United Indian Health Services, Inc. is located on the North Coast of California in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties and encompasses the ancestral lands of the Wiyot, Hupa, Tolowa, Karuk, and Yurok Tribes. As a 50l(c)(3) non-profit healthcare organization with over 50 years of experience serving American Indians and Alaskan Natives, United Indian Health Services functions as the primary source of medication assisted treatment and behavioral health care for American Indian and Alaska Native community members. The United Indian Health Services Tribal Opioid Response Project will build on existing programmatic success with opioid prevention, harm reduction, and recovery through increasing access to cultural activities, delivering quality education, increasing access to harm reduction materials, and amplifying supports for clients. This will bolster and enhance the medication assisted treatment program at United Indian Health Services and improve quality of life. This project will increase awareness to activities, services, and education. By training service providers in culturally relevant and evidence-based treatment practices, it will better service providers’ capacity to interact appropriately with American Indian and Alaska Native clients. It will further increase harm reduction strategies and materials in the community. This project will facilitate client access to recovery supports and increase regional awareness of the magnitude of the problem. This project will directly reach at least 2,700 people annually and 5,400 people throughout the lifetime of the project.
In 2017, the Del Norte County opioid overdose death rate of 12.6 per 100,000 people, exceeded twice the California average5. Within Humboldt County, 24 people died due to opioid overdose in 2020, making the overdose death rate almost 40% higher than the state average6. In 2020, in Humboldt County American Indian and Alaska Native community members were 4.5 times more likely to die due to opioid overdose than their white counterparts6. This project will mitigate and curtail opioid related negative health outcomes for over 20,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native community members who reside within the United Indian Health Services, Inc. service area.