FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2019
TULSA, Okla. – With more than 250 attendees, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health invited Muscogee (Creek) citizens to join other Oklahoma tribes and healthcare professionals for the Pain Management & Opioid Abuse Conference held March 27, 2019, at the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Okla.
The conference focused on opioid abuse treatment specific to meeting the needs of Oklahoma tribal citizens and provided tribal and community members with knowledge to help combat the opioid addiction epidemic.
Several informative presentations were given by speakers with various professional backgrounds related to opioid and pain medication abuse, including Lloyd Miller, with the law firm Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP, who represents the Nation and many other tribes in opioid litigation against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid prescriptions.
Miller discussed the importance of the Native American voice and the significant presence it currently has in opioid litigation.
“I think it’s very important to have as many tribes involved in the case as possible, whether the tribes are large or small, in order to have a profile of Indian Country and to have as much of Indian Country, as possible involved in the litigation,” Miller said.
The conference also outlined information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a federal agency with the mission to reduce the impact of mental illness and substance abuse on America’s communities.
The information and statistics provided from SAMHSA were presented by the SAMHSA Regional Administrator for Region 6, CMDR Karen Hearod, LSCW, who oversees five states, including Oklahoma, in the nation-wide effort to combat the current opioid crisis.
CMDR Hearod also shared the MCNDH’s specific plans to provide opioid abuse treatment to citizens through the $1.25 millions of SAMHSA funding to be paid over two years to the Nation and its treatment efforts.
“So, SAMHSA is so excited to be able to partner with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation in that way,” CMDR Hearod said. “With those dollars, they’ve been able to ask and get evidence-based treatments, such as Medication Assisted Treatment, which is the treatment for Opioid Use Disorder, with one of the three medications that’s approved by the FDA, along with counseling and recovery supports that are so important to people’s long-lasting recovery.”