Healing Place of New Hanover County

Rending of Healing Place

The Healing Place of New Hanover County is a peer-led residential drug and alcohol recovery facility, located at 1000 Medical Center Drive. New Hanover County began construction on the facility in early 2021 and it was complete in January 2023. A dedication and ribbon cutting was held by county officials on January 17, 2023.

The Healing Place will begin accepting clients into its long-term residential program on February 1, 2023, and then the detox program will open for clients in early spring, upon completion of licensure. Visit The Healing Place of New Hanover County’s website to learn more.

The Healing Place is based on a recovery model that originated at The Healing Place of Louisville, Kentucky, and offers 100 beds to men and 100 beds to women seeking treatment for addiction. It is the only peer-led residential recovery program in Southeastern North Carolina to provide treatment to both men and women at no cost to the individual.

Learn more about this recovery model and the need in our region on Trillium Health Resources website. Trillium is the local specialty care manager (LME/MCO) that manages mental health services in eastern North Carolina and has partnered with the county on this facility.

Background & Timeline

  • 2015: Trillium Health Resources proposed a treatment model to address area alcohol and opioid challenges.
  • 2016: a report identified Wilmington as a top city in America for opioid abuse.
  • 2018: the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners adopted the county’s 2018 to 2023 Strategic Plan with a key priority to prevent and reduce opioid abuse.
  • 2018: Trillium transferred an 8.71 acre tract on Medical Center Drive to New Hanover County for a treatment facility and Commissioners approved moving forward with a 100-bed men’s Healing Place facility.
  • 2019: a special use permit from the City of Wilmington was obtained for the site and Commissioners approved expanding the scope of the Healing Place facility to include a 100-bed facility for women, in addition to the already-approved 100 beds for men.
  • 2020: Trillium Health Resources determined that the facility should be operated by The Healing Place out of Louisville, KY; and in August 2020, Commissioners approved The Healing Place out of Louisville, KY as the facility operator.
  • December 2020: Commissioners made final approvals for the facility, including the preliminary guaranteed maximum price, construction manager at risk, design contract, and overall project budget.
  • Early 2021: Groundbreaking was held in January and construction began in February.
  • January 2023: Final completion of all buildings, dedication and ribbon cutting held.
  • February 2023: Shelter and long-term residential program opens
  • Early spring 2023: Detox facility expected to open

Construction & Operations

The Healing Place of New Hanover County is a 200-bed treatment facility, located on Medical Center Drive, that consists of five buildings: Administration and Education, Dining and Shelter, Men’s Residential, Women’s Residential, and Detox. View the Site Plan (PDF).

Construction of The Healing Place is being funded as a capital project by New Hanover County, through loan proceeds and in compliance with its debt policy. The total project budget is $24,034,315, and the county will use, in part, its contribution to Trillium to service the annual debt for construction.

New Hanover County owns the buildings and is responsible for long-term maintenance. The Healing Place of Louisville, KY has established a 501(c)3 - The Healing Place of New Hanover County - that now fully manages and operates the facility, including all operating costs.

New Hanover County will provide funding for 50 beds each year (25 for men, 25 for women) as part of the county’s budget.

Drawing of The Healing Place

Healing Place Model

More than 25,000 adults in eastern North Carolina are in need of drug or alcohol treatment, but are uninsured or untreated. Currently, there are no long-term residential substance-use facilities in our region to serve them, but The Healing Place Is Going to Help Fill That Gap (PDF).

This new treatment facility incorporates principals from The Healing Place based in Kentucky, and provides underserved adults who live with alcohol and other drug addictions with a no-cost program to help restore them to a healthy life. The Healing Place provides an overnight emergency shelter, non-medical detoxification, and a long-term, 12-step based residential peer-run recovery program.

The Healing Place costs less than $35 per day, per resident to operate (at no charge to the individual), which is much lower than the cost of an emergency room visit or incarceration.

National rates of recovery vary from 30 to 50%, but graduates from The Healing Place program maintain a recovery rate of 70% one year after completion - making it more effective than the national average at helping people to recovery.

Learn more about this long-term recovery model on Trillium's website.