Northwest Indian Treatment Center (NWITC), which opened in 1994, provides residential alcohol and drug treatment to a primarily Native American population from Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It received national accreditation by CARF in January 1998 and was recognized by the reviewers as one of the best residential programs in the nation.
Welcomed and hailed by tribal leaders who felt the urgent need for such a facility, NWITC has responded with an overwhelming success rate of nearly 60 percent. The treatment center specializes in unresolved trauma and grief related to chronic relapse patterns.
Ingenious in creativity, the center offers a wide variety of cultural activities and traditional/religious ceremonies, making it a natural place to heal . . . body, mind and soul. Fittingly, the center was given the spiritual name “D3WXbi Palil” meaning “Returning from the Dark, Deep Waters to the Light.”
The treatment center accepts patients that are referred through outpatient treatment programs, parole and probation services, hospitals, assessment centers and child and family service centers. Medical care is provided through local Indian Health Service clinics and other medical service providers.
Centrally located in Grays Harbor County between Olympia and Aberdeen, the center rests on 2.5 acres in the small rural town of Elma, WA.
Our food is our medicine
Thanks to Elise Krohn for our most recent Rural Health Blog called “Our food is our medicine.” Elise is a Herbalist with the Northwest Indian College and a great friend to the Healthiest State Campaign.
Click on the “Healing Garden” image to enlarge
“Here at the Northwest Indian Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center in Elma, Washington, we are celebrating the arrival of spring by eating native foods. Nettles, violets, dandelion leaves, and other wild lettuces are emerging as the days become longer and the sun warms the soil. Today in class patients are preparing a nettle, venison and pine nut meatloaf and a berry crisp. In the midst of chopping and mixing, one patient tells a story about camping out to harvest huckleberries with his family near Mount Adams. Another patient shares her favorite remedies for nettle stings. Laughter abounds as we prepare foods that are an integral part of Northwest Coastal Indian Culture…”
Director, June O’Brien
Email June at
Email Intake at
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Outpatient facility in Kamilche
An outpatient program was added in 1999 to further meet the patient needs of both adults and youth. The outpatient program is located near the Squaxin Island Reservation at 100 Whitener Road.
Clinical Director, Greg Twiddy
Email Greg at