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Rule change helps reservation addiction counselors

The state of South Dakota has opened its addiction treatment referral system to reservation counselors.

Tribal counselors will now be able to refer substance abuse patients to the state system. That makes it easier for addicts to receive treatment, supporters said.

The state had been closed to reservation referrals because reservation counselors didn't have state certifications. Most were certified by the Indian Health Service.

State Sen. Theresa Two Bulls, a Democrat from the Pine Ridge Reservation, proposed legislation to recognize tribal referral systems but Gov. Mike Rounds (R) agreed to make a rule change instead.

Get the Story:
Reservation addiction counselors win referral right (The Rapid City Journal 1/16)

Department of Human Services. Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse -