Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction is hard work, but it is work that will pay off in spades as you enjoy a higher quality of life marked by a greater sense of purpose, happiness, and well-being.
Hendersonville, North Carolina, is a short drive from Silver Ridge, a high-quality drug and alcohol treatment center with a proven track record in helping people recover from addiction for the long-term. Hendersonville is a charming little mountain city with lots of history and a vibrant, active community. Whether you live in or near Hendersonville or you’re looking to relocate, this can be a great place to enjoy life in recovery.
An Overview of Hendersonville
Hendersonville is the seat of Henderson County, located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in southwestern North Carolina. The median age in Hendersonville is 45, with 40.3 percent of the population between the ages of 18 and 44. The median household income is $34,620.
Hendersonville was chartered in 1847, and Main Street has been the primary downtown thoroughfare ever since. The historic downtown district is home to the Henderson County Courthouse, built in 1905, and the recently restored City Hall, built in 1924. Numerous restaurants, boutiques, antique shops, museums, and other attractions offer residents and tourists plenty of opportunities for recreation and relaxation.
Hendersonville offers high-quality schools, including Hendersonville High School, which was ranked the fourth best high school in the state by U.S. News and World Report.
Blue Ridge Community College’s Henderson County campus is located just three miles from downtown Hendersonville and is made up of a 13-building complex with more than 350,000 square feet of classrooms, shops, labs, and student activities facilities.
The campus features a 450-seat performing auditorium, a 1,000-seat conference hall, a TV recording studio, and a technology training center.
Hendersonville’s largest industries are health care, retail trade, and manufacturing. The economy also focuses on agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, educational services, and technology. Idyllic as it is, Hendersonville isn’t without drug- and alcohol-related problems.
Drug & Alcohol Abuse in Hendersonville
Crime & Foster Care
Eighty percent of crimes in the county are linked to substance abuse, according to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, and BlueRidgeNow Times-News reports that substance abuse is the most common denominator when it comes to children in foster care.
According to the Times-News, of the children in foster care in Henderson County in early 2017, 57 cases were linked to meth; 27 were linked to prescription drugs, including opioid painkillers; and 72 cases fell under “other” substances of abuse, including alcohol and marijuana.
The opioid crisis hasn’t left Henderson County unscathed. According to the 2018 Henderson County Opioid Leadership Forum, the county sees around four opioid overdose deaths each month, and another seven to ten people are treated by first responders for opioid overdose. Calls for emergency services related to opioids increased from 240 in 2014 to 348 in 2017. In 2014, Narcan, the opioid overdose reversal drug, was administered just under 100 times, but in 2017, it was given around 240 times. A range of age groups are affected by opioid abuse, from teenagers to people in their 70s, according to the leadership forum.
The 2016 State of the County’s Health Report finds substance abuse as the second most urgent health priority in Henderson County.
How Hendersonville Is Addressing Its Drug Problem
The 2015 Community Health Assessment cites a number of specific at-risk populations in Henderson County, including older adults who are also common victims of crimes associated with prescription drug theft. Additionally, people who have chronic pain, who have a history of substance abuse, or who are living with a mental illness are at an elevated risk of substance use disorders. Low-income, uneducated, and unemployed individuals may also be at a higher risk of substance abuse, which may co-occur with homelessness.
Addressing substance abuse in the county is the focus of several local organizations and initiatives.
HopeRX, a community-based prescription drug abuse initiative, is centered on education, prevention, and treatment. Developed by the Henderson County Partnership for Health, HopeRX is a community collaborative that serves to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, help citizens identify strategies for prevention, and inform them about treatment options.
Naloxone Access Law
Henderson County stresses the importance of access to naloxone for anyone who uses heroin or prescription painkillers. Naloxone is the opioid overdose reversal drug. It’s an opioid antagonist that knocks opioids out of their receptors and reverses their effects, including often-fatal respiratory depression. Naloxone is available over-the-counter in North Carolina, and it can be administered by anyone who happens upon an overdose victim.
The North Carolina Good Samaritan/Naloxone Access Law protects people who administer naloxone to someone who they believe has overdosed. If they use reasonable care in administering the naloxone, they are protected from a related lawsuit. The law also protects anyone who calls 911 because they or someone else has overdosed. If the caller or the overdose victim has a small amount of drugs or paraphernalia, they can’t be tried in court, and they won’t get into trouble with their parole or probation officer. These laws are designed to ensure people will offer assistance or call for help when someone overdoses.
The Hendersonville Police Department and Henderson County Sheriff are trained by the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) to carry and administer naloxone to overdose victims. The NCHRC is a grassroots organization that works on the state and local level to implement harm reduction interventions, transform drug policy, and work toward justice reform throughout North Carolina.
Drug & Alcohol Treatment
Nestled in the mountains just minutes away from Hendersonville is Silver Ridge, a luxurious drug and alcohol treatment center situated on 12 sprawling acres of rolling hills. Numerous midlife adults begin their recovery journey in Silver Ridge’s 10,000-square-foot home featuring a wrap-around porch with mountain views that invite relaxation and reflection.
More important than its upscale home is the fact that Silver Ridge is accredited by CARF International, one of the largest and most prestigious accrediting bodies on the planet.
Silver Ridge uses best-practices protocol and research-based therapies to treat addiction and the range of issues that underlie it. Our program takes a holistic approach to treatment that tends to body, mind, and spirit for meaningful, whole-person healing.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, this holistic approach offers the best possible outcomes of treatment and involves a variety of therapies that take place in individual, group, and family settings. Since not every treatment therapy is right for every person, treatment plans are highly individualized based on each person’s unique needs and issues.
Both traditional and complementary therapies are used at Silver Ridge. Traditional therapies are those shown by research to be effective for treating addiction. Complementary therapies are those shown by research to be effective for treating addiction when they’re used alongside traditional therapies.
Traditional therapies are generally psychotherapies, or “talk” therapies. Talk therapy helps you identify the dysfunctional thought and behavior patterns that keep you stuck in unhealthy habits. It helps you develop the coping skills needed to handle cravings, stress, negative emotions, and other triggers for relapse. It also helps address a range of underlying issues, which often include chronic stress, family dysfunction, a history of trauma, or a co-occurring mental illness.
The most commonly used talk therapy for addiction treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy. Other therapies may be used based on unique needs and issues, including dialectical behavior therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy, which are mindfulness-based therapies that help you learn to manage difficult emotions. Motivational interviewing is a therapy that helps you resolve any ambivalence you have toward recovery.
Complementary therapies serve to increase engagement in treatment and help you look at old problems from different perspectives.
Complementary therapies used at Silver Ridge include:
- Yoga – Yoga helps to reduce stress, increase mindfulness, and improve physical and mental strength, balance, and flexibility.
- Equine therapy – Equine therapy improves self-confidence and self-awareness and helps you develop coping skills that transfer to many life domains.
- Acupuncture – Acupuncture improves the function of the body’s systems, reduces stress, and increases feelings of well-being.
- Horticultural therapy – Horticultural therapy improves mood, reduces negative emotions, increases self-esteem, and sharpens planning and decision-making skills.
- Meditation – Meditation increases mindfulness, reduces stress, and helps you respond better to external events in the future.
All of the therapies used at Silver Ridge focus on the unique developmental phases of midlife, which include both growth and loss.
From Detox to Aftercare
Treatment begins with medical detox. During detox, medications can be administered to reduce the severity of withdrawal symptoms to improve comfort and increase feelings of well-being. A variety of assessments will help guide the development of your personalized treatment plan, which will begin once detox is complete.
Intensive therapies are at the heart of treatment at Silver Ridge. There’s also plenty of time for rest, relaxation, and recreation, which are also central to successful recovery.
During treatment, you will:
- Identify and change self-destructive thought and behavior patterns
- Re-evaluate old, outdated beliefs and attitudes
- Develop essential coping skills that promote long-term recovery
- Address underlying issues that led to the substance abuse in the first place
- Identify your inherent strengths and values
- Find purpose and meaning in a life without drugs or alcohol
- Restore function to all areas of your life
- Learn to relax and have fun in sobriety
- Repair damaged relationships and restore function to the family system
- Make healthy lifestyle changes
- Develop new, healthy relationships
- Set goals and work to achieve them
Once treatment is complete, an aftercare plan will be developed based on your unique needs. The aftercare plan will see you through the early weeks and months of solo recovery.
An aftercare plan may include:
- Ongoing therapy
- Participation in a support group
- Ongoing monitoring of any physical or mental health issues and the medications used to treat them
- Case management to ensure changing and emerging needs are being met
Other components of the aftercare plan may include vocational, educational, housing, or legal assistance.
A Life in Recovery: Sober Fun in Hendersonville
Hendersonville offers scores of activities that are ideal for people in recovery. The historic downtown district alone provides 16 blocks of restaurants, shops, theaters, and art galleries to explore. Downtown is also the site of a number of annual festivals that get residents out and about, including the Fourth of July Parade, the North Carolina Apple Festival, the Holiday Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade, and the Tulip Extravaganza and Garden Jubilee each spring.
Every May through September, downtown Hendersonville hosts Music on Main concerts every Friday night. During the same time period, Monday Night Street Dances feature mountain heritage music and dancing.
Hendersonville has many parks within the city limits. Berkeley Mills Park features a baseball park and pavilion, and Boyd Park offers tennis courts and a miniature golf course. William H. King Memorial Park features six acres of green spaces, a mile-long nature trail, and a half-mile long walking trail. Lenox Park is home to a natural spring and offers picnic tables for al fresco dining. The Oklawaha Greenway Trail at Jackson Park follows Mud Creek and features benches, drinking fountains, and bike FixIt Stations along its length. Patton Park is home to baseball fields; basketball, racquetball, and tennis courts; an Olympic-sized swimming pool; and a skate park.
Museums in Hendersonville include the Western North Carolina Air Museum featuring restored and replica antique and vintage airplanes. The Henderson County Heritage Museum highlights the county’s history with galleries, artifact collections, libraries, performances, and demonstrations. The Hands On! Children’s Museum stimulates young imaginations, and the Apple Valley Model Railroad Museum houses artifacts and exhibits showcasing the area’s railroad history. The Mineral & Lapidary Museum of Henderson County houses Native American artifacts, fossils, minerals, gems, and a dinosaur egg nest. Team ECCO Ocean Center and Aquarium has more than 20 displays, including a touch tank.
There’s plenty to do outside of the city limits as well. Holmes Educational State Forest offers a number of marked trails with exhibits and displays along with picnic shelters and grills. DuPont State Recreational Forest is dotted with waterfalls and more than 80 miles of trails and roads that wind through the mountainous terrain and are popular for horseback riding, mountain biking, and hiking. Pisgah National Forest offers hiking, fishing, camping, picnicking sites, and stunning waterfalls.
Hendersonville is close to Asheville, a lively college town with a thriving arts scene, and it’s near the historic towns of Flat Rock and Mills River.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, treatment is almost always needed to end an addiction for the long-term. Good intentions and willpower are rarely enough to stop using drugs or alcohol for good, but most people who get professional help and engage fully with their treatment plan recover successfully and go on to live happy and productive lives. Silver Ridge can help you or someone you love to end an addiction and reclaim your life on many fronts.