AuthorMarianna Sann

Bridge Way: Philly’s First Recovery High School

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Rebecca Bonner watched her daughter’s pants size go from an 8 to a 2 within seven to eight weeks. Her daughter struggled with a substance use disorder, and was eventually admitted into rehab for five months during her freshman year of high school. She returned to school her sophomore year, but relapsed in ten months. Bonner said that it was difficult for her daughter to maintain sobriety in her...

The Value of Collegiate Recovery Programs

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Speakers Robert Ashford and Jimmy Hatzell visited our class to show us how beneficial a collegiate recovery community is for students in college. Institutionalizing a recovery program, whether it is by creating recovery housing, a walk-in center, or club organization throughout all college campuses, is Ashford’s and Hatzell’s end game and goal. According to Ashford, there are 170 collegiate...

Building Healthy Bodies Through Human Strength

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Finding a sense of community helped Scott Strode in his recovery from drugs and alcohol addiction. Strode founded Phoenix Multisport, a sober, active community built for individuals who are recovering from a substance use disorder. Through physical fitness groups like yoga, CrossFit, and boxing, individuals can use physical fitness as a supplement in recovery treatment.  Melodie Schofield and...

Overcoming Addiction with God’s Help

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Pastor Chuck Blair, of New Church Live, warmly introduced himself as we entered the room at the start of class. His energy and friendliness attests to his role as a faith-based and spiritual supporter for persons in recovery. Pastor Blair believes that a successful church should grow like a tree rather a pyramid, from it’s roots and up. Every year, New Church Live hosts a Family and Addiction...

The Criminal System’s Revolving Door

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Matthew Schmonsees, a program manager at the Philadelphia Treatment Court, has been working in drug and DUI treatment courts since 2009. Philadelphia Treatment Court’s mission is to send individuals with drug related incidents to treatment, and avoid incarceration. Overall, drug courts integrate alcohol and drug treatment services with justice system case processing. Program participants are...

Philadelphia: The Recovery Center of the Country

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In 2011, Fred Way left a decent job he had for 20 years to start a company dedicated to recovery housing. Way is now the executive director of the Pennsylvania Alliance of Recovery Residences (PARR), a nonprofit organization that supports Recovery Residence providers in their effort to deliver quality recovery-oriented housing opportunities to persons in recovery. “The longer you can stay at a...

Super-Utilizers in the Health Care System

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Keli McLoyd, an associate at the Treatment Research Institute (TRI), uses research and science to help build and improve public policies, programs, and practices. As an associate with the Center for Policy Research and Analysis, she has made connections between research and its impact on society. Her roles include finding the best medication-assisted treatment for patients in recovery, helping...

Philadelphia FIGHT: Maturing the Brain

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Addiction has always been present and problematic in Philadelphia, but it is only being addressed now by the media and government because it’s affecting upper middle class white people. The “Badlands,” areas comprised in Kensington and Frankford, are essentially where heroin is bought and sold. It is said to be the largest open air drug market in the country. Headquartered on 12th & Locust...

Chelsey Cain: How Mom Felt

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“I was burying my head in the sand. People were telling me she was doing drugs and I didn’t believe them,” said Judith (Judy) Cain about Chelsey Cain, her daughter who has been in recovery for 7.5 years. Judy mentioned that she and Chelsey once joked about those with a substance use disorder, though never expected it to affect their lives in the future, at the time. The trouble first started in...

First Responder Perspective: Administering Narcan

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Ian Stoddart, Chas Carlson and Eric Miller shared their perspective as first responders in Ardmore, PA. Stoddart with 30 years of work experience as a paramedic, Carlson with six years as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), and Miller with 23 years of work experience as a policer officer, have each responded to their fair share of substance use related calls. When working on a 911 ambulance...

Roland Lamb: Removing the Veil in Addiction

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Philadelphia’s Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), Roland Lamb shared with us his knowledge and studies of substance abuse in the city. Roland has worked in the field of alcohol and substance abuse treatment for more than 40 years, specializing in statistics on substance use. His powerpoint presentation included pages of...

Devin Reaves: Fighting for Social Justice

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According to Devin Reaves, if you’re an affluent, rich man, your life is worth more than a white or black poor person in Michigan. Devin has been in recovery since August 21, 2007, the day after he overdosed. As a “product of the crack epidemic in the 80’s,” Devin has built his life around changing the system, and fighting for housing, food, and education programs/policies for those affected by...

Jon Orens: A Father’s Perspective on Addiction

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“I was wrestling with the devil for his soul,” said Jon Orens, a father to an overdose victim. Jon lost his son Daniel Orens last Fall to a substance use disorder. Jon’s late son’s 11 -year battle with addiction has led him to dedicate much of his time sharing with the public his experience. Unlike other life threatening diseases like cancer, addiction makes you lie...

Scott McLane’s Road to Recovery

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Scott McLane thought The Anonymous People was a fairytale version of what real life people in long term recovery really go through. As a person in recovery and sponsor for many, Scott spoke honestly and uncensored when sharing his history and relationship with alcohol. Despite attending a successful high school, and being accepted into prestigious colleges like Columbia, Scott still felt small...

Regular News vs. Solutions Reporting

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On January 18, 2017, The New York Times published a story headlined Injecting Drugs, Under a Watchful Eye. Journalist Tina Rosenberg reported on how needle exchange programs have been successful in preventing disease and increasing use of drug treatment by users. Rosenberg used statistics to compare the success rates of needle exchange programs throughout the 1990s in New York City, and how...