AuthorFede Gillespie-Anderson

Addiction Reporting Q&A

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Last week Elana Gordon from WHYY’s the Pulse and Morgan Zalot from NBC10 visited our class to conduct a Q&A and discuss their work as established journalists. Elana Gordon who has been covering addiction recovery on and off for nine years has always had an interest in the field of addiction reporting, especially when it comes to the opioid epidemic. She often finds herself looking ways to...

Rebecca Bonner: Bridgeway Recovery School

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Rebecca Bonner recently visited our class to discuss Bridgeway, the only recovery high school in the Philadelphia area. Bonner, the head of Bridgeway, opened the school in 2011 with the intention of intervening lower on the spectrum to prevent kids from developing substance use disorders Having witnessed her daughter personally struggle with drug addiction, Bonner knows the importance of...

The Benefits of Collegiate Recovery

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Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell recently visited our class to discuss the benefits of collegiate recovery programs. The purpose of these programs along with advocating addiction recovery is the enmeshment of an academic and recovery lifestyle. Colleges without these programs have students in recovery who aren’t supported on campus and feel isolated from the rest of the student population...

Human Strength and Recovery

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Human Strength is a CrossFit (a mixture of Olympic weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics) offshoot of Phoenix multisport nonprofit recovery gym. Phoenix multisport was started by Scott Strode in Boulder Colorado and now has five locations across the country. Philadelphia currently has the biggest Human Strength operation. The program is free to anyone, so long as you have 48 hours of sobriety...

Recovery and Faith

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“Life is always blessed, broken and shared, ” said Chuck. Chuck Blair, Marry Haney and Rob Nash of New Church Live visited our class to discuss their personal journeys and methodology in using religion to foster recovery for themselves, and more importantly for other people. Haney compares the experience of having a family member with an addiction with being thrown in a fish bowl without knowing...

Fred Way: Recovery Housing

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Fred Way, the executive director of the Philadelphia Association of Recovery visited our classroom to discuss the ins and outs of recovery housing and some of the issues he and his organization have faced in the past. Kensington by far has the most saturated recovery housing zip code and yet most of the housing is substandard. It is important to eliminate these kinds of houses as an option and...

Keli McLoyd on Medication-Assisted Treatment: “They work, period”

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Keli McLoyd, an associate at the Treatment Research Institute of Philadelphia recently visited our class with the intention of utilizing data and science to approach a discussion of medically-assisted recovery. Though McLoyd is a person in long-term recovery herself, she prefers to keep her work and personal life separate and recognizes the importance of battling stigma. Throughout her...

Helping the Underprivileged

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Last Thursday Philadelphia FIGHT representatives, Akia Feggans Director of Behavioral Health at the Diana Baldwin Clinic and her co-worker Karen Shible a therapist at the Teach Recovery Education Empowerment (TREE) intensive outpatient program, came to visit our class to discuss their personal experiences treating individuals with substance disorders. The two described FIGHT as a community center...

Personal Stories from Chelsey and Judy Cain

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Chelsey and her mother Judith (Judy) Cain visited our class last Tuesday prepared to discuss their personal journeys through the world of drug addiction and recovery Cain, like many others who have experienced an opiate addiction, started out with prescription painkillers but when that became too expensive to sustain, switched to heroin. However, because her tolerance for heroin increased so...

Emergency Response to Opioid Epidemic

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Guests speakers Chas Carlson and Ian Stoddart, from the Narberth Ambulance and Eric Miller from the Narberth Police Department, came to our class last week to discuss their individualized roles in emergency response to opioid overdoses. With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Miller has become of adept at recognizing patterns and assessing situations. Miller, along with Stoddart and...

Roland Lamb: Disease of the People

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Roland Lamb, Deputy Commissioner for the City of Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, visited our class last Tuesday to discuss a wide range of topics regarding the swell of opioid linked drug overdoses within the Philadelphia area. Lamb began his presentation by providing an assortment of statistical accounts explaining where and why so many drug...

Devin Reaves: “years and years of failed drug policy”

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Devin Reaves visited our class last Thursday to discuss a wide range of topics including the impact of race on the experiences of minorities struggling with addiction and the importance of social justice and equity within the realm of addiction and recovery advocacy. As a black man in long term recovery, as well as a product of the crack epidemic of the 80s and a member of the Opioid task force...

Wrestling with the Devil

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Long time Temple University affiliate Jonathan Orens has never had a ‘drug problem’ in his life. Orens eldest son, Dan, on the other hand, was a different story. Though Dan had grown up in a safe environment and had always surrounded himself with good friends and loved ones, his positive upbringing would not be enough to deter his disease. By his senior year of high-school, it was clear that drug...

recap/reflection on guest speakers

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Both guest speakers, Richard Stockwell and Scott McLane, provided us with authentic and engaging stories regarding their personal experiences with drug addiction and recovery. Scott, who chose to speak first, despite having a broken home had been an academic overachiever all his life, especially throughout high school. His life took an unexpected turn once he was in college and his alcohol...

Comparing Solutions Journalism from Traditional Journalism

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Though there are countless articles dedicated to covering addiction, there are clear distinctions between solutions journalism and traditional Journalism. “Espanola: The Town that Tried Everything to Fight Addiction” was written by Leah Todd in August 2016. It explores the lack of progress made towards preventing drug overdose in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico despite numerous effects to combat...