Settled along the Puget Sound in Washington state is a two-thirds male, one-third female recovery center specializing in short-term residential treatment. Olalla Guest Lodge practices a holistic approach to treatment with a Native American influence. Its program is designed to help clients recover from addiction by realigning their mind, body and spirit through a reconnection with nature, spirituality and physical activity.
Accommodations and Food
While the facility itself is located amongst the picturesque woods of the Pacific Northwest, the atmosphere at Olalla could best be described as communal and utilitarian. This affordable rehab, which allows clients to stay anywhere from one to 28 days, is a mixture of middle class Caucasians and local tribal members between the ages of 25 and 45. Clients share bedrooms with two other residents and all are expected to keep their personal spaces clean and tidy and do their own laundry as well as a list of daily chores assigned to them.
Olalla’s website prepares perspective clients with a list of exactly what to bring and what not to bring for their stay there. Clients are encouraged to bring coins for phone calls and $20 for vending machines. Clients are also expected to bring their own laundry detergent, towels, notebooks, writing utensils, alarm clocks, yoga mats and any personal hygiene products that are non-aerosol and alcohol-free. Clients are not allowed cell phone, camera, laptop, tablet, or iPod. Musical instruments, sporting equipment (except wrist and ankle weights), board games and playing cards are also prohibited. Pay phone calls are permitted at certain times and TV is only allowed for pre-arranged movie nights and certain sporting events.
The dining hall at Olalla is cafeteria-style and serves mostly comfort food like hamburgers and tacos; however, there is a salad bar for those concerned with staying fit during treatment.
Treatment and Staff
While the program at Olalla is mostly 12-step based, many of the accoutrements offered can also be quite fulfilling, like yoga, acupuncture and meditation, not to mention a monthly spiritual circle led by Native American elders, a medicine wheel class focusing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellness and a smudging ceremony where clients are invited to let go of the past through the burning of written material.
Alumnus of Olalla report that there is a comforting family-like feel to the community, greatly attributed to the loving and supportive staff. The clinical staff at Olalla is made up of Chemical Dependency Professionals, Chemical Dependency Professionals in Training and family counselors (though there are presentations by psychologists).
Olalla also offers helpful lectures on nutrition that can help guide residents learn on how to eat properly and there are plenty of opportunities to exercise. There is a gravel trail around the facility’s perimeter for walking or running and access to basketball, volleyball, football and Frisbee.
If prospective clients know that they are done drinking and using drugs and are looking for a simple yet effective solution, Olalla Guest Lodge is a great option. But if someone feels they may be dealing with co-occurring disorders and need something more clinical, they might be better served somewhere else.
Olalla Guest Lodge
12851 Lala Cove Ln SE
Olalla, WA 98359
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