Targeting a Native American and Alaskan Native clientele, Denver Indian Health and Family Services provides outpatient treatment solely to individuals from American Indian tribes and pueblos. The facility was founded in 1972 by a group of Native Americans. Treatment combines modalities such as CBT and Motivational Interviewing (MI) with traditional Native American wisdom and narrative therapy.
Treatment and Staff
An individualized treatment plan is developed for each client based on their substance abuse history and any mental health diagnosis. DIHFS provides dual diagnosis services for clients with co-occurring disorders.
Group sessions—which are 90 minutes and held twice a week—use curricula from the Change Companies, a publishing house that produces mostly MI-based materials to help individuals make changes in their lives. The program is not formally 12-step oriented and the facility doesn’t offer detox though it makes referrals.
Clients have the choice of working with two counselors or a Master’s-level intern. The ratio of staff-to-client is one-to-20, though groups are limited to between six and nine clients for each counselor. Staff credentials include LCSW and LPC. Clients can choose a male or female counselor.
Because DIHFS is operated by the Indian Health Service and serves members of federally recognized Native American and Alaskan Native tribes, clients are required to bring tribal ID cards or Bureau of Indian Affairs forms or a certificate of Indian blood when they register for the substance abuse program. Native American or Alaskan Native clients who are enrolled in Medicaid also qualify for services.
DIHFS has a family program for clients’ family members that offers CBT in addition to trauma-focused CBT. Families with a history of trauma or a traumatic events may be directed toward the trauma-based family group. Family groups meet for an hour or an hour and a half once a week.
Aftercare is available for outpatient clients and for Native American residents who have been discharged from inpatient treatment facilities in the Denver area. These clients may be referred to the sober living program at DIHFS. Outpatient clients of DIHFS attend the sober living meetings, which cover relapse prevention and maintaining sobriety.
Alumni may come back at any time to take part in Talking Circles, which are support-based groups to help alumni stay sober.
Serving Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, Denver Indian Health and Family Services provides evidence-based outpatient treatment with a cultural sensitivity that many clients may find particularly supportive and conducive to recovery. The facility is funded by the Indian Health Service and so prospective clients are required to bring adequate ID attesting to their Indian affiliation.
Denver Indian Health and Family Services
1633 Fillmore St GL1
Denver, CO 80206
Denver Indian Health and Family Services Cost: Free to tribal members. Reach Denver Indian Health and Family Services at (303) 953-6600 or by email. Find Denver Indian Health and Family Services on Facebook
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