The Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition focuses its efforts solely on Native Americans struggling with addictions to alcohol or other substances. The facility offers both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs and is located in Omaha, Nebraska, with companion medical treatment and social services programs in Lincoln. Because NUIHC treats Native Americans exclusively, its clinicians are mindful of cultural sensitivity in both treatment and recovery.
Accommodations and Food
The inpatient facility at NUIHC feels relatively clinical. Incoming residents are not allowed to bring in any electronics. At the end of each treatment day, however, clients are allowed to relax by watching TV. Residents are allowed to use office phones as needed so they can communicate with family members, their attorneys or social workers.
The staff purposely keeps resident numbers low so they can provide personalized attention to everyone. A typical client’s room has two beds and dressers. The facility can accommodate up to 10 residents, with five rooms available for both men and women (meaning men and women may sometimes be required to share rooms). No private rooms are provided. Two full bathrooms are available and accommodate five residents each.
Every meal is prepared by a chef and includes meat, salad, vegetables, dessert and a beverage. The meals are often culturally traditional fare, though other foods such as hamburgers are also served, as is a range of Italian and Mexican cuisine.
The chef chooses two residents to help him prepare the meals. In addition to asking clients to help him, he also teaches them how to cook healthy meals that still taste good. Sugar and caffeine are allowed in limited quantities.
Treatment and Staff
NUIHC doesn’t provide detox services, though it does offer dual diagnosis support. The facility bases its treatment on the 12-step model with all clients required to participate in off-site AA/NA meetings. Clinical staff also use SMART Recovery principles.
Clinicians use CBT, EMDR and a version of the Matrix Model specific to Native American beliefs. Staff members and program directors developed this model based on evidence-based practices and treatments they find have worked for their clients. Residents stay in treatment for 90 days but may remain for longer periods based on individual needs.
Each resident meets with their counselor for individual therapy twice a week. Group therapy takes place more often, with three group sessions per day. Every week, residents attend a total of 15 group sessions.
Family visits take place after family therapy sessions. Other than these visits, families are not allowed to visit while their loved ones are in treatment (with the exception of children). If a client’s children are involved with child protective services, visits are arranged weekly, usually totaling three per week.
Three inpatient clinical staff are available to residents while one clinician is available for outpatient clients. Each holds an LADC certification and one staff member holds an licensed mental health professional (LMPH) certification. The staff is a mix of men and women, and a client specialist is available 24/7.
A typical day begins at 6:30 am, when residents get up and have breakfast. After breakfast, all clients take care of assigned chores before starting the day’s treatment program at 9 am. Next is a lunch break, followed by more treatment finishing at 5 pm, when dinner is served.
After dinner, residents head to 12-step meetings, talking circle or the sweat lodge. Lights out is at 10:30 pm during the week and 11:30 pm on weekends. Residents have free time in the evenings and on weekends.
Exercise and physical activity are provided at a local YMCA where clients can swim, lift weights or take part in a yoga class. Staff members walk with the residents to the Y three times per week.
NUIHC staffers take residents to outside extracurricular activities, such as bowling or the movies, depending on scheduling.
Once clients have completed the inpatient portion of their treatment, they can move into transitional living, which is considered aftercare. If an alum relapses, they are brought back in for additional treatment.
While Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition relies strongly on Native American traditions and teachings, it does accept non-Native clients and residents for outpatient treatment. To be eligible, clients must be enrolled with a federally recognized tribe—which means the resident holds a tribal census card. While this facility provides a relatively niche service, its services are more than sufficient to aid in the path to sobriety.
Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition
2240 Landon Court
Omaha, NE 68102
Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition Cost: Free to Native Americans (30 days). Reach Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition by phone at (402) 346-0902. Find Nebraska Urban Indian Health Coalition on Facebook and YouTube
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