“American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest opioid overdose rate in the country—higher than any other minority.” – U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin.
Legislation to allow tribes access to grants to treat disorders
WASHINGTON — In a recent press release, H.R. 5140, which is the Tribal Addiction and Recovery Act was introduced by U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (OK-2).
If passed, TARA will allow tribes direct access to federal opioid grants to treat all substance abuse disorders.
Currently, tribes are forced to petition to the state for access to grants dealing with opioids that are created by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
“American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) have the highest opioid overdose rate in the country—higher than any other minority,” Mullin said in the release.
According to Mullin, TARA would create a specific funding stream for tribes to fight addiction in their communities by streamlining government resources and grants for the AI/AN community.
Additionally, these grants could be used for more than just prescription drug addiction. The grants can be used to address historical and intergenerational trauma by giving tribes authority to allocate the funds how they see fit when it comes to addiction treatment.
Mullin said he is proud to introduce TARA.
“I believe it is a violation of the treaty-trust responsibility of the federal government to force sovereign tribes to ask the state for access to these grants,” he said. “I’m proud to introduce the Tribal Addiction and Recovery Act so that tribes gain the same ability as states to claim and utilize this funding to fight the opioid epidemic in Indian Country. These grants will also be available to the states and tribes to treat all types of substance abuse disorders, including addiction to heroin, meth, and alcohol.”
The press release stated the 21st Century Cures Act, which included CARA, was enacted in 2016. CARA authorized almost $1 billion in new funding to fight the epidemic.
Last month, Congress authorized an additional $6 billion in funding to fight the opioid epidemic for fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 2019 in the Bipartisan Budget Agreement.