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How tribal leaders are responding to the opioid crisis in Michigan's Native American communities

Cindy Shebley
FLICKR - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

The opioid crisis is taking a tragic toll on families nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 64,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016, double the amount from a decade prior.

Among Native Americans, the rate of opioid overdoses is disproportionately higher. In Michigan, opioid-related deaths are nearly twice as high among tribal members compared to other demographics.

Judge Patrick Shannon, chief judge for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Court and Joseph Sowmick, coordinator of the Healing to Wellness program for the tribal court, joined Stateside to provide an overview of the tribe’s approach to dealing with the opioid epidemic. 

Listen above to hear about the ideology behind the Healing to Wellness treatment court, and the incorporation of traditional tribal beliefs into healing and treatment, and how Michigan tribes are coming together to address the crisis in tribal communities.

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