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Rewind: Treatment centers prepare to expand

Hannah Grover
hgrover@daily-times.com
Bonnie Yoder, assistant executive director and financial officer of the Navajo Brethren in Christ Mission's Overcomers program, walks through the group room at the facility in Nageezi in July.

Editor's note: The Daily Times' annual “Rewind” series revisits stories we have reported on over the past year. To read more “Rewind” stories, go to daily-times.com. 

FARMINGTON – While 90-day addiction recovery programs are often more successful than shorter rehabilitation programs, few options for the former exist in San Juan County.

Only one organization offers regular 90-day residential treatment, but a second organization is working to start a program and has offered limited long-term treatment since February.

The Navajo Brethren in Christ Mission in Nageezi has operated the Overcomers Program, a 90-day residential treatment program, since 1997. The faith-based program touts a nearly 70 percent success rate, meaning the majority of the addicts who have gone through the program have remained sober after graduation.

As reported in The Daily Times on July 17, the Overcomers program was raising funds to help expand its treatment program. Currently, the faith-based men’s program offers two 90-day residential recovery programs and can accept eight men for each session.

Ralph Yoder, left, executive director of the Navajo Brethren in Christ Mission's Overcomers program, and Bonnie Yoder, the program's assistant executive director and financial officer, talk about the program in July at the mission's community cemetery in Nageezi.

Since July, members of the community have come forward and chipped in to help the program.

“They understand the need,” said Ralph Yoder, the program's director. “They’re very encouraging.”

While the program continues to accept donations, it has moved the mission from its vision stages to its planning stages.

“Our hope is to be able to expand in a couple of years,” Director Ralph Yoder said.

Bonnie Yoder, the assistant executive director and financial officer for the Overcomers program, shows older graves July 15 at the Navajo BIC Mission's cemetery in Nageezi.

The expansion may require that the program move from its current location in Nageezi to a site closer to Bloomfield, and Yoder said different options for moving are being considered. He said the expansion of the facility will help the program reach more people, as a third session would be added.

“That’s our goal,” he said. “That’s what we’re working towards.”

While the Overcomers program provides help for 16 men a year, the Four Winds Recovery Center is working on starting the only long-term residential treatment facility in the area that will serve both genders.

Executive Director Jolene Schneider said the Four Winds Recovery Center has been providing limited long-term residential treatment since February, mainly working with the Jicarilla Apache tribe. She expects to be able to offer regular long-term treatment starting early next year.

“Addiction is such a severe problem that affects our society,” Schneider said, adding that it impacts the health care system, jail system and economy.

Ralph Yoder, executive director of the Navajo Brethren in Christ Mission's Overcomers program, walks through a hogan at the program's facility in Nageezi in July.

“It just makes sense to provide treatment that is going to give people a better chance,” she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield as well as general news for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.