a workshop. These workshops are not mandatory in order to apply for this grant. Register for these workshops at the Drug Free Communities site. If an applicant is unable to travel to a workshop, a recorded version will be posted to the DFC website by the mid-January 2015. The video can be found on the DFC page.

IHS Announces Launch of New Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program Website

The Indian Health Service, Division of Behavioral Health is pleased to announce the launch of the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) website. The ASAP’s objective is to reduce the incidence and prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse among the American Indian and Alaska Native population. Explore the ASAP site.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit

The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s Law Enforcement Naloxone Toolkit is a clearinghouse of resources to support law enforcement agencies in establishing a naloxone program. In the toolkit you will find answers to frequent questions about naloxone and sample documents and templates, such as data collection forms, standard operating procedures, training materials, press releases, community outreach materials, and memoranda of agreement (MOA) between first responders and medical directors. Learn more about the Naloxone Toolkit.

White House Tribal Nations Conference – Fact Sheet

On December 2-3, 2014, the White House hosted the 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, DC. Tribal Leaders from the 566 federally-recognized Native nations engaged with the President, cabinet officials, and the White House Council on Native American Affairs on key issues facing tribes including respecting tribal sovereignty and upholding treaty and trust responsibilities, lack of access to capital and credit, and protecting Native women and youth. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, Administrator Pam Hyde co-moderated a breakout session entitled, “Promoting Healthy Communities: Addressing Mental Health and Substance Abuse Issues.” The session was dedicated to receiving comments and responding to questions from tribal representatives on behavioral health topics and included brief introductory comments from USG officials. Please see the fact sheet for information on new initiatives that the President is launching including a White House Tribal Youth Gathering that will build on the 2014 SAMHSA Native Youth Conference.

Fall 2014 Prevention and Recovery Newsletter!

The Fall 2014 issue of the Prevention & Recovery newsletter – 2014 (PDF | 2 MB) is now available for download. The theme for this issue is entitled, "Celebrating Recovery in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities."

SAMHSA Announces New Tribal Affairs Office

On Friday, August 8, 2014 Administrator Pam Hyde announced the creation of SAMHSA’s new Office of Tribal Affairs and Policy (OTAP). This new office will serve as SAMHSA’s primary point of contact for tribal governments, tribal organizations, federal departments and agencies, and other governments and agencies on behavioral health issues facing American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in the United States. Establishing OTAP will support SAMHSA's efforts to advance development and implementation of data-driven policies and innovative practices that promote improved behavioral health for AI/AN communities and populations. OTAP will bring together SAMHSA's tribal affairs, tribal policy, tribal consultation, tribal advisory, and Tribal Law and Order Act responsibilities to improve agency coordination and meaningful progress.

IHS Launches Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative Website

The Indian Health Service, Division of Behavioral Health is pleased to announce the launch of the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative (MSPI) website. The MSPI is a nationally-coordinated demonstration project, focusing on providing much-needed methamphetamine and suicide prevention and intervention resources for Indian Country.

Director of SAMHSA’s Office of Indian Alcohol and Substance Abuse Discusses Underage Drinking Prevention in Indian Country

Watch Rod Robinson discuss how the new “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign materials will help parents and adult caregivers address underage drinking within tribal communities. Learn more about the “Talk. They Hear You.” campaign.

New Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Focuses on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

SAMHSA announced its latest entry in the TIP series in June 2014. TIP 58: Addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) highlights the importance of preventing alcohol-exposed pregnancies and recognizes the unique needs of individuals in treatment who may have been exposed to alcohol before they were born.

The Indian Health Service (IHS) Announces New Pain Management Website

IHS physicians and pharmacists developed the Pain Management website for the National Combined Council’s Prescription Drug Abuse Work Group. The website assists IHS clinical personnel in providing care to patients with chronic, non-malignant pain. It is also a rich resource for clinical administrators as well as front-line clinical staff.

Nearly $3 Million Transferred from Land Buy-Back Program to Cobell Education Scholarship Fund

The Department of the Interior announced in July 2014 that $2.9 million has been transferred to the Cobell Education Scholarship Fund. Authorized by the historic Cobell Settlement, the scholarship fund provides financial assistance to American Indian and Alaska Native students who wish to pursue post-secondary education and training.

Call for Applications for the Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies Pilot Project

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Labor, the Council of State Governments Justice Center is accepting applications from jurisdictions interested in becoming pilot sites. These sites will test the strategies outlined in the Integrated Reentry and Employment Strategies: Reducing Recidivism and Promoting Job Readiness (PDF | 2.41 MB) white paper. Letters of interest must be submitted by August 15, 2014.

Indian Health Service (IHS) Youth Regional Treatment Center (YRTC) Website Launches

IHS Division of Behavioral Health announces the launch of the IHS YRTC website. The site highlights tribal and federal YRTCs that address the ongoing issues of substance abuse and co-occurring disorders among American Indian and Alaska Native youth.

SAMHSA’s Native American Underage Drinking Prevention Video

Using youth and adult testimonials, Critical Dialogue with Native Youth about Underage Drinking: Our Culture is Prevention video addresses the consequences of underage drinking, the reasons Native youth choose not to drink, and the way Native cultures and traditions help promote resilience and prevent substance use.

Prevention & Recovery Newsletter

Prevention & Recovery: A Multi-Agency Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Collaboration is a quarterly publication highlighting prevention practices and success stories in Indian country. It is designed to provide tools, resources, and information to prevent and address issues of alcohol and drug use disorders in tribal communities.

Fall 2014 (PDF | 2 MB): This issue's theme is "Celebrating Recovery in American Indian/Alaska Native Communities."

Spring 2014 (PDF | 1.21 MB): This issue’s theme is "Strengthening Federal-Tribal Partnerships."

Winter 2014 (PDF | 1.16 MB): This issue’s theme is “The Wisdom of Investing in Native Youth” within American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Download previous issues of Prevention & Recovery.

Last Updated: 04/06/2015