Rapid City’s Great Plains Tribal Chief Health Department will receive $475,000 from the federal government to help fight opioids, while other tribal units and state organizations in South Dakota will collectively receive nearly $5 million.
President Joe Biden announced Friday morning that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), will allocate approximately $1.5 billion to support states, tribal areas and territories’ efforts to address the opioid crisis and support provided people in recovery. The campaign is part of National Recovery Month and SAMHSA’s Stat Opioid and Tribal Opioid Response grant programs.
Brandon Ecoffey, public relations and communications director for the Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board, said the nonprofit applied for the grant. The funds will be used to continue the organization’s Great Plains Tribal Opioid Response program.
Ecoffey said the program is for the Rapid City area and the Crow Creek Reservation. He said they also provide technical assistance to 17 different tribes in the area to help with grant applications and provide guidance on funding.
The organization’s program has spawned an animated series on social media, featuring a September 29 live Facebook release for Brave Fox and the Cuff of Wisdom following Skyhawk Reborn, equine therapy, virtual and in-person yoga classes ; Community events and access to pharmaceutical treatments.
“The Department of Health recognizes the dangers of opioids in our community and the implications,” Ecoffey said. “We are grateful for the funding to help address the challenges of the opioid epidemic in our community.”
The federal grant programs provide states and territories with funds to increase access to substance use disorder treatment, remove barriers to public health interventions like naloxone, and expand access to recovery support services like 24/7 opioid treatment programs. The funds will also allow states to increase their investment in overdose education and peer support specialists in emergency rooms, and allow states to invest in other strategies that help save lives in hard-hit communities .
South Dakota Department of Human Services $4 million; Rosebud Sioux Tribe $474,719; Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate will receive $250,000 and the Yankton Sioux Tribe will receive $249,713.
South Dakota’s State Opioid Response will expand the infrastructure and capacity built through the state’s past Targeted Response and Opioid Response efforts to provide improved access to drug-assisted treatment, life-saving naloxone distribution, telemedicine access to care, delivery of preventive services, and to support Extended access to recovery support services.
The State Department of Behavioral Health through the State Department of Social Services will lead the project in collaboration with ongoing efforts with the Department of Health and community providers to identify and improve community-based resources in prevention, treatment, recovery and peer support services.