SPOKANE, Wash. – The Healing Lodge of the Seven Nations may be hidden in Spokane’s South Hill, but the treatment center is catching eyes nationwide for its success.
The Healing Lodge is a chemical dependency treatment center for teens, ages 13-17. It’s one of the only places that De’Vante Flores, 15, feels happy. He grew up in Everett, Wash., but ran away from home. He became homeless and addicted to drugs
“I kinda got caught in addiction,” Flores said. “And stealing and a lot of affiliation with drugs and gangs.”
He had six failed attempts at detox and this is his second time at The Healing Lodge. He said the treatment center’s unique music program lured him back and has him hooked on writing, singing, rapping and dancing
“He’s engaged,” The Healing Lodge Executive Director Martina Whelshula said. “He’s so passionate about his own recovery, but he’s an artist and he’s a little philosopher and so we try to feed their interests.”
Flores is one of about 40 young men and women who spend between 90 and 100 days living at the lodge. About halfway through treatment, staff notice the teens begin to see the impact addiction has on their health, their families and their own lives. Eventually, like Flores, they get engaged with their treatment.
Flores says he is now motivated to stay sober.
“Everyone has a dream,” Flores said. “And my dream is to know that I helped someone.”