Request for Information (RFI): Soliciting Additional Input to the NIH 2018 Tribal Consultation on the Opioid Crisis in Indian Country

Notice Number: NOT-OD-19-059

Key Dates
Release Date:January 25, 2019

Related Announcements

Issued by
Division of Program Coordination, Planning and Strategic Initiatives, Tribal Health Research Office (THRO)


The purpose of this Request for Information (RFI) is to invite additional comments and suggestions on the concerns and challenges communicated by Tribal leaders and participants at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) 2018 Tribal Consultation on the Opioid Epidemic in Indian Country held on May 21st - 22nd, 2018 in conjunction with the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) 9th Annual National Tribal Public Health Summit (TPHS) in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The NIH Tribal Health Research Office (THRO) is publishing this notice to solicit additional input from its stakeholders, including members of the scientific, tribal, advocacy, and patient communities; basic, clinical, and translational scientists; as well as other interested members of the public.


The NIHB TPHS is the premier national, Tribal public health event bringing together over 600 Tribal leaders, members, health directors, public health practitioners, policy experts, advocates and allies to
celebrate and discuss Tribal priorities in public health. This year’s conference included a special
two-day listening and consultation session on the opioid crisis in Indian Country facilitated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Over 250 participants registered to attend the two-day session.

The NIH/IHS/SAMHSA listening/consultation session on the opioid crisis in Indian Country
presented a unique opportunity for Tribal leaders, Tribal members, and public health experts to
voice concerns, share promising practices, bring attention to challenges and barriers, and
discuss strategies for intervention through new federal funding and programmatic opportunities.
The two-day session included presentations from federal and Tribal partners on
national and Tribally-specific trends in substance related health outcomes, analyses of the social
determinants of health impacting behavioral health outcomes, new research on addiction science,
and upcoming funding opportunities. Each presentation was followed by in-depth discussions
between Tribal leaders, participants and federal agency representatives to gather feedback,
exchange ideas, and explore new partnerships and opportunities to more effectively address the
opioid epidemic in Indian Country.

Information Requested

Please provide comments or additional input to any or all of the following seven topics. Broadly speaking, these topics encompass the overarching themes communicated by Tribal leaders and participants during the NIH 2018 Tribal Consultation on the Opioid Epidemic in Indian Country:

1. The need for more direct, non-competitive and formula-based funding to Tribes to address
behavioral health priorities

2. Concerns around addiction risks with medication-assisted treatments such as methadone
and buprenorphine for opioid use disorder;

3. The need for more direct, meaningful and timely Tribal consultation to determine
distribution pathways for funding, respond to proposed regulatory changes, and to advance
the government-to-government relationship between Tribes and the federal government;

4. Expanding the use of traditional medicines and cultural practices to prevent and treat
addiction, and requests for a special federal-Tribal summit on traditional medicine;

5. The impact of historical, intergenerational and current trauma in Tribal communities on
behavioral health outcomes related to drug misuse, addiction and overdose;

6. Challenges with behavioral health data collection and analysis including undercounting of
AI/ANs in state and national surveillance systems, racial misclassification of AI/ANs, and
shortages in Tribal public health surveillance infrastructure and capacity to make accurate
and comprehensive assessments of need;

7. Expanding culturally appropriate primary prevention and awareness activities for Tribal
youth to reduce the risk of substance use initiation.

How to Submit a Response:

Responses no longer than 300 words should be submitted at by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on March 28, 2019. You will see an electronic confirmation acknowledging receipt of your response. All submissions will be considered but will not be confidential. Responses to this RFI are voluntary. Do not include any proprietary, classified, confidential, trade secret, or sensitive information in your response. The responses will be reviewed by NIH staff, and individual feedback will not be provided to any responder. The Government will use the information submitted in response to this RFI at its discretion. The Government reserves the right to use any submitted information on public NIH websites, in reports, in summaries of the state of the science, in any possible resultant solicitation(s), grant(s), or cooperative agreement(s), or in the development of future funding opportunity announcements. This RFI is for information and planning purposes only and shall not be construed as a solicitation, grant, or cooperative agreement, or as an obligation on the part of the Federal Government, the NIH, or individual NIH Institutes and Centers to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it. The Government will not pay for the preparation of any information submitted or for the Government’s use of such information. No basis for claims against the U.S. Government shall arise as a result of a response to this request for information or from the Government’s use of such information.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Tribal Health Research Office
Telephone: 301-402-9852