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Drug Task Force Meets to Discuss Current Status of Tribal Action Plan

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

By Joe Morey

News Editor

The LCO Drug Task Force met on Wednesday, July 24, to inform new tribal governing board members about the current status of the committee and the proposed Tribal Action Plan (TAP).

Two new council members, Gary “Little Guy” Clause and Glenda Barber, attended the meeting.

Chairwoman Dottie Crust told the committee the TAP that was presented over the winter months and will soon have community comments added to it.

“The Grants Department informed us too that just having the proposed TAP document helped them get their last grant,” Crust said. She explained it’s very advantageous for the grants department to have the TAP.

Crust said the next step is for the LCO TGB to pass the Tribal Action Plan and give the members of the task force some direction on where they should proceed.

Crust explained how the task force came to be. She said the current drug epidemic caused the TGB to create the task force and directed the LCO Legal Department to come up with policies and procedures back in November of 2017.

“What do you want our role to be,” Crust asked. She also explained the group has a difficult time setting up dates and times to meet because the task force is all volunteer and everyone currently has jobs.

Another issue Crust pointed out is that, “Many people in the community don’t know what’s happening, or what is going on with the different programs that offer services.”

She said one goal for the task force is to create a way to inform the community of everything that is offered.

“The TAP found out there isn’t enough events,” Crust said. She added, “We have 11 peer specialists trained and ready to do the testing in September. They will go through CCS (Comprehensive Community Services).

Crust said one of the main community comments regarding the TAP was why our tribe doesn’t have a residential treatment facility or at least a sober house.

“We didn’t have the time to look more into this but we need to know how many dollars is the tribe spending on sending people out to treatment,” Crust said. “We need to find out the numbers, statistics and figure out would there be an advantage to having our own treatment facility.”

For the two current treatment centers LCO sends its people too, after Medicaid pays their portion of the bill, it’s about $3,500 cost to the tribe per individual, according to Crust. She explained Medicaid can’t pay for the room and board portion.

The task force also discussed the name of the group. Crust said they have discussed changing the name of the group and one proposal was the Drug Threat Response Team.

TGB member Glenda Barber said she favored a name change but the current Drug Task Force name does let people know the team is out there, monitoring and that we take it serious.

“We need to let people know there is help available to them,” Barber said.

TGB member Little Guy said he believes the name makes people in the community who are using drugs that the task force is only out there to bust them. He thinks the name should be changed.


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