Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest, Inc. (NARA) was founded in 1970, in Portland, Oregon. It is an Indian-owned, Indian-operated, non-profit agency. Originally an outpatient substance abuse treatment center, NARA now operates a residential treatment center, an outpatient treatment center, a family resource program, transitional housing for Native women and children and a primary health care clinic. While it was designed for Native American adults ages 18 and over, the rehab accepts all races and backgrounds. Clients come to NARA from all over Oregon and the United States. They are able to bring their children up to age five to stay with them while in residential treatment.
Accommodations and Food
The NARA facility fills an entire city block in eclectic downtown Portland. Men, women and families are segregated in several dorms. Accommodations vary depending on the housing area, but single men and women are housed in groups of six in dorm-style rooms.
Residents are served three hot meals per day, cafeteria-style. Typical entrees include hamburgers, hot dogs, chef salad, and chicken. Indian tacos and fry bread is the only Native cuisine served. Coffee is provided in the cafeteria and at in-house meetings.
Treatment and Staff
NARA doesn’t provide detox, and requires that clients are a minimum of 72 hours clean and sober before checking in. Narcotic medications, benzodiazepines, Suboxone or tramadol are prohibited. Those with permissible meds must bring a 30-day supply, along with prescription refills. Treatment length at NARA is typically six months.
NARA’s treatment approach is collaborative and utilizes a wide variety of modalities. Native American culture and spirituality informs their work and is offered to all clients. The treatment model is based on the Medicine Wheel, along with a 12-step approach and evidence-based practices, specifically Motivational Interviewing (MI) and DBT. The schedule includes group therapy, individual therapy and attendance at on-site AA/NA meetings. Residents participate in weekly sweat lodges, drumming, singing, fire circles, talking circles, smudging, animal and spirit songs and powwows.
Staff includes Master’s-level therapists, clinical supervisors, CADCs, psychologists, college interns and a family nurse practitioner. Out-of-pocket cost is $100 per day, and $45 per day for children.
Residents are provided with primary health care as well as access to mental health services.
In addition, all residents must apply for food stamp benefits while at NARA. Families receive childcare while the parents are in treatment.
NARA offers a unique mix of native and 12-step spirituality in a structured treatment environment. It is a popular facility for people form all walks of life. Keep in mind that there is a six to eight week waiting list for individuals, and up to three months waiting period for those with children. But for those seeking powwows along with the Big Book, this might be the perfect match.
NARA Residential Treatment Center
1631 SW Columbia St,
Portland, OR 97201
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