The PFS grant is a continuation 5-year award that builds off of the capacity built and accomplishments earned from the SPF-TIG. The Oklahoma Intertribal Consortium (OIC) is comprised of five tribal entities: 1) Southern Plains Tribal Health Board; 2) Absentee Shawnee Tribe; 3) Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes; 4) Chickasaw Nation and; 5) Comanche Nation. The OIC continues to build its partnership with key stakeholders, community members, youth, parents, and the entire family unit. Each of the tribal partners within the OIC leverage these partnerships and utilize traditional and cultural practices to continue developing their prevention programs. Learn about each of the substance use prevention programs below.


Absentee Shawnee Tribe: MyDNA

What does MyDNA mean? It stands for My Drug-free Native America. Strength, power, pride and respect for your body and mind are part of your DNA. MyDNA was created because of an epidemic-size problem among our young people: abuse of and addiction to drugs and alcohol. MyDNA Coalition members help lead other Native students, set a good example, make decisions on issues, build pride, and be a part of making MyDNA whatever you want it to be. Anyone age 12-19 who believes in a healthy, drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle and wants to help future generations live one too is invited to join the program. Visit to find out more information about the program and ways to get involved, or find them on social media:

Facebook: MyDNArocks
Instagram: @mydnarocks

Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes: Tradition Not Addiction

Tradition Not Addiction is a grassroots tribal youth organization that is driven to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse by using culture as prevention. The TNA Program conducts multiple culture classes within the community and surrounding schools, community events, pro-social prevention activities, and collaborates with other tribal and behavioral health organizations. Visit to find out more information about the program and ways to get involved, or find them on social media:

Facebook: TraditionNotAddiction
Instagram: @traditionnotaddiction

Chickasaw Nation: Define Your Direction

DYD seeks to INSPIRE teens and young adults to be leaders in their communities and live healthy lifestyles apart from prescription drug and alcohol abuse. Define Your Direction is a movement of peers, parents, community leaders and educators to change the perception of alcohol and prescription drug abuse in Oklahoma communities. By educating teens and young adults about the dangers of both subjects, DYD is creating a generation of students eager to participate in their communities, live healthy lives and be positive role models. Through Define Your Direction, you can receive free resources to use when talking to teens about prescription drug abuse and underage drinking. Visit to find out more information about the program and ways to get involved, or find them on social media:

Instagram: @defineyourdirection
Twitter: @_YourDirection
YouTube: @DefineYourDirection

Comanche Nation: I Am Native Drug-free Nations (IAMNDN)

IAMNDN is dedicated to empowering Native Youth to become outstanding sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, students, employees, community members and future leaders. This isn’t just another program, this is a movement whose ultimate goal is to bridge the generational communication gap between adults, young adults and teenagers; as well as inspire and initiate dialogue between younger tribal members and current tribal leaders. IAMNDN challenges the stereotypes by showing that Native Youth today are fancy dancers, tribal princesses, straight A students, quarterbacks, point-guards, and college graduates. IAMNDN understands how important creativity is to Native people and today’s youth display a multitude of talents and skills, and that is why IAMNDN teams up with local youth to collaborate on creative products. Visit the IAMNDN Facebook page to find out more information about the program and ways to get involved, or find them on other social media:

Instagram: @iamndn
YouTube: @IAMNDN

Our purpose is to reduce the effects of underage drinking and non-medical use of prescription drugs in American Indian communities in Central and South Western Oklahoma.  Our general approach is comprehensive and includes:

  • The use of the five step SPF planning model -Assessment, Capacity, Planning, Implementation, Evaluation, Sustainability and Cultural Competence.
  • Adherence to the Public Health approach of population level change priorities
  • The use of emergingTribal Best Practices (accompanied by evidence based practices) to better reach our Native target populations.
  • Revitalize the Tribal Epidemiology Outcomes Workgroup (TEOW) to include gatekeepers of relevant data, establish data sharing agreements, collect data regarding Native disparities and expand the TEOW’s charge,
  • Work with community law enforcement agencies in our Four Tribal Jurisdictions to enforce underage sales of alcohol laws as well as Oklahoma’s Social Hosting Law,
  • Work with existing anti-drug coalitions or create new coalitions of young adults within our institutions of higher learning,
  • Obtain feedback from the ODMHSAS Evidence Based Practices Workgroup,
  • Implement and evaluate cultural adaptations to substance abuse prevention interventions,
  • Focus on non-medical use of prescription drugs for adolescents and young adults 12 to 25 years of age.

Are you worried a young family member, friend, or loved one may be using or abusing alcohol? Here is some information that may help.

Talk with Them

Parent’s, older siblings and older loved ones have a major influence on a young person’s life, and this includes their decision to experiment with alcohol and other drugs. If you have concerns or just want to begin discussions early, speak to them, impart knowledge and guidance without being judgmental. These discussions can be hard, but they are worth it. For tips and resources on how to hold these types of conversations visit the Indian Health Service Alcohol and Substance Abuse Program or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Talk They Hear You campaign.

Increase Protective Factors

Protective factors are positive experiences, elements, or influences in a young person’s life that help to combat negative influences of risk and therefor help to reduce the likelihood that they will get involved with drugs, alcohol, and have problem behaviors. Protective factors include:

  • Connection to culture, family, friends, school and the community
  • Positive beliefs and family values
  • High self-esteem
  • Coping and problem-solving skills
  • Self-efficacy
  • Opportunities for pro-social involvement and rewards for pro-social involvement within the family, school and community settings

Three things are needed to successfully provide and increase the level of protective factors:

  • Provide opportunities for young people to activity contribute, participate, and be involved;
  • Teach and equip young people with the skills and knowledge to successfully contribute and;
  • Recognize and positively reinforce young people for their contribution, accomplishments, and involvement.

Examples of activities that increase protective factors

  • Family dinners
  • Attending cultural and community events
  • School sports and clubs 

Know the Facts: Short- and Long-Term Consequences of Alcohol Intoxication

  • Harder time making good decisions and decision making
  • Unaware of risky or inappropriate behavior
  • More likely to engage in risky behavior such as

Information Adapted from:

Why is it important to know and understand opioids?

Six out of ten unintentional poisonings in Oklahoma involve at least one prescription drug and there are more than 700 unintentional poisonings each year. Prescription opioids are the most common prescription medication associated with overdose deaths and are involved in more overdose deaths than all illicit drugs combined. Many Oklahomans are unaware that misuse and abuse of prescription drugs can be just as dangerous and addicting as using illegal drugs.

In Oklahoma, American Indians have higher rates of unintentional poisoning deaths compared to Caucasian and African Americans within five out of six age categories.

American Indians also have higher rates of unintentional prescription opioid overdose deaths compared to Caucasian and African Americans within individuals aged 15-34, and 55-64

In 2017 American Indian’s and Alaska Native’s (AI/AN) had the second highest overdose rate from all opioids and heroin nationally compared to all race/ethnicities

What are opioids and what are they for?

In the medical setting, opioids are a classification of drugs that are used to treat and reduce moderate to severe pain, however, they can have serious side effects and risks. Opioids can be both legal and illegal/illicit drugs (CDC).

Common legal opioid drugs that are prescribed to treat and reduce pain include: oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), morphine, codeine, hydromorphone, methadone, buprenorphine, and fentanyl. Illegal opioid drugs include heroin, opium, and illegally manufactured fentanyl (OBN, CDC, IHS).

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever that is many times stronger than heroin, 50-100 times stronger than morphine, and is used to treat severe chronic pain (usually in cancer patients). Illegally manufactured fentanyl is on the rise and is being added to heroin and other illegal drugs.

Tips for individuals with opioid or other prescriptions:

  • Take medications as the doctor prescribes them
  • Never share, give away, or sell your medications
  • Dispose of medications safely through a local disposal program (drop boxes). Visit Click here to find a disposal site near you.
  • Equip yourself with an opioid overdose reversal medication such as Naloxone. Click here to find out where to obtain free Naloxone and other important information.
  • Safely store medications using a lock box, pouch or other device that locks.

What should I know before getting a prescription?

  • Talk to your doctor about “nonpharmacologic therapy” and “nonopioid pharmacologic therapy”
  • Opioids are not first-line or routine therapy for chronic pain
  • Establish goals with your physician – realistic goals for pain and function and consider the discontinuing of opioid therapy if the benefits and goals do not outweigh the risks
  • Always ask your physician about the risks and realistic benefits of opioid therapy
  • Know the Difference between Acute Pain and Chronic Pain
    • Acute – sudden, known cause, injury or surgery
    • Chronic – pain lasting 3 months or more and can be caused by a disease or condition

I get my medication from a doctor, how is it not safe?

  • 1 in 4 patients receiving long-term opioid therapy in a primary care setting struggles with opioid addiction.
  • In 2016 more than 11.5 million Americans reported misusing opioids
  • Side Effects
    • Tolerance – needing a higher dosage or more medication for same pain relief
    • Physical Dependence – symptoms of withdrawal when medication stops
    • Increased Sensitivity to Pain

What does addiction look like?

  • Symptoms/Side Effects of Opioid Misuse
    • Tolerance – needing a higher dosage or more medication for same pain relief
    • Physical Dependence – symptoms of withdrawal when medication stops
    • Increased Sensitivity to Pain
    • Constipation, Nausea, Vomiting, and Dry Mouth
    • Sleepiness and Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Depression
    • Low levels of testosterone
    • Itching and Sweating

What are the dangers to my mind and body if I mix prescription medications together or in combination with alcohol and other drugs?

  • Patients should talk to with their health care provider about whether they can safely use their prescription drugs with other substances including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as Alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs.
  • Drugs that slow down breath rate such as opioids, alcohol, antihistamines, CNS depressants, or general anesthetics should not be taken together
    • Risk of life-threatening respiratory depression
  • Increase risk of opioid misuse
  • Increase risk of overdose death


The SPF-PFS Oklahoma Intertribal Consortium was awarded the 2017 National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies from the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. and its subsidiary organization, the National Prevention Network.

Below are various resources from print to multi-media. Please feel free to use and share these materials with your tribe/organization.





Where Culture Meets Prevention

Why Culture is Prevention

Define Your Direction: Define Your Priorities

Define Your Direction: Impactful Statistics

Fore more Define Your Direction videos click here

IAMNDN: Don’t Drown Your Future in Alcohol

IAMNDN: Culture and Media Camp 2017

IAMNDN: Tee Pee Class Time Lapse

Fore more IAMNDN videos click here

Tradition Not Addiction: National Prevention Week

Tradition Not Addiction: Award Video

Tradition Not Addiction: Youth Perspective

Fore more Tradition Not Addiction videos click here

Southern Plains Tribal Health Board
Phone: (405) 652-9200
Fax: (405) 840-7052

Tribal Behavioral Health 104:Culture is Prevention

Collaboration between SPTHB and Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine

Tribal Behavioral Health 104: Culture is Prevention will inform Tribes, Tribal Serving Organizations and public health professionals about the use of culturally appropriate programs and practices for substance abuse prevention. Examples of success stories from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ Tradition Not Addiction Prevention Program will be used to provide valuable examples.This course will inform Tribes, Tribal Serving Organizations and public health professionals about the use of culturally appropriate programs and practices for substance abuse prevention. Examples of success stories from the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes’ Tradition Not Addiction Prevention Program will be used to provide valuable examples.

Learning Objectives:
  • Define culturally appropriate programs and practices (Tribal Best Practices)
  • Explain why lack of reliable data for AI/AN is a major barrier to public health interventions
  • Recognize the importance of high quality data to identify AI/AN health and behavioral health disparities
  • Describe the positive response AI/AN have to culturally appropriate messages
  • Identify the real-world strategies, programs and practices that have proven successful in a traditional American Indian Tribe in Central Oklahoma
  • Recognize the need smaller tribes have for epidemiological expertise to help obtain funding and implement relevant programs
  • Identify the existing capacity that exists in all Native Tribes for using Culture as Prevention


Register For Online Course