Cianna Rabbithead knows firsthand the effects of addiction.
“I have family members that struggle with it, and I really wanted to get into this field to be able to help them,” Rabbithead said.
She’s the director at Bismarck’s newest recovery center, MHA Healing Hearts Lodge. The $7 million housing facility has 24 living areas, four spaces for women with children, a computer area for work or educational opportunities, a laundry room and a space to gather.
“It’s really driven by making sure our people in the mental and behavioral health world are really taken care of. That’s been a huge issue not only for our tribal nation but everyone around the world,” Rabbithead said.
According to the American Addiction Centers, the rate of substance use disorders among Native Americans is higher than the general population at 10 percent.
Women 18 and older in the MHA nation who have successfully completed a treatment program can apply to live at the facility for up to 18 months at no cost for the first three months.
“We want them to come from a treatment program directly to our program so there’s no real opportunity for a lapse,” Rabbithead said.
Rabbithead says many have wondered why it’s in Bismarck — more than two hours away from the Fort Berthold Reservation.
“We’re far enough away that it’s not just down the road so if an opportunity pops up that they might not have the strength to say no, we can support them in making the right decisions,” Rabbithead said.
Plus, the location is right by MHA’s Good Road Recovery Center, which can make it an easy transition for some from the treatment program to the lodge.
Rabbithead says they’ve been taking applications the last few weeks, and women will move in July 6.
While the first three months are at no cost to the residents, after that, it’s $500 a month, so that residents are encouraged to find employment if they don’t already have jobs.