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Tribes Awarded Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Funds

The Indian Health Service is giving nearly $1 million to prevent methamphetamine use and suicide in South Dakota. The funds are part of more than $13 million awarded nationwide.


Doctor Beverly Cotton is the Director for the Division of Behavioral Health at IHS headquarters. She says the Methamphetamine and Suicide Prevention Initiative funding goes to Tribes, Tribal organizations, Urban Indian organizations, and IHS federal government programs.
“These awards are used specifically to prevent methamphetamine use and suicide in American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” Cotton says. “And they assist these communities to build the capacity to provide not only prevention but also intervention and treatment services for those who are at risk of suicide as well as methamphetamine use.”
Nine hundred thousand dollars is going to five tribes and two IHS federal sites in South Dakota. The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate is receiving $150,000 for meth prevention, treatment, and aftercare programs. Tribal Chairman Bruce Renville says he appreciates the funding.
“We’re trying to identify resources to address the problem,” Renville says. “And we think that although it is a serious problem we can hopefully provide treatment for those people that realize that they need help and want help. And if we can help them we’re doing a lot of good.”
Renville says the funds aren’t enough to fully conquer the issue, because treatment is long and expensive. But he says every little bit helps.