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Mar 15, 2018

Tester Fights for Indian Country, Pushes for Resources to Combat Meth Epidemic

Senator Sponsors Legislation to Treat Substance Abuse Among Native Americans

(U.S. Senate)-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is fighting Montana's meth and opioid epidemic head on by pushing to eliminate substance abuse in Indian Country.

Tester questioned top administrative officials in a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing this week and demanded direct funding to specifically to help combat meth and substance abuse in Indian Country.

"Meth and substance abuse has been ripping apart families in Indian Country," Tester said after the hearing. "To ensure that tribes have access to life-saving services, it is essential that we create a specific account to guarantee that resources are getting directly to tribal governments and Native American communities."

To address the spread of opioid abuse, Tester is sponsoring the Opioid Response Enhancement Act to reauthorize the State Targeted Opioid Response (STR) grant program. Tester's bill strengthens STR grants and increases the funding that is available for tribes to treat opioid and other substance abuse issues that are similar or substantial public health threats, such as meth. Tester said it is critical that Tribes are not only eligible for funding, but also allowed flexibility to address the unique needs of the community.

Tester is also sponsoring the Native Behavioral Health Access Improvement Act to create a new initiative to help tribes access additional resources to provide mental health care and treat substance abuse in Indian Country, which will ensure culturally appropriate treatment for opioid and substance abuse across Indian Country. This new initiative will be modeled after the successful Special Diabetes Program for Indians, which has been a proven method to develop solutions and incorporate traditional and cultural practices to treat diabetes.

Tester is also championing legislation, the SURVIVE Act, to create a tribal grant program at the Department of Justice to ensure Native American survivors of domestic and sexual violence can access shelters, medical care, counseling, and legal services.

Tester recently raised serious alarms about the White House's plan to gut the budget of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which has been instrumental in combatting meth and opioid addiction in Montana.


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


Capital One Center
208 N Montana Avenue, Suite 202
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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