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Opioid Stewardship in the Indian Health Service


The Indian Health Service (IHS) Opioid Strategy supports holistic, patient-centered care that incorporates the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each individual patient. A strong patient-provider relationship that respects American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) culture and tradition through shared-decision making is an important component in developing a treatment plan. IHS aims to reduce stigma while promoting culturally-sensitive, appropriate, and effective best practices related to opioid stewardship and substance use disorders, including evidence-based treatment, recovery support, primary prevention, and other harm reduction strategies.

IHS actively coordinates, collaborates, and participates in listening sessions, formal consultations, and community roundtables to ensure agency work is aligned with the President's National Drug Control Policy Priorities [PDF - 334 KB] Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  and relevant to tribal communities.

AI/AN populations face many socioeconomic challenges which often translate to a shortage of healthcare resources. In response, IHS is working to address Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) through a comprehensive, patient-centered, and team-based approach to patient care. The IHS supports health care practice that values health equity by striving to understand the local community and the impacts of SDoH, address implicit bias, empower the health care team and improve health literacy.