Thursday, 08 February 2018 01:19

TOP STORY: Future Women’s Residential Treatment Center at Samaritan Colony to Offer Hope

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The future site of the new Samaritan Colony women's facility. The future site of the new Samaritan Colony women's facility. Contributed photo.

ROCKINGHAM - The Samaritan Colony is a non-profit male residential substance abuse treatment facility in Rockingham. It’s philosophy is that all men can recover from substance abuse through treatment of one’s physical, mental and spiritual needs.

But there is also a great need for women-specific treatment of the same addictions. To fill that need, Samaritan Colony plans to construct a 14-bed women's residential treatment center (Samaritan Colony Women’s Recovery Center) on 17 acres adjacent to its current location. 

“The need is definitely there,” states Constance Pearson, Program Planner and Clinical Supervisor for Samaritan Colony Women’s Recovery Center. “It’s more challenging for women to get into treatment than men.”

Pearson cited having children, an unsupportive spouse, lack of insurance and transportation as some primary reasons women don’t seek treatment.

“Although it’s challenging getting women into treatment, once there, they are more likely to stay,” Person added.

Pearson is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist (LCAS) and operates a private practice in Aberdeen and Rockingham.

Without a local facility, where do women currently go for treatment?

“Hopefully, they can get what they need without having to go into a residential program,” Person responded. Pearson acknowledged that there are some really strong Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings in Richmond County.

Pearson noted that Daymark Recovery Services has some excellent counselors offering group therapy. In Pearson’s opinion that is best practice as far as therapy for addiction. 

“The thing is, it just doesn’t seem to be enough – one group a week doesn’t really seem to be enough,” she said.

In her experience, Pearson has found that if a woman has no income, it’s extremely difficult for her to get into a detox program for something other than alcohol. With opioid addiction on the rise in Richmond County and across the state, this has become a serious issue. For example, the wait time for a woman to get into The Path of Hope, a residential substance abuse treatment facility in Lexington, N.C., can be as long as three months.

“That’s if you can even get placed on a waiting list,” Pearson explained. “They only have a certain amount of money allotted for Richmond County residents. There’s a small window of opportunity, 2-3 days, once someone says they will go to treatment. After that, they may say they overreacted or you might lose track of them.”

Pearson says that the future of a patient after treatment at Samaritan’s depends on the individual. In her experience, many women cannot go back to their home situation. One of the things about going into treatment and seeking recovery is that it will require major changes in lifestyle.

“You have to partly become a different person because the same person will use again,” she said. “You have to change your lifestyle.”

Pearson states that for those that do go back to the same environment, they will continue to need community resources in place, like counseling and health care. She noted that, “Samaritan will definitely see that they have follow-up care.”

It is hoped that many of the women will go into transitional housing or recovery housing where they many stay for six months, get a job, and work with vocational rehabilitation. Having these resources in place will help assure they get back on their feet and become as successful as possible in society.

“It just wouldn’t be right to put someone through 28 days of treatment and then say, ‘okay, go out and get a job and make a life for yourself,’” Pearson said. “We want to make sure they are as successful as possible.”

Constance Pearson, LPC, LCAS  

When asked why she puts so much effort into helping plan and organize the Samaritan program for women Pearson replied, “I’m doing this because I just have to. I could not sit around and not do it. I’ve seen women in the community dying and to be able to do something about it and not do it is just wrong.

“I am passionate about it,” she continued. “It’s a team effort and a community effort. It’s amazing what you can do if you just do the best you can and do it today. When we talk about solutions, we begin to take responsibility. Let it begin with me.” 

Visit Samaritan Colony Women’s Recovery Center on Facebook for updates on the center as well as volunteer opportunities.





Last modified on Thursday, 08 February 2018 01:26