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Health | National
Blackfeet Nation goes after prescription drug abuse


The Blackfeet Nation of Montana is holding a forum on Thursday to discuss prescription drug abuse in Indian Country.

"In my opinion, it's literally destroying our community," council member Rodney "Fish" Gervais told The Great Falls Tribune. "This is the No. 1 problem in Indian Country — the pill epidemic."

James Melbourne, the medical director for the Fort Peck Tribes, agrees. He said the problem stems from the increased prescription of drugs by the Indian Health Service.

"We have a number of different agencies on our reservations, and it's all too easy for those prescription drugs to end up in the wrong hands," Melbourne told the paper. He said the IHS spends an average of $15,000 per individual per year for prescription drugs.

Get the Story:
Blackfeet seek answers to 'pill epidemic' (The Great Falls Tribune 7/6)

Inspector General Reports:
Indian Health Service’s Resolution of Audit Recommendations | Safeguards Over Controlled Substances at Lawton Indian Hospital | Safeguards Over Controlled Substances at Santa Fe Indian Hospital | Safeguards Over Controlled Substances at Anadarko Indian Health Center | Safeguards Over Controlled Substances at Santo Domingo Indian Health Center | Safeguards Over Controlled Substances at W.W. Hastings Indian Hospital

Related Stories:
Steven Juneau: Fight prescription drug abuse (6/19)
DEA targets prescription drug abuse in Montana (9/14)
IHS slow to resolve audit recommendations under Grim (7/26)
Pill 'epidemic' strikes reservations in Montana (7/23)