The Central Wyoming Counseling Center offers a wide array of services to the people of Natrona County and beyond. From outpatient behavioral help, to group counseling, individual therapy, telehealth services and more, CWCC exists to serve Wyoming however they can.
One of the major services that CWCC offers is its Substance Abuse Residential Treatment.
Central Wyoming Counseling Center provides Residential Services to clients battling addiction issues and who are looking to reclaim their lives. These Residential Services include wings for men and women. Treatment can consist of therapy groups, parenting classes, and more.
These services are designed not to provide a way out of addiction, but a way through.
Heather Spurlin is the Residential Admissions Coordinator for CWCC and she knows just how difficult it can be to try and battle addiction alone.
“I was addicted to methamphetamine for 20 years,” Spurlin said. “I was sentenced to prison and I did 365 days in their intensive unit treatment program.”
For decades, Spurlin said her life spiraled out of control. It started quickly, and simply, enough. It was just one hit, just to see what it was like. But one hit turns into two turns into twenty years later and what do you have to show for it? A tired soul and a broken heart.
That’s how it was for Spurlin. She has two daughters, and her addiction ripped her family apart.
“I was so lost in my addiction that there was a point in time that the addiction meant more to me than they did,” Spurlin said. “And that’s shameful. That’s shameful for a mother. But when you’re in that addiction…I never thought that I couldn’t take care of them. I never thought that I would get to the point where I wasn’t their mother. I was physically there, but I wasn’t there emotionally. I wasn’t providing all of the things that they needed growing up. Little girls – they need their mom. And I wasn’t that mom. And when I went to prison, I sat with that. I sat with that for 365 days. And it’s ugly. It’s very ugly.”
Eventually, Spurlin realized that this was a life or death matter. She could either get clean, and stay clean, or she would die. So, she chose life. She chose her life, and she chose her daughters’ lives. She entered a drug court program and she put forth the work – the hard, lonely, angry, tragic work – to get well.
Most 12-step programs call addiction a disease, and maybe that’s true. But, more accurately, it’s a symptom – a symptom of something much bigger, much darker, much harder to overcome.
“We go through that trauma, or whatever it is; the empty-needy,” Spurlin said. “We’re born with that and we go through our whole lives trying to fill that void with love, with drugs, with alcohol, or shoplifting, or food, or whatever it is. And when you get to that point, especially if you’ve been through some sort of trauma, the drugs are so comforting and so familiar and just so wonderful and perfect. And they’ll never leave us. They’ll never hurt us. And we get stuck there. And that’s when it does become a disease, and you can’t get out.”
Spurlin got out. After 20 years, she got out. And she didn’t do it by herself. Because of that, she knows just how vital places like the Central Wyoming Counseling Center really are.
“It’s extremely important,” she said. “Extremely important. Every single individual that works here comes to work every day with the attitude of ‘Who can I help today? Who am I going to meet on my journey today that needs me to help them?’ That’s the attitude that I have every single day, and I hope and I pray that all of us who are in this field have the same attitude. Who can I help today? Look for those people. Look for those opportunities. Who are you going to send me today?”
CWCC exists for those who are struggling; for those who are drowning in addiction and are just looking for a lifeline.
“This is a great place for all types of mental health needs,” Spurlin offered. “We have IOP (Intensive Outpatient), we have our crisis unit, we have our social detox unit. We have our on-call services and our suicide lifeline. If you call and you’re having a crisis moment or you need to talk to somebody, there’s always a therapist. We’re dual-diagnosis, meaning we do mental health and substance abuse.”
Which is good because, more often than not, the two go hand-in-hand. It goes back to addiction being the symptom. That is why the Central Wyoming Counseling Center doesn’t just tackle the symptom (addiction); it also tackles the source (mental health/trauma).
When Heather Spurlin decided to get clean, actually clean, for the first time in 20 years, she did it for herself, first and foremost. Everything and everyone else were extra. And now, she stays clean for herself as well. But she also stays clean for her daughters, for her grandchildren, and for her clients.
“When I came out of my addiction, I promised them that it wasn’t going to happen again,” Spurlin said. “And every addict makes promises, but I just couldn’t do that to them anymore. I could not look those little girls in their eyes and hurt them ever again. And now, I have four grandchildren. And I will never look at them through high eyes. They will never see me in that light. I tell them, ‘Grandma’s a recovering addict, grandma went to prison,’ and that is so foreign to them. They’re going to know my story, but they’ll never know that part of me. And when they ask me, ‘Where do you work grandma?’ and I tell them that I work at CWCC and help people with addictions, they’re so proud of me. And that, to me, is worth every bit of hell that I went through to get here.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction or with mental health issues and you want help, call the Central Wyoming Counseling Center at 307-237-9583 or visit the CWCC website.