Health Emergency Declared on Bad River

BAD RIVER, Wis.-The Bad River Tribe near Ashland has declared a public health emergency as they face an opioid abuse crisis.

The goal of the declaration is to help bring more funding into the community to fight its growing drug problem.

Other tribes in the region have taken similar steps including Red Cliff and Lac Courte Oreilles.

“This is a public health emergency,” said Tribal Chairman Robert Blanchard. “Our communities need the resources necessary to address drug addiction. The tribal leaders communication and designating state of emergency will help make that possible.”

Executive Director of the tribe in Robert Houle also stated that as a result, the Housing Authority has had to serve eviction notices to several tenants due to court records which showed they were involved with meth.

“Subsequent testing of these homes resulted in the positive testing for meth which then creates a serious health issue until these homes are remediated, and a serious cost for housing staff (using protective equipment and proper training) remediating the homes and making them safe to reoccupy,” said Houle. “This process not only costs housing extra unplanned dollars (thousands of dollars per home) for this remediation clean-up but results in families who are displaced and the impact this has on children and elders is especially difficult to grasp.”

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