American Indians share a disproportionately high rate of substance abuse, almost double that of the general population. Studies show that:

  • Native children begin using illegal drugs much earlier than the U.S. youth population as a whole.
  • This population’s use of opioids like heroin and unprescribed pain killers is 2 to 3 times higher than the national average.
  • 14.9% of those ages 12+ use illegal drugs
  • Native Americans have the highest rate of drug-induced death (17.1%)

And heartbreakingly:

  • The suicide rate of among Native adolescents and young adults is 2.5X higher than the national average.

These statistics are staggering and saddening. We know that social isolation, poverty and lack of healthcare services particularly on reservations play their part, but it’s important to realize that addiction at its core is an individual disease. And all individuals who face their addiction, try to understand how it impacts them, their family and their people and seek treatment can find lasting healing and hope on the recovery path. When the loved one’s of the addicted learn how they can better support their family member in recovery, amazing things can happen.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the treatment options around the country specifically geared toward those suffering from addiction within the many nations of the American Indian population.

Olalla Recovery Center

Olalla is an accredited recovery center in the state of Washington. Their mission “is to change the lives of people affected by
alcoholism and other chemical dependencies”.

They believe that addiction has several components: genetic, biological, psychological, sociological and environmental.

Their goal is to help patients move past addiction by growing spiritually and reconnecting with their culture.

They apply the fundamentals of a typical AA program, while incorporating a culturally significant recovery path, complete with Native American ceremonies conducted by Tribal Elders.

These Elders are committed to healing through ceremony, culture, tradition, and history. By helping those suffering rediscover who they are, patients can find the strength they need to stay on the recovery path.

These ceremonies and traditional teachings include:

  • Spiritual Circles
  • Medicine Wheels
  • Smudging
  • Connecting with Nature

Olalla offers a complete range of addiction services, including:

  • Sub-acute withdrawal management
  • Inpatient Residential Treatment Program surrounded by the majesty of nature
  • Inpatient and outpatient counseling
  • Family programs
  • Relapse prevention
  • Continuing care
  • Interventions

They incorporate holistic healing methods such as:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Acupuncture
  • Reiki – A Japanese healing technique that focuses on redirecting the flow of energy in the body.
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness
  • Speed Walking

KeyStone Treatment Centers

Keystone, located in South Dakota, recognizes the uniqueness of the Native American individual and works to help addicted individuals with programs that specifically address traditional values.

Their programs include:

  • Inipi/purification ceremonies weekly at Keystone’s onsite Sweat Lodge.
  • Individual assessments with a cultural coordinator
  • Honoring ceremonies upon request
  • Traditional songs and prayers
  • Sharing with others on the Red Road Walk
  • Spiritual advising specific to the various traditions
  • Smudging and prayers using sage, sweet grass, or cedar.
  • Talking Circle, during which patients share and support each other

By validating and supporting the spirituality of the individual, they help the individual find lasting healing on the recovery path. They believe that in order to recover, the whole person must heal. They work to address all aspects of the person in a holistic approach.

They offer a full range of services for addiction and mental disorders, including:

 Sunrise House

Sunrise House, in Sussex, New Jersey believes in engaging family and the tribal community in the healing process. They acknowledge the importance of traditional Native American cultural/spiritual tradition in the healing process. They address the whole person, working to manage heart disease, depression, diabetes and respiratory illness along with the addiction to help the individual get healthy and find lasting recovery.

Their programs are based upon proven addiction treatment techniques like:

  • Motivational Interviewing, which is designed to help the individual state the impact that addiction has had on his/her life and the lives of others and why he/she is motivated to change.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment which works to “reprogram” the addicted brain by eliminating self-destructive thoughts.
  • Individual counseling
  • 12-step meetings
  • Nutrition & Exercise

They offer a full range of programs:

  • Medical detox
  • 90-day residential programs
  • Continuing care
  • Community service referrals.

Find a Native American Drug and Alcohol Rehab is dedicated to connecting those suffering from addiction with respected and effective addiction treatment options in their area. We understand that each person has unique physical, behavioral, spiritual and even financial needs. We evaluate it all.

When you call our free, confidential helpline, you’ll speak with a compassionate and informed mental health professional, licensed counselor or one in recovery. We’ll listen and help you weigh your options. You’re not alone. You and your loved on can find lasting healing through recovery.