Sobriety and resources for Pima Woman in the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community.
The population in Salt River is made up of 10,612 and 3,935 of them are children under 18. Salt River is a federally recognized tribe in Arizona. In the past year and a half, alcohol, heroin, prescription drugs, methamphetamine, and marijuana abuse has risen across the board, according to self-reports. Alcohol increased from 119 to 410, heroin was up from eight to 36, prescription drugs rose from 15 to 50 and meth 68 to 240 , and marijuana 70 to 196 percent. (Walker). The percentage in drug use is outrages for such a small community . Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community held a special meeting in Council Chambers to renew the effort to fight the battle of drugs and alcohol affecting the community. There has been numerous overdoses, accidents and violence going on in the community that many are not aware about. Salt River is taking a stand to fight back against the drugs and alcohol taking over this community.
Salt River decided to take a stand because many are dying or overdoing and loosing themselves to their addictions said President, Delbert W. Ray Sr. now it's time for the community to help those in need help themselves instead of turning a blind eye or enabling our loved ones. As a community that is the only way they can go about helping each other.
Salt River is a pretty close-knit community where they are all related some way or somehow. Very few are full blooded Pima and or Maricopa that originally come from the Xalychidom Piiposh People. The Pima extend all the way to the other side of the border of Mexico. They are people of piece and always help another when possible. So, when the community can help as a whole, they do.
The community started a campaign that was announced by the President of Salt River, Delbert Ray Sr., He made this announcement in front of employees, churches, volunteer groups, community members, and partners. The goal is to help fight the addiction against drugs in the community and one cannot do it alone it takes a community to stand up against this outrages percentage that is growing in this community. Also, in attendance at this special champagne who made presentations were Salt River Chief of Police Karl Auerbuch, Health and Human Services Director Violet Mitchell-Enos, and Community Manager Brian D, Meyers. This special champagne addressed the growing abusive drugs and alcohol and one other major problem that this community has addressed several times before.
One of the biggest problems in this community is "whippits". "Whippits" are small steel cylinders filled with nitrous oxide. They interfere with the oxygen delivery to the body and increases the likelihood that one can suffocate and or die, or even lead to serious nerve damage. Some have even been hospitalized for doing so much. Few are left walking with a cane because it has broken down the nerves in, their nervous system. Kids and some adults in this community use this as form of a quick high which also makes them delusional and changes ones for voice for a small period of time. Some may even black out and fall on their face for a laugh or two. But the worst that can happen with one is that they die trying or using "whippits". (Howard) this is also known as laughing gas. Besides that, there is another form of drug taking over this community.
The black dragon is the nest thing on the list for this community . This is the main cause of overdoses in the community. The average death for community members was 46.5 for males and 56.7 for females. By comparison, the average death in Arizona as a whole is 68.7 for males and 74.9 for females (Walker) There have been 8 overdoses in this community in the past year and last year it was 25 people. Now the Salt River Police are all trained to use Narcan because of the jump in overdoses.
The use of drugs and alcohol is raising the crime going on in the community as well. For instance, a lot of robberies, fight, theft of vehicles, amongst many other things is causing this poor little community to stand together. These things are causing families to have bad blood. Everyone on this little reservation is related some way or somehow. This reservation population is too small for these addictions to be taking over the way it is.
So, what are some of the resources that are in place for community members of this community? Well one is the want or need of the person in addiction to want to get sober. Salt River has its own treatment facility called Journey to Recovery. It is Native American based, and you have to be an enrolled member of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community to even get into the treatment center. It is as inpatient facility that runs anywhere from 30 days to 150 days depending on the person and their evaluation. You self-admit yourself, or be court ordered. The treatment center focuses on the 12 steps and uses traditional ways and ceremonies to help those in the program. They work with you and your own individual plan. They will also help you get into other programs that the tribe has to offer.
Some of the many other programs that Salt River have to offer are one of a kind like the fatherhood program and the motherhood program. These two programs show one how to reconnect with their children and families. They came up with these programs because of the fact that many families in Salt River are broken families because of drugs and alcohol. It's a cycle in Salt River that needs to be broken and bring families back together. That is one of the main reasons that today a lot of the children are following in the parent's footsteps. There is many absent parents and no interactions. If the parent is absent it is because they are either incarcerated in the community DOC or in state DOC or if the parent is not in either of these places, they are dead due to their addictions, suicide or even overdose.
Dealing with addictions or families with addictions in this community is considered normal. The drinking and drugging are every day. You see people walking around looking like death or sitting on the corner next to the liquor store on the outskirts of this small reservation. Almost every night you hear the police sirens going this way and that. If it is not drugs and alcohol it is domestic violence another thing that is the norm out here. You see woman with black eyes walking around like it don't bother anyone. That is also in the high percentile range.
There are many other classes that the tribe has to offer like A.A or N.A for the ones seeking that help as well. They also provide transportation if needed. You are able to travel to other reservations or cities close to this community like Mesa, Scottsdale, or Phoenix. But this community also has their own parenting program that works with parents as a team to make the home a better place. Some of the parenting classes are done in the home and the rest are done at the Social Services in Salt River.
Another option that one may have is seeking help from the Behavioral Health office located in the tribal offices in Salt River. One would have to call to set up an assessment date. At that point you would meet with a certified counselor who will give you an onsite assessment. Then you would work out an individual case plan. That would consist of outpatient classes called Intensive Out-patient I.O.P. or Supervised Out-patient S.O.P. the I.O.P program is not as harsh as the S.O.P. S.O.P. is a lot more intense. Both are made up of a series of classes that one has to take in order to graduate. One has more classes then the other and it's a self-dedicated program. It's up the person taking the class when they graduate it takes anywhere between 4 weeks to 12 weeks.
When women seek help for their addiction, they succeed in forging a new and better life says Lisa M. Najaviti, PH.D. (Najvits) the is good news and bad news for women. The good news is women respond better to treatment then men, New programs sensitive to women are being developed, treating women effectively can have a positive impact on their children, and women have more awareness of substance abuse issues than men.
The bad is women are more likely to die from addiction then men. Women become addicted more quickly than men. Women are more likely to develop health problems from addictions than men. Women are more less likely to seek addiction treatment than men. Women are imprisoned at a higher rate than ever before, primarily due to substances. Women have more barriers to treatment then men. Women are judged more harshly for addictions then men. women tend to take on the addiction patterns of their partners, while men do not. Women with addictions become more socially isolated than men. Women with addiction have more emotional problems than men. Women's addiction is associated with reproductive problems. Women's substance use is increasing. Women are the fastest growing group of HIV cases, largely due to drugs. Women receive less emotional support from their partners for entering treatment. Many addicted women suffered violence, yet most never receive treatment for it. Women are just as likely as men to have a genetic vulnerability to substance abuse. Women's substance use is associated with sexual problems. Some addictions are more common in women then men. Addicted women have less money then addicted men.
In the end if you are addict who sought help and are now sober and have a story to tell and have beat your addiction know that there are allot of people out there that need help as well. Do not be afraid to help your fellow community members by reaching out. Help each other to keep your tradition and reservation life alive. The resources for Salt River are there for enrolled community members to utilize. As a community you can help bring this epidemic to a minimun.
White Bison's Philosophy (copy-paste removed)
1.Walker, Dalton Au:Authum Action News, May 03, 2019
2.Najvitis, Lisa, A Women's Addiction Workbook, 2002
3.Howard, Matthew, Journal to Addicted Diseases
4.Coylis Pub. & Consulting, Inc. (n.d.) Red Road to Wellbriety, 2002