Saturday, April 29, 2017

Addictions Seminar at the Giant

Since Terry Livorsi had another commitment, Janet Gerhard, Director of Public and Community Relations, ran the Addictions program. View the staff directory of Members Services here and scroll down.

It was a meeting I'd describe as Small but Mighty.

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Each person shared their story just like at a New Directions meeting. Janet has a fantastic personality, is warm and charming, and inspires trust, so that we felt comfortable sharing our stories and our


 Bipolar tattoo - happy and sad mask

Would YOU ever get a tattoo?

I was just driving home from Mom's now where we had a delicious dinner

Mom and her five daughters

And I pass thru a neighborhood where there are several signs reading

"Hate has no home here."

Janet Gerhard commented that she hates the word "hate" and believes the signs should say LOVE has a home here.

She's worked at Member Services for 6 years but has had many other fascinating jobs. 

Terry Livorsi owns a recovery house in Florida. There are probly thousands of other recovery houses there. Terry's is a dual diagnosis facility, meaning they treat both behavioral health and addictions.

View his Recovery Institute of South Florida. These are townhouses in Ft Lauderdale.

Image result for recovery institute of south florida reviews

The Florida legislature - as well as the state of Arizona - deemed that anyone with health insurance, no matter what kind, could stay in a facility for 90 days. Up here in PA there is no such continuity of care. You might stay somewhere a week, then attend your AA meetings, but it's easy to slip up.

There's much more chance for success in a 90-day treatment facility though "relapses" from drug addiction are very common.

"Relapse is part of recovery," said Janet.

Janet travels all over the country - and indeed the world - educating people about drug addiction. The stories are all very similar.

Let's say a teacher named Sally is addicted to painkillers. Yes! Teachers!

She will frequently be late for work, miss work, go out to her car to "use."

One particular teacher - and this is unbelievable! - wasn't thinking clearly (of course not) and left her
bags of heroin in her classroom.

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She had arrived early and the janitor found them.

He promised her he wouldn't tell anyone as long as she got IMMEDIATE help.

Terry does no-cost interventions.

An intervention is where the addicted individual comes in with their family and friends and is confronted by each one, who might say something like, "You used to be a great neighbor. But then I saw your mother come out of the house looking for you. That's when alcohol entered your life."

The individual will deny they use alcohol. Oh, I was rinsing my mouth with Listerine, which has a small alcoholic content.

Member Services is available 24 hours a day. A typical message is:

I've lost my job, my family, my home.

Someone is always available to return the call.

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When a person is in treatment, the "boss" never knows the reason. A note is written stating they are out for medical reasons. So, they could be at the Florida facility but the job never knows.

Bravo again for a wonderful afternoon of learning.

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