Carolinas HealthCare System Reviews, Cost, Complaints
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Carolinas HealthCare System


carolinas-healthcare-systemCarolinas HealthCare System Review

The Carolinas HealthCare System operates an enormous network of 900 medical and behavioral health facilities in North and South Carolina. Its substance abuse recovery programs for adults 18 and older are offered at CMC-Mercy and CMC-Union hospitals. The treatment model used in both outpatient and residential treatment programs takes a traditional approach based on the 12 steps.

Accommodations and Food

Inpatient detox is the only substance abuse program offered at the CMC-Mercy Hospital in downtown Charlotte. There are only 11 beds in the facility. CMC-Mercy’s sister facility, CMC-Union, is in Monroe, 45 minutes to the south. At Union, there are 27 beds in the substance abuse unit; all clients share rooms and bathrooms. In both facilities, three meals a day are provided at the hospital cafeteria.

Treatment and Staff

Clients at the medical detox center receive 24-hour care, with treatment supervised by a physician and a full nursing staff. After being released from detox, they are referred to the residential program at CMC-Union or, even closer, three miles down the road to the Horizons outpatient program, depending on their needs.

The CMC-Union Hospital in Monroe offers a 28-day residential program called First Step. Clients in First Step also have a clinical team at their disposal, but need to be detoxed by the time of admission. Residents are introduced to the 12 steps in group therapy and begin working the steps. Other therapeutic groups focus on relapse prevention and repairing the family unit. Families are encouraged to get involved in the recovery process through private counseling sessions. Each client is assigned a counselor to work with one-on-one. In these sessions, clients assess their individual progress, setting goals for their recovery. All counselors and therapists are licensed and trained in CBT techniques.

Dual diagnosis clients stay in an adjacent unit at CMC-Union. Their treatment team is multidisciplinary: therapists, psychiatrists and nurses work together to find the proper medication to manage symptoms so clients can focus on recovery from drugs and alcohol.

CMC-Union also offers an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which may be a step-down in treatment for residential clients, or a primary step for men and women who don’t need full-time monitoring. Clients meet three times a week for day or evening sessions. There are individual sessions for men and women and dual diagnosis clients, mixed gender education classes and groups for clients in treatment for chronic pain. Outpatient programming is similar in design and focus to the residential treatment protocol.

The Mercy-Horizons outpatient program in Charlotte offers day and evening groups on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for substance abuse and dual diagnosis clients. Day substance abuse groups meet for three hours at a time, between 10 am and 1 pm. Dual diagnosis groups meet for two hours between noon and 2 pm. All evening groups meet between 6 and 9 pm. Family group is offered once a week, on Tuesdays, between 6 and 9 pm. Licensed counselors facilitate all group therapy. Though there is no regular individual therapy offered, the program helps clients with individual therapy through the Carolinas HealthCare system.

Clients in all programs are encouraged to stay active in the 12-step community as part of their aftercare plan.

Carolinas HealthCare approaches substance abuse treatment as a team effort. At CMC-Mercy’s inpatient detox and in CMC-Union’s residential program, licensed nurses, therapists, psychiatrists and experienced peer support specialists work with each patient as a multidisciplinary unit to manage each facet of his or her recovery. At CMC-Union’s and Mercy Horizons’ outpatient programs, clients interact with fewer staff because their care is not 24/7, but clients work in group therapy with licensed counselors who specialize in addiction. 


Creating an aftercare plan is encouraged for all clients; stopping treatment cold is not recommended at any level of care. Usually, clients set up a plan to attend peer groups for a number of months at one of the outpatient programs. The goal is to remain connected to a recovery network and continue addressing triggers that come up in everyday life.

In Summary

The benefit of seeking treatment within the Carolinas HealthCare System is that among its myriad of programs, clients are bound to find something that suits their individual needs. In general, the outpatient programs at CMC-Mercy and Union are less focused on one-on-one sessions than group therapy, so these programs will be a good fit for those looking for the support of a sober community. The inpatient programs are, of course, more thorough in therapeutic offerings, but they are also relatively short. Residential clients who are paying out of pocket are expected to make a deposit and pay for the rest of treatment in installments on a five-year plan.

CMC-Mercy Locations

2001 Vail Ave
Charlotte, NC 28207

Horizons Outpatient
1816 Lyndhurst Ave
Charlotte, NC 28203

1623 E Sunset Dr
Monroe, NC 28221

Carolinas HealthCare System Cost

$3,000 deposit (28 days). Reach Carolinas HealthCare System by phone at (704)-304-5248 or at (704)-283-2043 or by email. Find Carolinas HealthCare System on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

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