Walking in Strength
American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) youth have the second-highest fatal opioid overdose rate in the nation and AI/AN youth attending schools on or near reservations have the highest rates of substance use among U.S. ethnic groups. This project aims to prevent opioid use disorder among AI/AN youth. It will be developed by the National Indian Youth Leadership Development Project and focus on middle school students on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation. It will extend the evidence-based Project Venture model of positive youth development, which includes outdoor activities, service, and peer mentoring, to prevention of opioid use disorder. Adolescents who need extra support will be offered counseling as well as cultural education and activities. The goal is to create a culturally informed OUD prevention model that can be replicated in other AI/AN communities.