RED LAKE, Minn. (AP) _ Tribal leaders of a northern Minnesota reservation have declared its heroin and opiate epidemic a public health emergency.

Reports say Red Lake Indian Reservation tribal leaders are seeking outside help to deal with the crisis and are considering banishing tribal members who are involved with dealing drugs. They'll discuss the option at a meeting Aug. 1.

The band's director of public safety and police chief, William Brunelle, says banishment would send a strong and immediate message to people involved with drugs.

Leaders say overdoses have increased significantly over the past few months due to an increase in heroin and fentanyl use.

Natives Against Heroin Co-chief Ryan Neadeau Sr. says almost three dozen people have overdosed in the past six months.