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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions


Who does the Healing Lodge provide inpatient treatment for?

Native American, Alaska Native, and non-native youth ages 13-17.  Younger and older ages are consider on an exception basis, with proof they are best served in an adolescent facility.

Is the Healing Lodge strictly a Native American program?

The Healing Lodge is open to all adolescents, whether Native American/ Alaska Native, or other ethnic or cultural background.  It is important to note that the program is infused with Native American culture, traditions, ceremony and spirituality.  Native American traditional activities such as Sweat Lodge, drumming, dancing, singing, rites of passage, Native American crafts, and basketball are examples of activities that all youth participate in.

All cultures are honored at The Healing Lodge.  Culture Specialists work with each individual youth and their own culture to identify strengths that can be drawn on to assist with an individual treatment program.  Education and connection for each youth to their own culture as well as educating the staff is important in learning about and honoring various cultures.  With that being said, it is important to note that the dominant culture in the program is Native American.  When referring a youth to our program, it is important to consider if they will be comfortable and able to participate in this aspect of the program.

What are the requirements for someone to enter the program?

Applicants must complete our Intake Packet and submit it along with a recent physical and Chemical Dependency Assessment for consideration by the Admissions Screening Committee.  If mental health or behavioral issues are a concern, a recent Mental Health Assessment or Psychiatric Evaluation may be required.  Additional information is needed after the application is accepted and must be received before admission including TB Test Result, Immunization Record, School Records, Tribal ID, etc. Click here for more information about the Admissions process. 

How is treatment and medical care paid for?

Primary funding for treatment is received from Indian Health Services, through the State of Washington Medicaid program, and/or private insurance. Other sources of funding, such as CDDA or tribal grants, are welcome and can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

Medical care while the youth is in treatment can be covered by IHS Contract Health Service when authorized by the local service area, Washington Medical Coupon, Montana Access, or by private insurance.  


What Native American/Alaska Native youth are eligible to have their treatment covered through IHS?

An individual must have or be recovering from a substance abuse disorder AND be:

  • An enrolled member of a federally-recognized Native American tribe, or
  • A Native American descendent (parent or grandparent enrolled), or
  • A non-Indian minor living in a Native American household.

Can a court order get a youth into treatment?

Not by itself.  The Healing Lodge admits youth based on objective clinical criteria indicating that they are most appropriately served in this setting.  The court order could require Chemical Dependency and/or Mental Health Assessments for the youth, and then require that they complete the treatment that is recommended in the assessment.

Inpatient programs have been found to be more successful when the client receives a period of outpatient counseling after returning home.  Wording the court order as illustrated above, allows for the complete continuum of care over a longer period of time to be utilized to meet the individual client’s needs.

Can the court set a specific number of days for a youth to be in treatment?

It is not advisable.  Many youth arrive at our program telling us that they only have to be in treatment for 30 days, and are very disappointed to find out that our program is variable length, with stays upwards of 90 days or more.  Objective clinical criteria are used to evaluate a youth’s needs during treatment, and protocol requires that they be discharged to a lower level of care as soon as the criteria dictates it.  This allows for a treatment program to be very individualized, focused on meeting the needs of each individual child.  

The treatment program does help the youth to take a look at their legal problems and obligations, and counselors encourage and guide them to address them in concert with their probation officer or other court representatives.  

Getting Admitted

Q. I’ve heard that The Healing Lodge is a therapeutic program. What does that mean?

A. Our “therapeutic program” is based on the theory that residents need to be respected, no matter what their past.  Residents make choices based on the logical outcome, or logical consequences or their choices.  Peers and staff can be a strong influence in helping individuals with drug and alcohol problems. The therapeutic nature of our program is not like a “correctional model” where punishments are metered out as a reaction to choices.  Our model enforces daily structured activities, work assignments, and clinical interventions when necessary.

Q. How long is your program?

A. The length of time in treatment is based on a resident’s individual need, and the progress he/she makes while in treatment. The residential programs vary in length, and can be anywhere from around 60 to just over 120 days.

 Q. How old do you have to be to get admitted?

A. The Healing Lodge currently offers residential treatment to youth ages 13 through 17 years of age.  Younger and older ages are reviewed on a case by case basis and justification must be provided that they are best served in a program designed for adolescents rather than with their own age group.

 Q. Is transportation provided?

A. Transportation services are available for residents and families traveling to or from the Healing Lodge from locations in the Spokane area if prearranged. We can pick you up during daytime hours from Spokane International Airport, the Spokane Bus (Amtrak) train station / Greyhound Bus terminal, or at local hotels.  For those residents who are funded through Washington State’s DBHR, limited funds are available for low income families to pay for transportation from within Washington State to The Healing Lodge.  Please talk to our Admissions Coordinator regarding the availability of this funding.

 Q. How do I pay for my treatment? What insurance do you accept?

A. The Healing Lodge accepts Indian Health Services funding for members or direct descendants of members of federally recognized Indian tribes.  Washington State DBHR also provides funding for those state residents (regardless of ethnic background) who qualify.  Private insurance may provide part of the funding for treatment, please check with customer service for your insurance plan to find out if coverage is available, and if The Healing Lodge is an approved provider.  Additionally, fees for treatment can be determined on a sliding family income scale. If you are have questions on how to pay for treatment, please contact our Admissions Coordinator for more information.

 Q. Will I see a mental health counselor or psychiatrist?

A. Many of our clients report feelings of depression or anxiety as a result of what they’ve experienced during their substance use. The Healing Lodge has mental health counselors and a psychiatrist on staff specializing in addictions. Our mental health counselors provide brief screening assessments as part of admissions and treatment to assess strengths and needs, and monitor residents on a regular basis throughout treatment. Evaluation by the psychiatrist and medication management is provided when needed.

 Q. How do I get to The Healing Lodge?

A. The Healing Lodge is easily accessible from Interstate 90 in Spokane Valley, Washington.  Our street address is 5600 East 8th Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99212.  Click here for directions to our facility.

 Q. How can I get more information on The Healing Lodge?  How do I apply to this treatment program?

A. Our Admissions Department is available Monday through Friday by phone from 8:00am to 4:30pm PST. Please call 509-533-6910 ext. 240. The Admissions Coordinator can answer your questions, help you through the admission process, or simply listen to your concerns. Click hereto complete an application.

Email our Admissions Department at admissions@healinglodge.org.   

On Your First Day Of Admission

Q. What is my first day going to be like?

A. Welcome to the Healing Lodge Family! We hope to make your first day in treatment as simple and stress-free as possible. You will arrive at your scheduled intake appointment time, and greeted by the Admissions Team to complete your initial paperwork. You will also meet our nursing staff, mental health counselor, family counselor, and other staff members who will complete brief assessments confirming that we can meet your needs.  From there you will meet with your primary counselor to begin your treatment planning.

 Skills Coaches will arrange your personal property screening, and you will settle into your room.  You will join the other residents for groups and meals.

 Q. What should I bring?

A. While you are in treatment at the Healing Lodge, this is your home, and so we wish for you to be comfortable.  Please click hereto view the Packing List for Inpatient Treatment for the items that you are, and are not, permitted to bring.  We ask that you not share your personal belongings with anyone else you meet in treatment.

 Q. Can I bring my cell phone, laptop, or MP3 player?

A. No.  These and any other electronic devices are not permitted.

 Q. Do I need to bring my own linens? What about laundry?

A. You need not bring bed linens or laundry detergents.  The Healing Lodge provides bed linens and laundry facilities for you.  Please view the Packing Listfor further information.

 Q. Where do my belongings go when I’m admitted?

A. On your day of admission, your personal belongings will be screened in your presence.  Healing Lodge staff will look for any items that might threaten the safety of you, our residents and staff.  We will also look for contraband, paraphernalia, and any inappropriate or excess items that are not approved.  If you bring items that you are not permitted to have upon admission, they will be stored in a labeled box until you can arrange for a loved one to come retrieve those items or they will be stored until you leave.  Tobacco items and smoking paraphernalia will be destroyed.

 Q. Will I receive urine tests and drug screenings while in treatment?

A. Yes. Every resident receives a drug and alcohol screening on their day of admission. The Healing Lodge also conducts random urinalysis testing throughout treatment.

 Q. Where do my belongings go when I successfully complete the program?

A. On day of discharge, your personal belongings will be returned to you.  If any items are left behind, you must arrange to retrieve them within 30 days of your discharge.  If arrangements are not made your belongings will be donated.  Please understand that we will do our best to maintain security for the items left behind, but our agency is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal property. 

 Q. What is a normal day like?

A. The days at The Healing Lodge are structured.  You will attend meetings, primary group therapy, lectures, seminars, and self-help meetings.  You will also have privately scheduled appointments with your primary counselor.  You will have time to complete your chores, and you will have free time to relax, exercise, and socialize with your peers.

 Q. What is the Orientation Period?

A. Every client who enters our residential treatment program experiences a period of adjustment to treatment during which outside communication is limited.  The purpose of this time is to allow the client to adjust to the residential setting and focus on their reasons for being here without being distracted.  The Healing Lodge calls this period of adjustment an “Orientation Period,” and it lasts anywhere from the first one to two weeks of residential treatment.  During that time, loved ones and family members can write letters for communication until you receive the opportunity to make phone calls.  For those residents having a difficult time adjusting, contact with parents or guardians may be allowed during the orientation period.

 Q. Can I smoke cigarettes? Are there cigarette breaks?

A. No, smoking cigarettes is not permitted.  Washington State law strictly restricts minors (those under 18 years of age) from possessing or using tobacco products.  Any cigarettes or other tobacco products, lighters and matches are destroyed at admission.  Visitors are not allowed to use tobacco products anywhere on the premises.

 Q. I have a pending court matter. May I go to court while I am in treatment?

A. In an effort to avoid interfering with clinical treatment, The Healing Lodge requests that all pending court matters be postponed until a resident completes treatment.  We ask that you notify all courts of your entry into treatment.  

About Families

Q. Can I talk to my loved ones while I’m in treatment?

A. The Healing Lodge encourages our clients to communicate with their loved ones via letters and phone calls.  Our mailing address is:  5600 East 8th Avenue, Spokane Valley, WA 99212. To loved ones, please address the envelope directly to the client at the above address. Because the normal day is busy with clinical activities, there is not much time for personal phone calls. Clients who show progress in their treatment will earn the privilege of phone time, which is usually one time per day. The Healing Lodge pays for all long distance phone calls so there is no need to purchase pre-paid phone cards.

 Q. Can my loved ones visit me?

A. The Healing Lodge believes that it is extremely important for loved ones to be involved in our resident’s treatment and recovery.  Loved ones may schedule visits through a resident’s primary counselor at least 48 hours in advance.  Visiting youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their own legal guardian.  All children must be supervised by their own legal guardian while visiting the facility.  Visiting hours are very limited so please speak with the counselor as far in advance as you can.

 Q. What is your Family Education Program?

A. The Healing Lodge believes that the support and involvement of loved ones in a client’s treatment is essential to the foundation of recovery.  The family education component consists of Family Assessment Services, Family Educational Seminars, “Families in Recovery” (a family support group), and private family therapy sessions.

 Q. Can my loved ones send me things?

A. Prior to admission, clients are provided the Packing Listfor Inpatient Treatment to prepare to bring their personal items.  However, if a client needs additional items after being admitted, they must first receive approval for the item from their primary counselor.  Approved personal items may be dropped off at our facility Monday through Friday, from 8:00am to 4:30pm.  Approved personal items may also be mailed via the US Postal Service, UPS, FedEx, Airborne or DHL to the client’s attention at: 5600 East 8th Avenue, Spokane Valley, WA 99212. The Healing Lodge asks that special gifts for celebrations, such as birthdays and holidays, not be sent while the client is in treatment, but be celebrated upon completion of treatment. The administrative office of The Healing Lodge is closed for most major holidays. Please do not bring special gifts or personal belongings on those days.

 Q. Can my loved ones get information about my treatment?

A. The Healing Lodge believes that information about a client’s treatment is most appropriately provided by the client directly, during a Family Therapy Session.  As The Healing Lodge adheres to state and federal confidentiality laws, information about a resident’s treatment is not communicated to anyone, including loved ones, without the client’s authorization.

After Discharge

Q. Where will I go, and how will I get there?

A. Prior to your discharge, you and your primary counselor and the Advanced Aftercare Counselor will work together on developing your Continuing Care Plan (CCP).  Among other things, this CCP will outline your aftercare treatment, your place of residence, and the first support meetings you plan to attend. Aftercare plans are determined by the progress you make in treatment, and the needs you expect to have once you complete treatment. This may include placement in a Transition House or Recovery Program, where you will gradually integrate back into society while still in treatment; or, placement in a sober living residence or back home with your loved ones, with attendance at an outpatient program. Transportation back home with your loved ones is expected to be provided by your loved ones.

 Q. How can I get copies of my medical records?

A. Clients will receive discharge forms upon completion.  In the event that you need additional treatment records, please contact our Admissions Department at (509) 533-6910 for further information.  

 Q. How can I stay in touch?

A. The Healing Lodge welcomes the opportunity to speak with graduates and encourages them to reach out to our staff at all times.  Most importantly, graduates have succeeded in providing speaking engagements for current residents to motivate for the power of recovery.  We request that you call or make a formal appointment for this.  If you are interested in giving back to the organization, please contact the our Development Coordinator, Brad Meyers at 509-795-8367