- Associated Press - Thursday, March 22, 2018

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke met with members of two Indian tribes in the Spokane area to discuss how the agency can assist with reducing the abuse of opioids on reservations.

Zinke on Thursday morning met in the town of Wellpinit with members of the Spokane tribe and the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Zinke, a former congressman from Montana, says tribal communities are disproportionately hurt by the opioid crisis.

He says he is focused on combating the epidemic through education, treatment, enforcement, and support. Zinke says he is studying how the Interior Department can best support tribal law enforcement agencies in cracking down on drug dealers and how to best support community-based treatment.

Zinke will meet with members of the Lummi Tribe on Friday.

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