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Treatment for Native American Substance Abuse

For native people, cultural practices are an essential component of healthy living, as they promote authentic and holistic wellness. Treatment for Native American substance abuse integrates cultural practices alongside evidence-based methods.

South Coast Behavioral Health’s Native American Track for substance abuse takes this concept a step further. We do so by empowering clients to embrace the connection to their cultural heritage to treat underlying causes of addiction. 

South Coast’s Native American Track reconnects clients to ancestral teachings and Native American practices founded on cultural proficiency. Our courses aim to help native and non-native clients break free from the binds of trauma and discover inner resilience. We are committed to providing holistic healing opportunities within our indigenous-led programs. In doing so, we aim to help our clients cultivate fulfilling, sober lifestyles during treatment for Native American substance abuse. 

We are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year.

Substance Abuse in Native American Communities

The negative impact of drug abuse and alcoholism in Native American communities has increased significantly in recent years. In fact, Native American alcoholism is incredibly prevalent and disproportionately affects tribal communities when compared to the average rates of alcoholism across other American demographics. 

Studies on American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIANs) substance abuse discovered that:
  • Between 2013–2017, Natives had the highest number of drug-related deaths than any other U.S. racial and ethnic group
  • From 2006-2019, Native alcohol-related deaths were five times higher than in the general population
  • Between 2006-2019, Native alcohol-related deaths rose 64% percent which represents the largest increase among racial and ethnic groups

While the reasons behind substance abuse in Native American communities are as diverse and unique as the individuals themselves, it is important to know that it is treatable through certified addiction recovery programs. These programs integrate traditional cultural practices with the latest evidence-based treatments for a path to recovery specifically designed for members of the Native American community.

Signs of Addiction in Native American Communities

The negative impact of alcohol use disproportionately affects Native American communities. In fact, Native adults are more likely to have alcohol-related mortality than any other ethnic group. As a result, the effects of alcohol and drug abuse have led to social and economic difficulties within Native communities for generations.
To break the cycle of addiction, it’s important to know the warning signs of alcoholism and drug abuse in Native American communities. That way, you or a loved one can reach out for support and resources needed to recover.
Common signs of alcoholism and drug abuse:

Treatment for Native American Addiction

At South Coast Behavioral Health, we seek to help our Native American clients create a life of purpose and hope. We understand the unique qualities that each individual brings to their recovery journey and strive to provide an environment of empathy and support.

Our Native American addiction treatment program is respectful and responsive to each client’s preferences, needs, and goals during addiction recovery. Our clinical team collaborates with clients to develop their personalized treatment plans. As a result, we are able to ensure that their recovery goals guide all of our clinical decisions. Throughout our Native American Track for substance abuse recovery, our counselors work to encourage meaningful change in the lives of Native Americans who are struggling with addiction. 

In caring for a diverse population, each of our treatment modalities assists us in providing a genuine, culturally proficient approach to treatment. Through the use of traditional healing practices alongside evidence-based approaches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, we aim to provide the best care possible for your needs. 

What Does Our Native American Substance Abuse Treatment Program Offer?

South Coast’s culturally specific healing program offers White Bison’s Wellbriety teachings and other inclusive treatment protocols. Our staff provides culturally appropriate alcohol and drug abuse assessments, co-occurring disorder evaluations, and individual and group treatment for each client. 

Within our Native American Track, we provide groups including:

Our Native group facilitators are trained in White Bison-certified Wellbriety courses. They include The Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps, Mending Broken Hearts, and the educational materials found in the Red Road to Wellbriety workbook.

Our Native American Track curriculum includes:

Our ultimate goal is to empower individuals to take responsibility for their own health, create self-awareness, and ultimately achieve wellness. We believe that by providing safe spaces and culturally competent activities, we can help individuals heal from past trauma while building an understanding of how traditional culture can benefit their lives.

Therapy for Native American Substance Abuse

Within our Native American Track for addiction recovery, we tailor our therapy offerings to meet each individual’s needs. These therapies are a combination of individual counseling, group exercises, lectures, teachings, and community activities. Our treatment services integrate evidence-based practices alongside culturally competent healing techniques in order to provide a fully holistic experience. We strive to create an environment that is conducive to healing and encourages individuals to reconnect with their spiritual selves.

Within South Coast's programs, Native American healing groups are offered along with evidence-based therapy groups including:

During individual counseling and group therapy, our licensed addiction counselors are continually learning more about different tribes and cultures. This enables our team members to empower each client on their journey of addiction recovery. By committing ourselves to culturally humble practices, our Native American Track creates an environment of understanding, support, and meaningful contribution as our clients go through the stages of healing and recovery.

Culturally-Based Therapeutic Services for Native Americans

At South Coast, we are committed to helping Native people heal their minds, bodies, and spirits. For this reason, we specialize in offering courses that meet the unique needs of Native individuals by using traditional cultural teachings. 

South Coast’s Native American Track also integrates the teaching of Wellbriety to help Native people address alcohol and drug addiction in a safe, respectful environment that embraces their culture.

Our White Bison-certified counselors are specially trained to guide our clients through Wellbriety teachings including:
Our group facilitators also work with Native clients on topics that contribute to addiction, including:

Native American substance abuse treatment groups include educational lectures, open discussions, speakers, and coursework shared in a supportive environment. (Note: groups are subject to change.)

Cultural Practices in Our Native American Track for Substance Abuse

Our Native American Track also provides cultural practices and community-based services such as Native drumming circles, sweat lodges, craft workshops, and traditional ceremonies. These traditional native practices help reduce stress, foster cultural identity, and provide a sense of connection to the community.  

With our culturally-sensitive approach to treatment, individuals can reconnect with their spiritual selves and find a path toward personal growth. We strive to offer a safe, nurturing environment where individuals can heal and face life’s challenges through a wide variety of holistic and cultural practices.

Our Native American Track offers culturally-based practices including:

A sweat lodge is a Native tradition in which you enter a dome-shaped space to experience a sauna-like environment. During sweats, heat and steam are used to purify the body, mind, and spirit. Depending on the particular ceremony, you may also be asked to participate in meditations to gain a sense of clarity and insight while inside the lodge.

The practice of making drums engages the centuries-old custom of crafting a physical symbol of community and togetherness. The drums are often hand-crafted using traditional techniques passed down through generations.

During a smudging ritual, native people purify the body, aura, and energy of ceremonial or personal space within the “smoke bath.”  Smudging, or burning, sage, cedar, and sweetgrass is used to create an atmosphere conducive to spiritual healing and positive energy.

Beadwork is an art form used to decorate clothing and other items with colorful beads. It is an artistic expression of creativity and can be used to tell stories, convey messages, and celebrate important occasions.

Paddle carving emulates the Native American tradition of transforming the sacred bark of a cedar tree into a wooden arm of a canoe. The native practice of paddle carving works to illustrate the time, energy, and patience that can be harnessed to push past obstacles and create meaningful work.

The vision quest is an ancient spiritual practice that results in personal growth and healing. It consists of a period of fasting followed by periods of prayer and contemplation in Nature. These journeys are guided during treatment and often result in a deeper understanding of the client’s inner self and the world around them.

Drums are a central part of many ceremonies and celebrations, providing a rhythm for dancing, songs, and storytelling. Drum circles are carried out on booming community drums to the beat of Native songs.

As an important part of Native culture and traditions, storytelling connects people with their ancestral wisdom, culture, language, and identity. Elders share their stories to teach younger generations about history, values, morals, and respect for the environment.

Ceremonial gatherings are a way for Native communities to come together in celebration or ceremony. These gatherings often involve singing, dancing, storytelling, drumming, and other traditional activities. They bring people together to learn about their culture and history, and to reaffirm their collective identity.

Native medicine and gardening blend Native naturopathic healing with evidence-based practices to promote holistic growth.  Gardeners use traditional plants and herbs to treat illness, reduce stress, boost immunity, and improve overall well-being. These native healing practices draw on the energy of the natural environment to bring balance and harmony within the body.

FAQ About Native American Treatment

People have a lot of questions when it comes to Native American treatment. Here are some of the most common so you’re informed about South Coast's track for Native American addiction treatment.

Native Americans are not “alcoholics.” However, Native communities do suffer from incredibly high rates of alcohol abuse.

Native American alcohol use disorders are closely linked with the fallout from colonialism and poverty that tribal communities have long struggled against. As a result, alcoholism in Native American communities often occurs as a way to escape their pain. Additionally, after developing an addiction to alcohol, it can be extremely difficult for Natives struggling with addiction to find help due to a lack of healthcare services in their area. 

In light of this, Native American treatment centers offer culturally competent substance abuse programs to assist Native Americans in recovery from alcoholism and drug abuse.

Native American rehab centers strive to provide culturally competent care to those seeking help for addiction treatment. In providing culturally competent care, Native American rehab centers incorporate treatment practices based on Native American traditions and cultural practices. 

In general, cultural humility provides a greater understanding of cultures that are different from your own and helps you recognize the unique cultural experiences of those around you. Cultural humility is a key component of treatment for Native American substance abuse because it fosters a collaborative, personalized approach during the addiction recovery process.

Native American Rehab programs engage collaborative efforts with local tribal communities in building a culturally competent treatment program. At the same time, counselors practice cultural humility during individual and group therapy sessions with Native clients. This builds a greater understanding of Native culture as a whole while diving deeper into the personal experiences of our clients.

By practicing cultural humility within culturally competent treatment services, our Native clients receive culturally proficient care tailored to meet their unique needs and goals in recovery.

Holistic Treatment for Native American Addiction

As a holistic addiction treatment provider, South Coast treats the whole person through person-centered care. We are involved in the communities we serve and maintain ongoing relationships with our clients that help us identify the best possible treatment plan for your recovery. We have experience working with individuals from many different tribes, cultures, and backgrounds and are dedicated to offering healing and hope to all of our clients.

By combining both evidence-based therapies such as CBT and DBT alongside cultural modalities, our Native American Track allows us to offer a variety of services designed specifically for Native Americans seeking recovery from substance abuse. 

Similarly, our open-mind approach to treatment assists our team in continuing to learn from our clients and local tribes. In doing so, we are better able to acknowledge different cultures and how they affect the health of our clients without making assumptions based on unconscious bias. Through these efforts, our track for Native American addiction treatment embodies cultural humility while promoting accessible, culturally proficient, and high-quality care.

White Bison-Certified Facilitators At South Coast

Our native programming is led by our highly experienced indigenous team member, Nohealani “Sunday” Casperson, who holds a certification from the Wellbriety organization. As a Wellbriety-certified facilitator, Sunday leads our treatment team in honoring centuries-old holistic healing practices within our substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Currently, we offer our Native American Track for clients undergoing treatment in our PHP/IOP wellness center in Newport Beach, California.

The team at South Coast Behavioral Health strives to join White Bison’s Wellbriety movement. We are currently implementing the highest standard of culturally proficient treatment services in our journey to becoming one of the few Wellbriety Certified Treatment Centers. Above all, we uphold the principles of integrity, gratefulness, generosity, respect, and humility while assisting all our clients on their journey to sobriety

In collaboration with the Wellbriety movement, our Native group facilitators introduce you to native healing practices to improve your mental and spiritual well-being. In addition, our Native American Track offers psychoeducation on the triggers of drug and alcohol abuse and its effects. 

By incorporating Wellbriety’s teachings, our program instills a stronger understanding of cultural identity while addressing the prevalence of substance use disorders within Native communities. These groups also aim to untangle the toxic beliefs stemming from generational trauma to help you heal from addiction.

Nohealani “Sunday” Casperson

White Bison-Certified and Red Road-Certified Group Facilitator

Since joining the team at South Coast, Nohealani “Sunday” Casperson utilizes her certifications from White Bison and Generation Red Road to help build out our track for Native American substance abuse. Within her role, Sunday applies her background in education, advocacy, and in-field experience to further the impact of our Native healing services and programs.

With the goal of revitalizing South Coast’s Native American Track, she strives to upgrade culturally-based substance abuse treatment to benefit the healing of tribal members with substance use disorders. In order to accomplish this, Sunday utilizes her knowledge of Generation Red Road teachings to incorporate prayer as the foundation of healing. For this reason, she assists South Coast in encouraging clients to renew their spiritual connections to the universe under the belief that “our culture is our prevention.” Sunday also guides clients through cultural courses that incorporate White Bison‘s teachings of the Medicine Wheel, the Cycle of Life, and the Four Laws of Change. In teaching Native Health and Wellness at South Coast, Sunday collaborates with local tribes to incorporate cultural practices such as healing circles, beading practices, drum making, and paddle carving to grant a therapeutic release from grief, loss, and trauma.

Meeting the Cultural Needs of Native Americans in Recovery

Native American spiritual healing has a profound impact on both native and non-native guests. For this reason, we are honored to incorporate spiritual Native American symbols and meanings within our substance abuse treatment programs. We have found that our Wellbriety courses and Native American spiritual practices allow us to provide an unmatched level of inclusivity and respect for our tribal clients. 

South Coast’s ultimate goal is to empower you to take responsibility for your own health, create self-awareness, and ultimately achieve wellness. We believe that by providing safe spaces with culturally and spirituality-based activities, we can help individuals heal from past trauma while building an understanding of how Native American spirituality and culture can benefit their lives.

We have also forged partnerships with local tribal communities so that we can ensure culturally informed pathways to recovery for our clients. To meet the cultural needs of our Native American clients, we maintain collaborative tribal relationships to gain insight and maintain a Native American drug rehab program founded on cultural humility and respect. In doing so, we can provide culturally proficient care that honors each client’s unique healing journey.

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Substance Use Disorder Treatment for Native Americans in Orange County, California

At South Coast, it is our goal to provide you with an unparalleled and transformative treatment experience.  In order to promote Native American addiction recovery, South Coast offers culturally competent treatment for substance abuse at every level of care within our track for Native American substance abuse. Our PHP and IOP wellness center in Newport Beach is one of the few Native American rehab centers in California.

We offer a full continuum of care for drug and alcohol use disorder rehabilitation across our treatment programs including:
Our substance use disorder treatment centers are located in several cities throughout Orange County, California including:

In addition to traditional sweat lodge ceremonies and tribal healing events, South Coast provides assessments for drug and alcohol abuse, intensive therapies, and holistic wellness services within our trauma-informed, individualized approach to treatment.

Joining Our Track For Native American Substance Abuse

South Coast Behavioral Health’s track for Native Americans is an innovative approach to helping those suffering from substance use disorder find recovery through an individualized experience that takes into account their cultural background. 

To join our Native American Track for addiction treatment, reach out to us at (866) 881-1184.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We are here to help because we’ve been there.

Let us help you take back your life.
You are the most important individual that we can help. You matter to us in ways that we cannot describe in words. Your life has value, and no matter how broken you think you are, we are here to help put the pieces back together.