New Hanover Co. funding new treatment facility


NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County and Trillium Health Resources are partnering up to build a new treatment center. It is a project that has been in the works for three years.

The multi-million dollar facility will have 100s bed for those seeking treatment for addiction. It will be known as the Healing Place, modeled after Healing Transitions in Raleigh.

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This move comes at a much needed time as the opioid crisis continues to sweep our nation and the Cape Fear Region.

“It’s literally tearing at the fabric of our community,” New Hanover County Commissioner, Rob Zapple said.

The county is paying $11.5 million for the new addition which will be built on Physicians drive in Wilmington. That is on top of the more than $2 million the county allocates annually to Trillium.

“The hope is it will take some of the pressure off of our emergency room, and oddly enough, but those who are in the business recognize it, our jail so that those people that are suffering from mental health, behavior health, addiction of not just opioids and prescription drugs but also alcohol,” Zapple said.

The new facility is for men but Zapple said he plans to add treatment services for women and adolescents as soon as possible.

“The problem is as serious of an issue the women in our community as well as adolescents,” Zapple said. “We’re on it and we will continue to expand this program so I would like to look at it as phase one followed immediately by phase two and three to include those other people.”

North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition Executive Director, Robert Childs, said it is a step in the right direction but there is still a lot of work to do.

“There’s a huge amount of non resources for the female population and so it’s incredibly important they are not left out of the equation and that phase two not take years,” Childs said.

The new facility will have a wet program which allows people with drugs or alcohol in their system through the doors. It is a program that is a unique for a treatment facility.

“It lessens their potential for drug overdose which is what we want,” Childs said. “So if we’re able to connect people with care immediately, meeting them where they’re at that’s fantastic.”

The Healing Place has no requirements for those seeking treatment. They will take people without health insurance.

“One in ten. Think about that over the holidays when you’re sitting around your table with your friends and neighbors and how it impacts your family members, your business associates, everywhere you go,” Zapple said.

Zapple adds 25 of the 100 beds will be committed to people in the county. The facility is one way Zapple said they county can help battle the growing epidemic.

“With over a 90% success rate over a two year period of not returning to addiction or drugs if the people who go through it follow through the entire program,” Zapple said.

Zapple said they hope to break ground on the Healing Place by the end of 2018.

Trillium did not want to be interviewed yet, but the company’s CEO, Leza Wainwright, sent us this statement:

Trillium Health Resources remains committed to helping bring The Healing Place to New Hanover County, where there are currently no long-term, residential peer-based facilities located. New Hanover County has been a valuable partner through this process and we appreciate their willingness to explore flexible options to continue the project when the funding that Trillium had expected to use for construction was redirected by the NC General Assembly. The county has agreed to take on the cost of constructing the facility on land currently owned by Trillium which we will donate to the county. We look forward to working together in the establishment of a non-profit board to operate the program once the building is complete.