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Acadia: Wilmington Treatment Center


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Wilmington Treatment Center, which is owned by Acadia Healthcare, has been providing substance abuse services to men and women in North and South Carolina for over 20 years. Treatment at Wilmington incorporates both medical and mental health services, with a focus on personal growth, 12-step, relapse prevention and addiction studies.

Accommodations and Food

Residents live between the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean, with four nearby beach communities only 30 minutes away. The Wilmington facility itself is less than four miles from the historic downtown and its Riverwalk, which was named “Best American Riverfront” by USA Today in 2014.

The Wilmington campus is spread out over four acres of property; group sessions, counseling offices, a nurses station, dining area and TV room are located in the main building next to an auditorium. The detox unit occupies its own building on campus, to ensure the privacy of the 40 residents who may be detoxing at any given time.

The residential clients sleep in yet another building, with men and women kept segregated (though they do attend certain groups together). All told, Wilmington can hold as many as 100 people in dormitory-style rooms, each with two clients and a shared bathroom. The rooms are moderately sized and typical for a treatment facility: twin beds, a nightstand for each person and a shared closet. Outside of treatment, residents can socialize in the main lounge, around campus or on the volleyball and basketball courts.

The food at Wilmington is prepared by licensed dietary staff and served cafeteria-style for up to 140 people. Meals vary, but a salad bar is provided at every lunch and dinner. In addition, special nutritional requests can be accommodated in certain cases (though no outside food, beverages or candy are allowed).

Treatment and Staff

A medical detox is provided for those in need of 24-hour medical care. Methadone and Suboxone can be prescribed for opiate addiction, as can Librium for alcohol withdrawals. Once clients are ready to leave the detox facility, they transition into residential care. Each is assigned a counselor who works with them to create an individualized treatment program.

Group therapy is the primary modality at Wilmington and a certain number of individual sessions are available dependent on need and request. Though their facility is primarily a substance abuse program, Wilmington also offers clinical support for co-occurring disorders such as depression when necessary.

A typical day for residents begins with a 6:30 am wake up and breakfast in the cafeteria at 7 am. After that, those who wish to can attend an optional Bible study group in the auditorium. Morning process groups and educational lectures are held in the clinical building, and are mandatory for all clients. Lectures are led by the medical director, dietician and therapists, and address topics like addiction, nutrition, aftercare and relapse prevention.

After lunch, residents participate in additional groups on writing and music therapy with a recreational therapist. After dinner, clients attend open AA and NA meetings on-campus; three nights a week, outside meetings are also available. Still, residents must earn the right to be included in off-site activities. Similarly, they can also become members of Wilmington’s patient advocacy committee, which meets with the program’s directors once a week to discuss issues and make recommendations for supplementary care.

Wilmington’s staff consists of a medical director, a board-certified psychiatrist, an associate medical director, a clinical director, Master’s-level clinicians, certified substance abuse counselors and registered nurses. Counselors are on staff Monday through Saturday whereas treatment technicians are on-site seven days a week, 24 hours a day; the client-to-technician ratio is eight-to-one.

Family education groups are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 2:30 pm, and all relatives are encouraged to attend to learn about the disease of addiction. Visiting hours are permitted on the weekends once residents have been in treatment for at least 10 days.

Wilmington’s two outpatient facilities are located separately, one locally in town and the other in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Their intensive outpatient program is available on both day and evening schedules, both following the SAMHSA generated Matrix Model (an approach developed through 20 years of experience in real-world treatment settings). The IOP consists of relapse prevention groups, alcohol education, social support groups, individual counseling and family counseling over 32 sessions. In addition, all outpatient clients are encouraged to get involved with community 12-step support groups as a way to maintain long-term recovery.

In Summary

Wilmington Treatment Center offers affordable care with a solid 12-step foundation and a focus on continued community support. That said, this is a larger program with limited access to dual diagnosis support. While Wilmington could be a good fit for some, those with more complicated psychiatric issues may need to keep looking.

Wilmington Treatment Center Location

2520 Troy Dr
Wilmington, NC 28401

Wilmington Treatment Center Cost

$9,000 (28 days). Reach Wilmington Treatment Center by phone at (877) 762-3750. Find Wilmington Treatment Center on Facebook

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Photo courtesy of Jason W. Smith (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons (resized and cropped)

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