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Prescription drug abuse in Indian country

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WASHINGTON – Tribal communities facing an increase in prescription drug abuse are being offered a two-day training program by Lamar Associates.

Lamar Associates, a 100 percent American Indian-owned professional services company, offers training and technical assistance paired with a deep understanding of the challenges facing Indian country.

In January, a man driving under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs crashed his automobile and killed a woman on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. In 2007, the Montana State crime lab attributed 141 deaths to four major prescription painkillers compared to seven attributed to methamphetamine.

“The increase in prescription drug abuse and diversion in Indian country calls for swift response to help service providers address this growing problem,” said Steven Juneau, Lamar Associates vice president. “After training over 1,000 attendees from Indian country, we know prescription drug abuse has the potential to further devastate our Native communities.” Juneau is a former federal special agent in charge and enrolled member of the Haida Tlingit Tribe of Alaska and a descendant of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana.

The Lamar Associates training program is designed to educate participants regarding prescription drug abuse and state-of-the-art problem solving strategies. Training topics include prescription drug abuse in Indian country, over the counter drug abuse, pharmaceutical diversion and effective measures to combat prescription drug diversion and abuse. Attendees will be provided a resource guide/toolkit CD-ROM filled with Indian country specific awareness and response resources.

“We designed this training to make a lasting difference in Indian country; attendees will attest to the fact that it will,” said Walter Lamar, Lamar Associates president and CEO. Lamar is an enrolled member of the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, descendant of the Wichita Tribe of Oklahoma.

The fee-based training is scheduled for July 22 – 23 in Albuquerque, N.M. For online registration call at (202) 543-8181.