Cherokee Nation Debuts Jack Brown Substance Abuse Center in Tahlequah

The Cherokee Nation recently broke ground on a new $5 million, 28,000-square-foot substance abuse center meant to help Native youth who are struggling with drug and alcohol addiction.

By Ioana Neamt, Associate Editor

The Cherokee Nation has opened a $5 million, 28,000-square-foot substance abuse center in southwest Tahlequah to serve Native youth who are battling drug and alcohol addiction. One of only 10 facilities of its kind in the nation, the Jack Brown Center at 1413 Missionary Circle replaces the current location on the Sequoyah High School campus.

The expanded center accommodates 36 teens and offers a recreation center, male and female dorms, a cafeteria and large group therapy rooms. The center also incorporates a silo, part of the dairy farm that once operated on the property. Future additions might include an equine therapy program and ropes course.

“This is important for the Cherokee Nation because we put such a high value on physical, mental and spiritual health,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement. “The new facilities at the Jack Brown Center will allow us to help even more of our Native youth. These young men and women who are going through the counseling and addiction program will have a real opportunity to help them change their life and get it back on track.”

The Jack Brown Center receives Indian Health Service funds to operate, and its construction was funded by the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee TERO vendor Selser Schaefer Architects of Tulsa designed the facility, while Red Stone Construction Services was the general contractor.

Photo: The Cherokee Nation