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Now sober, former addict to offer counseling
Friday open house set at Cynthia Wheeler’s Boro practice
Cynthia Wheeler
Cynthia Wheeler

Cynthia Wheeler first came to Statesboro in 2008 for eight weeks of addiction treatment at Willingway Hospital. The day after she completed the program, Wheeler said she was smoking crack again — and she saw only two choices.

"I was going to either put a gun in my mouth, or I was going to finally do something different — and God intervened," Wheeler said. "I don't know what happened. But I made a commitment to my counselor at Willingway."

Her commitment finally held, and Wheeler hopes to use her life experiences, training and empathy to help others in their addiction recovery. Wheeler just opened Rising Tide Counseling, a private practice that she said will focus on treating alcoholism and drug addiction, particularly opioid abuse.

Wheeler said she will hold an open house for the public on Friday at her practice, which is in a separate entrance to her home at 359 Savannah Ave. The event is set for 5–7 p.m.

"We will have a meet and greet so that I can introduce myself to community members that I do not know," Wheeler said.

After finally becoming sober, Wheeler knew quickly she wanted to devote the rest of her life to helping people get their lives back from addiction.

"I actually started to feel better about myself," she said. "I was able to look people in the eyes again and face the wreckage of my past with hopes of helping other people. Professionals at other treatment centers would say to me, 'You would make such a good counselor if you ever could stay sober.' "

After working as house manager in Willingway's residential program, Wheeler started studying to become an addiction counselor, obtaining her Certified Addiction Counselor Level I certification in 2014. She earned a bachelor's degree in criminology from Georgia Southern University in 2021 and is now a Certified Addiction Counselor Level II (CACII) and a Nationally Certified Addiction Counselor Level I (NCACI).

Wheeler said her practice does not accept insurance, though she will offer a sliding-scale pay service to patients, if needed.

"It's really hard to get sober, and I want to help people who have struggled through treatment programs," she said. "I want to be accessible to people who have been through treatment and need some guidance. They know what they are supposed to do. They just need to go back and work through some things they may not have worked through in their first go-around or couple of go-arounds and need to get focused again."

Wheeler may be reached at (912) 314-6406 or by email at

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