Coastal Horizons Center: Turning Lives
Around in Brunswick County
By Suzy King
CoastalHorizonsCenter, a not-for-profit behavioral
health organization providing substance abuse and mental
health services, crisis intervention and criminal justice alternative services,
has opened the doors of its new 7,000-square-foot facility in southern Brunswick County. Located behind Jones Ford on
U.S. Highway 17 South in Shallotte, Coastal Horizons is positioned conveniently
to serve local residents, a goal that the organization has been passionately
chasing for nearly seven years.
CoastalHorizonsCenter was founded in 1970, with its
headquarters located off Shipyard
Boulevard inWilmington. After three decades in operation
in New Hanover County,
a need for expansion to the south became apparent. The group saw several
clients from the Brunswick County area, some of whom
were traveling as far as 45 miles in order to receive treatment.
the grandparents of a young woman who worked as a clinician at the Wilmington office caught
wind of the organization’s significant and positive impact on the community. In
2006 those grandparents, Odell and Virginia Williamson, gifted land, a
building, additional land for future expansion and funds
to support a full year of operating expenses, enabling Coastal Horizons to
spread its services to Brunswick County.
Horizons broke ground on its new facility in 2007, and the agency operated out
of a temporary location in the Brunswick Medical Mall for a little more than a
year prior to the building’s completion. In November 2009 the staff and
volunteers got settled into their new permanent home. Plans for a grand opening
celebration are now underway, anticipated to take place in early spring 2010.
years ago, we identified a need to provide services to residents in Brunswick County,”
explains Margaret Weller-Stargell, Coastal Horizons Center’s
President and CEO. “We wanted to offer a place that they could go in their own
community, somewhere closer to home. It’s very difficult to describe how
pleased we are to say that we can now provide immediate substance abuse, mental
health and rape
crisis services to this community. Put simply, I’m glad we’re here.”
Brunswick County office offers a wide range of services, including individual
and group therapy for all ages, early intervention youth treatment programs,
DWI assessments and treatment, a substance abuse intensive outpatient program
(SAIOP) and community reintegration support, anger awareness courses,
psychiatric evaluations, behavioral programs for at-risk children concerning
gang activity, free testing for HIV and other STDs, as well as many other
valuable wellness programs. The office’s fully trained
and licensed team includes Program Director Kate Gomes, LPC, LMFT, LCAS, CCS, a
and other support staff.
particular program of note that is newly available at both Coastal Horizons Center’s New Hanover and Brunswick locations is a
highly effective treatment program for opioid addiction. Suboxone is a
medication that relieves withdrawal symptoms and cravings, while also
restraining the chances of relapse. As opposed to the well-known treatment
utilizing Methadone, Suboxone is an office based program
that allows people to operate on a normal, day-to-day basis. Rather than being
confined to an intense
schedule of clinic visits,Suboxone
treatment is done from home. In addition to the medication, there is also a
therapeutic component to the program. Patients who struggle with opioid abuse
also often struggle with psychiatric problems as well. Coastal Horizons
integrates mental health and behavioral therapy into the Suboxone treatment
program, increasing the effectiveness even further.
is a private and highly successful treatment plan,” says Dr. David A. Joseph,
Coastal Horizons Center’s
Medical Director. “I really enjoy doing follow-up with this program. My
patients are no longer slaves to
the opiates. They get their lives back.”
about the new facility in Brunswick County, Joseph responded with
a relieved comment: “It’s long overdue. There were very few facilities
available to treat these patients near their home. Now they have somewhere to
go. And that’s a good feeling.”
addition to the substance abuse services and many other wellness programs,
Coastal Horizons’ Brunswick County office also offers a full-service Rape Crisis
Center. The center operates 24 hours a day, seven
days a week. Staff and volunteers are available at any time to help victims of
sexual violence through all aspects of the crisis, following through to
prosecution, at the client’s request.
with them all the way,” explains Weller- Stargell. “I think that is a critical
part of a person’s recovery. To have thorough assistance during such a difficult
The Rape Crisis
Center also offers free rape prevention and
awareness programs, a hotline offering information and additional resources, counseling
for all parties affected, law enforcement and court advocacy.
With Coastal Horizons Center’s wide range of valuable and
necessary services now readily accessible to the Brunswick County
public, the impact is being felt on all levels. Not only do the local clients
welcome the agency
to Brunswick County, but the professional community
is pleased with its presence as well. The Department of Social Services, law
enforcement and area hospitals, to name a few, are glad to now have quality
local treatment and support services available to the community.
wonderful to see this dream come to fruition,” says Weller-Stargell. “We
finally have a clear and permanent presence in Brunswick County.
There have been many people involved with the agency over the years that have
maintained the original vision and purpose for Coastal Horizons — to provide a
total array of services to people that are in crisis, dealing with addiction
and with mental health issues. That we would be there to assist them in making
better choices for themselves in becoming healthier people. I can’t tell you
how happy it makes us to expand those services to yet another area in need.”
CoastalHorizonsCenter provides services to 33 Eastern North Carolina
counties and DurhamCounty. With the completion
of their new Brunswick
facility, Coastal Horizons continues to prove that it will cross any county
lines to impact the lives of thousands of individuals during their most critical
times of need.
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