Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium

IHS Issues Letter Providing Update on Efforts to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

On May 2, 2017, IHS Acting Director RADM Chris Buchanan sent a letter to Tribal and Urban Indian Organization Leaders to provide an update on IHS efforts to combat the opioid epidemic facing American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

In March 2017, the IHS established the IHS National Committee on Heroin, Opioid, and Pain Efforts (HOPE Committee) through an official charter. The HOPE Committee is comprised of multidisciplinary members with professional backgrounds in pharmacy, medicine, nursing, and behavioral health. The HOPE Committee will work from a framework based on six elements: 1) Establishing IHS policies; 2) Training Health Care Providers; 3) Ensuring Effective Pain Management; 4) Increasing Access to Naloxone; 5) Expanding Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT); and 6) Reducing the Inappropriate Use of Methadone.

To access a copy of the letter, click here.