CategorySpeaker Reflections

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...

“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...

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...

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...

Recovery high schools provide the ‘best kind of peer pressure’ for students

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Recovery high schools are valuable necessities for students who are in recovery from substance use disorders. Rebecca Bonner realized this as clear as day when her daughter fell into opiates and discovered that the “local high school was her pharmacy of choice.” “I was literally watching her die before my eyes,” Bonner said. So the natural next step for her was to search...

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...

For college students in recovery, ‘you need support where you exist’

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When Jimmy Hatzell was recovering with a substance abuse disorder at Penn State University, the collegiate recovery services available to him not only allowed him to stay in school but even helped him to identify himself as a student in recovery. Now as a person in long term recovery from late 2013, Hatzell acts as chief technology officer at Life of Purpose Treatment, a Florida-based...

“You need support where you exist,” Jim Hatzell and Robert Ashford on collegiate recovery programming

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Both Robert Ashford and Jim Hatzell attribute the success in their lives to collegiate recovery programs, which are linked to the lowest rate of relapse of any diversionary program on record. Of the some 5,300 universities operational in the United States today, there are only about 170 noted CRPs in the nation. According to Ashford, about ten percent of Temple University students fall on the...

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...

“This is meant to keep people coming back,” Melody Schofield and Gavin Young on recovery through fitness

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The Phoenix Multisport Sober Active Community began in Boulder, Colorado as a nonprofit gym for people actively working towards their recovery. With three in Colorado, one in Orange Country, one in Boise, Idaho, and one in Boston, Massachusetts, the program is rapidly expanding to cities around the nation. Phoenix Multisport’s beta program, Human Strength, is also gaining traction within...

“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...

How two CrossFit trainers are helping those recovering from addiction

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In the midst of Melodie Schofield’s period dealing with an alcohol abuse disorder, exercise was something she was still pretty enthusiastic about as a fitness buff. Nearly passing out near the Philadelphia Art Museum while going for a run after drinking showed her how one, maybe exercise right after drinking wasn’t the best idea and two, even something as healthy as exercise needs to...

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...

“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...

“From people who are deeply blessed to people who are deeply broken,” New Church Live practices faith-based recovery efforts

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Rob Nash, 70, is two months away from celebrating his 34th year living sober and clean. “May 14, 1983,” Nash was emotional as recalled the date his family staged an intervention to save his life. A self-described “successful addict,” Nash has dedicated his time to helping others struggling with addiction since entering long-term recovery. Mary Haney is an active recovery...