AuthorEmily Scott

In reporting, ‘What are we going to tell them that is different?’

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While working for NBC10, Morgan Zalot, a journalist, and her colleagues, thought about how much stigma their is around addiction, particularly IV users. They wanted to create a piece of journalism that was different that conveyed much more than just how bad the epidemic was. “What are we going to tell them that is different?” she said. Her colleague, Vince Lattanzio, started looking...

Bridge Way School: ‘sanctuary’ for young people in recovery

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Rebecca Bonner said high schools are often students “pharmacy of choice.” It was the case for her daughter. When her daughter was dealing with her addiction, Bonner did research on recovery high schools and found out that the closest school was in Boston. It inspired Bonner to start her own school: Bride Way School — the only recovery high school in Philadelphia. A large issue in...

Learning recovery as a ‘young person’

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Robert Ashford, a master’s of social work candidate at the University of Pennsylvania and Jimmy Hatzell, a Penn State alumnus involved in the startup of the university’s collegiate recovery program said that Philadelphia has the largest prevalence of collegiate recovery communities, in terms of small groups and full-blown programs. “There is no other spot in the country that has...

Finding strength in recovery

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When Melody Schofield was trying to enter recovery, she said she was doing it in an isolated way. She said she would go on a “two-week bender” and then justify that with fitness. “I was always a fitness fanatic even in my addiction,” she said. “Oh, if I run 15 miles, I’m fine.” Schofield — who has been in recovery for a little over a year and a half — said...

Recovery through religion

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When Rob Nash says he’s a drug addict, it chokes him up. “I quit drugs before they invented crack cocaine,” he said. “I’m sure I would be dead.” Nash attends NewChurch Live, a Christian church that is open to anyone. Chuck Blair, who is the senior pastor, said that they have programming surrounding recovery. “Part of my ministry is just to get up and tell my...

Philly’s drug treatment court focuses on positive reinforcement

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Matthew Schmonsees said he hopes one day that he can put himself out of business. Schmonsees, the coordinator for Philadelphia’s Drug Treatment Court, came to our class to discuss how the court is helping some people stay in recovery after being arrested. The treatment court program in the city started in 1997 and the program’s DUI Treatment Court started in August 2007. Generally...

Recovery housing in Philly: a ‘theme’ of helping one another

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Fred Way, the executive director of the Philadelphia Association of Recovery Residences said he’s been pretty successful his whole career. But he was unsure if he could continue that trend when he decided to create PARR. After working in the Department of Behavioral Health’s intellectual disabilities office for more than twenty years, he decided to take his career in a new direction...

Keli McLoyd on medication-assisted treatment

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Keli McLoyd, who works for the Treatment Research Institute of Philadelphia, discussed the many avenues of medication-assisted treatment, and gave us a new perspective on the arguably controversial form of treatment. It was interesting to hear how different drug treatments affect the body differently. For example, she discussed how methadone does make you sleepy, but also stops withdrawal. But...

Helping patients find themselves

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Akia Feggans said the Diana Baldwin Clinic helps an “underserved group of people,” like homeless people, those with low-income or without insurance. Akia Feggans, the director of behavior health at the clinic and Karen Shible, a therapist at the Teach Recovery Education Empowerment intensive outpatient program, also work with Philadelphia FIGHT, a community organization and center on...

‘Screaming’ over the epidemic

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Chas Carlson and Ian Stoddart, two EMTs from Narberth Ambulance, and Eric Miller, an officer from the Narberth Police Department discussed the implementation of Narcan and drug education programs in schools. It was informative to have them describe what the difference — or lack of — between Narcan and naloxone. In 1971, naloxone was invented and at the time, the generic name was Narcan. But now...

‘Chase people, not the drug’

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“How many people do you see raising money for addiction?” Roland Lamb said. Roland Lamb, the deputy commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services’ division of Strategic Planning and Innovation has what he calls “Rolandisms,” which are his own philosophies in life. His main one currently is “Chase people, not the drug...

Devin Reaves discusses fighting for equity, combatting the opioid epidemic

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Devin Reaves describes himself as a product of the 1980’s crack epidemic and the ensuing War on Drugs, which had an undeniable impact on people of color, beginning the earliest stages of what we see today as mass incarceration. He used an analogy of fence to describe the importance of equity. There are three people: one tall, one average and one short. If we give them all the same height...

Jon Orens discusses son’s addiction, recovery and parenting

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On the whiteboard, Jon Orens had three photos of his son, Daniel. One of the photos showed him on his “death bed” while in the hospital and two others showed him while in recovery. It showed two sides: active addiction and active recovery. Three months ago, Daniel was OK, Jon Orens said. But battling addiction is like “wrestling with the devil,” Jon Orens said, and he kept...

Scott McLane and Richard Stockwell reflect on recovery, addiction

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Scott McLane’s story of recovery isn’t an easy one. He feels that addiction treatment failed him every step of the way. The New Jersey-native felt that the people who were supposed to be his support system, people who worked in recovery treatment, didn’t always fully do their jobs. He once took a long train ride to his appointment, only to realize that the treatment facilitator...