Mobilizing communities to reduce substance abuse in Indian country

J Psychoactive Drugs. 2003 Jan-Mar;35(1):89-96. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2003.10399999.


The impact of substance abuse is notable on Indian reservations in the United States and in the border communities surrounding them. One Indian country community, McKinley County, New Mexico, developed and implemented a series of alcohol policy and programmatic reforms beginning in 1989 which have reduced the impact of substance abuse on this community. Learning from the McKinley County experience, Fremont County in Wyoming, home of the Wind River Indian Reservation, has implemented similar reforms. This article introduces the substance abuse reduction efforts and delineates specific innovations implemented in these communities. The influence that these two communities have had on changes in substance abuse policy and programming statewide in New Mexico and Wyoming is also reviewed.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / ethnology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control
  • Alcoholism / rehabilitation*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Combined Modality Therapy / psychology
  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Health Care Reform / organization & administration*
  • Health Plan Implementation / organization & administration
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / psychology*
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Needs Assessment / organization & administration
  • New Mexico
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / organization & administration
  • Substance-Related Disorders / ethnology
  • Substance-Related Disorders / prevention & control
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Wyoming