A culturally competent substance use prevention intervention targeting Native American youth in three different tribal communities
Substance use and substance-related consequences have disproportionately impacted Native Americans, including the opioid crisis. The Intertribal Talking Circle is an after-school substance use prevention intervention, developed by John Lowe PhD, that aims to address attitudes towards substance use early on in Native American youth.
The method and information presented is similar to standard alcohol and drug education programs typically provided in schools; however, it is culturally based, delivered in the format of a “talking circle". In Native American tradition, a talking circle is an opportunity to capitalize on the belief that healing and transformation should take place in the presence of the group.
Using a community-based participatory research approach, this culturally competent intervention has been implemented across three tribal communities in Minnesota, North Carolina, and Oklahoma, targeting 6th graders. The intervention is being funded as a five-year clinical trial with the goal of evaluating the use of the Talking Circle to increase Native American youth cultural identity while decreasing their substance use.
A review of other substance use prevention programs can be found here.