AuthorDanielle Nick

10 Things I Learned This Semester About Reporting on Addiction Solutions

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Language is so important. We were reminded of this so many times throughout the semester, but while I was out reporting I really got a better sense of why. You never know what people’s sensitives are, and I never wanted to offend an interviewee. Also, I thought it was interesting to see how people in long-term recovery all have different perspectives when it comes to appropriate language...

“Don’t just tell people it’s a problem, but tell them what is being done or what can be done about it”

by Danielle Nick On Thursday, April 6th, Elana Gordon from WHYY’s the Pulse and Morgan Zalot from NBC10 spoke to our class about what it is like to report on addiction. Gordon and Zalot actually took opposite paths. Gordon always had an interest in public health and did not even major in journalism. However, her career at the Pulse has allowed her to blend her love for health with a new passion...

The Bridge Way School: “The Best Kept Secret”

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by Danielle Nick While witnessing her teenage daughter struggle with addiction, Rebecca Bonner realized how big of a need there is for recovery high schools. Bonner searched relentlessly for a school to accommodate her daughter’s needs, but the closest recovery high school was in Boston. Everything the Bonner family knew was in Philadelphia, and moving to Boston was out of the question. In 2011...

“Every college campus should have one of these programs…Jimmy and I are walking proof that they work”

by Danielle Nick Prior to Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell’s visit, I did not know much about collegiate recovery programs (CRP). However, I did know that Temple does not have a CRP, and that is something I have always found very troubling. Ashford is currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is working towards his Master of Social Work. He identifies as a person in long-term...

“We don’t consider this to be a replacement for 12-step work; it’s a supplement”

by Danielle Nick Melody Schofield and Gavin Young came to our class on Tuesday to discuss a program called Human Strength. Young explained exactly what the program is and how one man’s idea came to fruition. Young explained how Scott Strode, the owner of Phoenix Multisport, struggled with addiction. He eventually got involved in rock climbing, and he found a sense of community that he desperately...

“Life is always three things: blessed, broken, and shared,” Chuck Blair Discusses how Religion Intersects with Addiction

by Danielle Nick On Thursday, March 23, 2017, Chuck Blair, the Senior Pastor at NewChurch LIVE came to our class to discuss how addiction has become a part of his ministry. When NewChurch LIVE was founded around seven years ago, the power structure of the church was thoroughly considered. In the end, the decision was made to structure the church as if it were a tree. A tree grows from the roots...

“We give people multiple chances; recovery is not something that is going to happen overnight”

By Danielle Nick Matthew Schmonsees has served as the Philadelphia Treatment Court and DUI Treatment Court Coordinator since 2009. Prior to holding this position, Schmonsees was involved in behavioral healthcare. After a brief synopsis of his career background, Schmonsees opened up the discussion to our class. He was curious to know what we knew about problem solving courts/ drug treatment courts...

“In this City of Brotherly Love, individuals are living in boxes.” Fred Way Discusses the Need for Certified, Functioning Recovery Housing in Pennsylvania

By Danielle Nick There are recovery houses across the nation, so what makes some better from others? Fred Way works at the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences (PARR), where it is essentially his job to answer this question. Way performs thorough inspections of various recovery houses in Pennsylvania. Additionally, Way is the treasurer of the National Alliance of Recovery Residences...

“These medications work, they’re cost effective, and they’re saving lives”

By Danielle Nick As an Associate at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI) and a person in long term recovery, Keli McLoyd views addiction through two different, yet equally valuable lenses. However, McLoyd said she tries to separate her personal history with addiction from her decisions as a policy maker. Essentially, McLoyd’s job entails gathering research about addiction and deciding why and...

“A lot of what we’re doing is who are you, and who do you want to be?”

By Danielle Nick On Thursday, March 2, 2017, we heard from Akia Feggans, the Director of Behavioral Health at the Diana Baldwin Clinic and her co-worker Karen Shible. Shible is a therapist at TREE, an intensive outpatient program. The Diana Baldwin Clinic and TREE are two of the three health centers that comprise Philadelphia FIGHT. Feggans explained that Philadelphia FIGHT is no longer just an...

“It is an all-encompassing disease”

While reflecting on her daughter Chelsey’s addiction, Judith discussed the dark times when she would venture down to her basement and find “spoons with blackened edges.” Despite uncovering this evidence, Judith was in denial about Chelsey’s addiction. “I was burying my head in the sand,” Judith said. As Chelsey’s addiction took over, Judith’s close friends convinced her that she had to kick...

“No breathing, to confusion, to I don’t want to be here”

By Danielle Nick  Analyzing addiction through a medical point of view differs greatly from examining the disease through a legal standpoint. Medics from Narberth Ambulance, Chas Carlson and Ian Stoddart and police officer, Eric Miller brought their own unique perspectives about addiction to our solutions class on Thursday, February 24, 2017. Carlson has been an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)...

Philadelphia: Home of the “Cheapest Heroin on the East Coast” Ronald Lamb Reflects on the City’s Substance Abuse Epidemic

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Ronald Lamb is the Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS). Lamb is full of knowledge about substance use and overdoses in Philadelphia. He has been working in the alcohol and substance use field for over 40 years and has held many respectable titles including: therapist, counselor, supervisor, coordinator of addictive services...

Jonathan Orens: “This is about chemistry, not character”

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During the fall, Jonathan Orens’ son Dan passed away of an overdose. Orens introduced our solutions class to his son’s tragic story by displaying three photos of Dan, all from different times in his life. We were able to see Dan when he was in the height of his addiction contrasted with a photo of him smiling bright in recovery. Orens emphasized that his son struggled with a disease, not a moral...

Scott McLane’s Road to Recovery

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“I’m not really good at not wearing it [Scott’s past] on my sleeve. Why should I lie?” After listening to Scott McLane’s story on Tuesday, this quote stuck with me. To me, these words represented how Scott chooses to live his life, bravely and genuinely. He overcame his past, despite any obstacles, and it is something he is proud of. Scott discussed how he was always known as the kid in his...