Samantha DeLeo’s recent presentation at the Bridge Coalition left a lasting impact as she bravely shared her journey through substance use disorder, shining a light on the comprehensive services offered at Royal Life Treatment Center. Samantha’s story is one of resilience, courage, and ultimately, redemption. It began with a harrowing encounter with fake fentanyl, an unwitting step into addiction that was tragically compounded by the loss of her daughter to SIDS. This devastating event propelled Samantha into a downward spiral, leading to the loss of everything she held dear.

Amidst the unimaginable grief of losing her child, Samantha found herself entangled in the legal system, facing scrutiny and suspicion surrounding her daughter’s passing. Enduring media scrutiny and the looming threat of jail time, Samantha’s anguish deepened amidst the uncertainty surrounding her daughter’s cause of death.

In the midst of adversity, Samantha discovered a beacon of hope: Royal Life Centers. In 2019, she made the courageous decision to seek treatment, checking herself into Royal Life’s Spokane location. Here, she found not only treatment but a second chance at life. Immersing herself in the program, Samantha emerged as a beacon of inspiration and hope for others.

Today, Samantha serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Royal Life Centers, a role that allows her to pay forward the compassion and support she received during her own journey. She passionately highlighted the myriad programs offered at Royal Life Center located in Spokane, including:

  • Detox, Residential, PHP, IOP, and outpatient programs.
  • Structured housing, providing a supportive environment for individuals in various stages of recovery.
  • Medication Assisted Management (MAT), offering comprehensive medical support for those undergoing addiction treatment.
  • Native American Recovery Programs, designed to address the unique cultural and spiritual needs of Indigenous individuals.
  • Veterans Valor Program, providing specialized care and support for veterans struggling with substance use disorder.
  • Sober music studios, equine therapy, Biosound, and access to a gym, offering holistic approaches to recovery.
  • Employment support, parenting/life skills training, and case management services, assisting individuals in rebuilding their lives beyond addiction.
  • A virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), ensuring accessibility and flexibility in receiving treatment.

Samantha’s story is a testament to the power of resilience and redemption. Through her vulnerability and openness, she breaks down the barriers of shame and stigma surrounding addiction, offering hope to those lost in the throes of substance use disorder. Her personal connection vividly illustrates the transformative services provided by Royal Life Center.

The NorthStar Advocates Agency Spotlight Blog series is an essential component of our Bridge Program, which aims to help facilitate safe, healthy returns to community for youth and young adults exiting Inpatient Behavioral Health Treatment Programs. To achieve this goal, we regularly invite different organizations to share their services at our monthly Bridge Coalition meetings, which take place every 4th Tuesday. Through these collaborations, we aim to strengthen statewide resources, foster a sense of community, recognize the experiences of individuals with lived experience, and prevent young people from facing homelessness after leaving a behavioral health inpatient facility.

Sarah Spier
Author: Sarah Spier