Since the 1970s, Mecklenburg County’s Substance Abuse Center has run a residential facility for men and women to detox and recover from substance abuse. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Mecklenburg is well-known locally for providing service to families 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Food and Accommodations
Mecklenburg County’s 76-bed, coed residential facility is divided into male and female dorms, with 44 of the beds for detox clients. Two residents share a room furnished with twin-sized beds, a night stand for personal items and two small lockers. There are two multi-shower bathrooms and the day room comes equipped with TVs and lounge chairs. Viewing times are after dinner from 9:15 pm to 10:45 pm.
Meals are catered by the Morris Hospital cafeteria, which does not provide pork or beef products. Breakfast items include eggs, turkey sausages and pancakes. Lunch and dinner consist of chicken, turkey burgers or turkey meatloaf. All meals are accompanied by a starch and a vegetable such as dinner rolls and carrots. Coffee is served with breakfast and evening snacks, which may include apple, grape or orange juice, fruit, crackers, chips and cookies.
Treatment and Staff
Mecklenburg has a non-medical detox that typically lasts for three to five days. Detox clients are integrated with residential clients in education groups, classes and recreation. Those addicted to opiates, benzos and the like are asked to seek a medically-assisted detox elsewhere. Narcotics are not administered to clients—even if they have a prescription—during detox and treatment. Should residents need such medications, they are asked to bring a supply that will last for the duration of their stay.
Clients enrolled in the 28-day residential program work the 12 steps, take part in psycho-educational groups and receive one or two individual therapy sessions per week using CBT. The program also provides dual diagnosis support.
On-site AA/NA meetings occur every evening, but clients are also taken to off-site meetings once a week—they are required to attend both. Sponsorship is highly recommended. Twice a week, clients and their loved ones participate in multi-family groups and individual counseling.
No outside electronics of any kind are permitted at Mecklenburg. However, payphones are available from 7 am to 8:30 am and from 4 pm into the evening. For emergency and recovery-related calls, residents may use their counselor’s office phone. Visitation occurs on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm. There is a four-day blackout period for new clients before any visitation is permitted.
Mecklenburg County employs four professionals who attend to 32 residents, making for a one-to-eight staff-to-client ratio. All primary staff are CSACs, with most of them being licensed clinical addiction specialists. Being a coed facility, there’s an even mix of male and female employees. For after-hours assistance, staff includes techs and nurses to ensure each client’s safety and needs. The on-staff doctor is licensed in addiction and therapy.
On a typical day, Mecklenburg residents rise at 7 am and have breakfast from 7:30 to 8:30 am. Afterward, there’s a one-hour assembly where everyone checks in and discusses the theme for the day. The first group goes from 9:15 am to 10:15 am and is followed by another group. From 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, residents have lunch and free time. After another group session, residents are given time to use the phones and another break until 5:30 pm, then they may meet with their counselors. After a 12-step meeting from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, there is a short break, then from 8 pm to 9 pm, residents participate in “mapping” of their recovery plan for the week. Clients may then watch TV or enjoy free time until lights out at 11 pm.
Alternative therapies include yoga, art therapy and mindfulness training. Extra-curricular activities include nature walks and summertime barbeques.
Mecklenburg provides chronic care to the indigent brought in from the streets. These clients are given the comfort of a night’s sleep before being offered detoxification.
Mecklenburg County’s residential program prides itself on a caring staff—many of whom are also in recovery. If individuals in need of treatment lack the means to pay, they are provided with free recovery. For those who can pay, the maximum amount is $3,976 for 28 days. All walks of life are welcome at Mecklenburg, making this facility one that truly opens its doors to anyone in need.
Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center
429 Billingsley Rd
Charlotte, NC 28211
Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center Cost: Sliding scale. Reach Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center by phone at (704) 336-3067. Find Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest
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