Rep. Dusty Johnson takes a look inside the WellFully facility

"Meth is the dominant drug that lands kids into the WellFully program," Rep. Johnson said.

RAPID CITY, S.D. —  South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson was in Rapid City Tuesday, spending the early afternoon getting an inside look at the addiction treatment center WellFully.


WellFully is the only residential treatment center and residential care home for adolescents West River. They provide a variety of services, from behavioral and psychiatric care to addiction recovery.

WellFully CEO Burke Eilers says most of the kids in substance abuse treatment are there for meth use, as well as marijuana and alcohol.

“I was surprised by how many of the students – everyone, he said – has been using marijuana. That’s just a very typical experience for the people who are in the residential programs as well,” Rep. Johnson said. “And then there’s a lot of sexual abuse; between 40% and 50% of the students who are getting help here at WellFully have been victims of sexual abuse.”



WellFully has several programs.  The Adolescent Crisis Care Center is a walk-in resource that middle- and high-school-age kids can use if they’re in crisis or considering suicide. The Behavioral Health Unit includes residential care for kids 10-17 dealing with abuse, neglect, and behavioral health issues. An all-girls Psychiatric Residential Treatment facility provides inpatient treatment for teen girls. They also have an Addiction Recovery Unit, which helps kids 11-18 with substance abuse issues.

“This was my first time really understanding ‘how does their treatment regimen here differ from the treatment that you would give students who aren’t addicted to meth?’ Meth is an unbelievable scourge that is really, really hurting this state,” Rep. Johnson said. “Meth is the dominant drug that lands kids into the WellFully program.”

While WellFully’s substance abuse program can hold up to 18 kids, right now, they max out at 12. It’s because they require one staff member for every six kids. Right now they’re working to hire another so they can be at full capacity.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News