Shiprock, NM – The Navajo Nation's first treatment center for people with behavioral health issues is set to open to patients this spring.
The plan for the 72-bed Navajo Department of Behavioral Health Services was set in motion years ago; the building was dedicated on Tuesday and will admit the first 14 male patients by April.
Alvin Warren, cabinet secretary of the state Department of Indian Affairs, says the center could not be opening at a better time.
He estimates that 25 percent of Navajo residents, or about 52,000 people, battle alcoholism and do not receive treatment because of cost or distance to treatment centers off the reservation.
He says now more people will have access to quality treatment.
Information from: the Farmington Daily-Times, http://www.daily-times.com/
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.