Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $999,474)
The Penobscot Indian Nation seeks $999,474 to enhance the Tribe’s existing Healing to Wellness Court by expanding access to Tribal citizens who do not have an active criminal involvement, are decedents of Penobscot citizens but are not enrolled member of the Tribe and are non-Native spouses or domestic partners of a Penobscot citizen. The Penobscot HTWC will implement a No Wrong Door approach to strengthen outreach, increase referrals, and build a network of community upport. Training will be provided to Tribal government staff who are public facing and interact with the community. Opioid abuse and substance use disorder remains epidemic in the Penobscot Nation. In 2022 there were 14 confirmed and suspected fatal overdoses of Native Americans in Maine, a fatality rate more than twice that of other racial groups. Penobscot County, where the reservation is located, has seen overdose fatalities per 100,000 nearly double from 2019 (34.8) to 2020 (62.0) (Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) 2022). While the public interest in the opioid crisis seems to have decreased, the number of opioid fatalities and opioid-related emergency visits continue to rise. The Nation’s Penobscot Nation Health Department’s (“PNHD”) Opioid Treatment Program (also known as the “Suboxone Program”), has nearly 100 patients participating and are enrolling new patients regularly. Goal 1: To break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and/or drug use, incarceration, other penalties, and family and community breakdown, by expanding substance use disorder treatment, case management and wraparound recovery services available to Native Americans through the HTWC. Goal 2: To establish an interjurisdictional, multisystem HTWC model for Penobscot County that reduces Native American incarceration rates, increases access to culturally responsive interventions and treatment services, and closes gaps in the continuum of SUD and co-occurring disorder treatment. Goal 3: To increase the number of HTWC participants who successfully complete the program, become, and remain sober, and are restored as productive family and community members by conduct a program process and outcome evaluation and implementing recommended program modifications. Goal 4: Increase the success rate and decrease the relapse rate of HTWC participants by implementing a well-trained culturally responsive peer recovery program for HTWC participants and graduates.