National Tribal Opioid Response

Opioid Response Network (ORN)


The Opioid Response Network (ORN) is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funded nationwide group of training and technical assistance (TTA) experts on substance-use disorders. They often work with SAMHSA’s Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) grantees. In partnership with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, KAI was brought in to provide TTA support to 142 of these tribes and tribal organizations.  

The goal of KAI’s partnership was to help Indigenize TTA services provided to TOR grantees. In particular, KAI focused on Indigenizing the TTA services provided, as Native grantees are often receptive to tribal staff. To accomplish this goal, KAI assigned an educated, experienced Native director and technology transfer specialists to the project, all of whom were enrolled tribal members or their direct descendants.

The experts from KAI provided culturally appropriate, responsive services to the grantees, drawing on lived experience and their time working with tribal members, which allowed the ORN to build out strong, sustainable trusted-messenger networks with their grantees. 


The opioid epidemic has disparate impacts on Native communities due to issues such as historical trauma, poverty, low socioeconomic status, poor health conditions, and lack of health care services. Rural, isolated tribal communities face additional barriers to treatment due to their distance from treatment facilities and lack of financial, logistical, and medical resources.


As tribal nations and communities are forced to combat a new wave of fentanyl-driven substance abuse, the combination of medication assisted treatment (MAT) and behavioral-health therapy has given them new and powerful tools to protect their people. By helping the ORN provide culturally appropriate, responsive TTA services, KAI staff helped maximize the community outreach and harm-reduction initiatives necessary to reduce fentanyl-related deaths in tribal communities.


In partnership with AAAP, KAI helped provide TTA services to 142 TOR grantees, and will continue making sure the ORN serves the particular needs of their Native partners by building meaningful relationships and providing culturally appropriate services.

In the course of their partnership with the ORN, tribal KAI staff have also helped respond to tribal TTA requests by non-TOR grantees, in addition to serving on the Indigenous communities response team and Indigenous communities workgroup, a nationwide initiative to ensure the unique needs of tribal communities inform TTA services provided to tribal organizations across Indian Country. 

Request Assistance from the ORN

If you need help with education and training for the prevention, treatment or recovery of opioid use disorders, stimulant use and other substance use disorders, the Opioid Response Network provides tailored education, training, and educational resources using evidence-based practices all at no cost to you. Please complete the TA request form by following the link below. Within one business day, the person listed on this form will be contacted to get more information and get the process started.

Opioid Response Network: TA Requests