The current opioid epidemic is one of the deadliest drug crisis in American History.
The M-H-A nation is looking for a solution to protect its people, city, and surrounding areas.
“It’s here in North Dakota and we have to deal with it,” said Mervin Packineau, Tribal Councilman.
Drugs are powerful.
“I became addicted to drugs when I was 26 years old,” said Rachelle Baker, Recovered Addict.
Rachelle Baker started her addiction with pills and it esclated to Heroin.
“Completely addicted to Heroin, completely lived on the streets away from my family,” said Baker.
“A lot of things that we’ve dealt with on a daily basis is the methamphetamine, the opiates, herion,” said Gerald White, MHA Drug Enforcement Chief.
During her addiction, she faced many health issues including seizures and kidney failure.
“I actually had a son who was addicted to Heroin when he was born on a drug run,” said Baker.’
She says that it consumes you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
“Physically your body is dependent on it, mentally it’s all you can think about from the time you wake up from the time you go to bed, spiritually basically you’re a lost soul,” said Baker.
After 5 years of addiction, she was confronted by the MHA drug enforcement officers.
“When I first became involved with the drug enforcement I was angry, I was mad, I thought the world was against me, especially these guys,” said Baker.
And that’s when she had the opportunity to change her life.
“If it wasn’t for them doing their job and having the compassion that they do for our people you know I probably wouldn’t be alive right now,” said Baker.
MHA nation is hoping to have more success stories like this which is why the drug enforcement team has a new headquarters.
“Hopefully having a drug enforcement center here will help us cope with this problem,” said Packineau.
The new center has space for investigators, officers, and the K-9 unit.
“I’m really glad that I can look at these people here that are working, look at them with respect,” said Baker.
The drug enforcement team will be working day and night to protect or even save a person like Rachelle’s life.
“Life now is beautiful,” said Baker.
Rachelle is now a volunteer in the community where she helps recovering addicts.