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Giving Matters

Giving Matters: Farnum Center Helps People Get Clean


The Farnum Center provides treatment to people with substance use disorders. It recently moved to a new facility which includes a new medical detox unit, the only one in the state not connected to a hospital. 

Dr. Cheryl Wilkie works with patients at the center. “We have a five day detox, a 30-day residential treatment center and then outpatient services that follow them as long as they need it.

“I know we’re saving people’s lives.” Wilkie quotes a letter from one of her clients, “‘I want you to know you definitely saved my live and I will be forever grateful to Farnum Center.’ He got a chance because he got the medical attention he needed to calm his body and at least give him that fighting chance to.” Part of the treatment Farnum offers is psychological training to help clients acquire coping skills, so they don’t fall into the pattern that brought them here.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire remains second to last in the nation for treatment capacity. Only between four and six percent of those who need treatment for substance use disorders in New Hampshire actually get it. But Wilkie is optimistic in a change of those statistics.

The Farnum Center holds added importance to Wilkie, she’s not only a doctor, she’s also “been in recovery for 27 years.” She received treatment and “it saved my life. I know it saved my life. I got sober and I went to college while I was a single mom. So that’s why it’s important for me to be able to do that for others.”

Wilkie decries the generalizations made about addicts and the type of people who become addicted. “It’s not ‘those people’ it’s any of us that can hit. And I’ve seen many people come out amazing getting clean and sober.”

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