Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Free Community Seminars
Presented by 
Livengrin's Family Services Department

Continue learning and being part of recovery at February's free monthly seminar held at:

Livengrin Counseling Center -- Oxford Valley
195 Bristol-Oxford Valley Road
Langhorne, PA 19047 ~ 215-638-5266

Monday, February 10, 2014: Stages of Chemical Dependency
by Susan O'Donnell, LPN, MHS
 6 PM -- 8 PM
**Snow Date: Monday, February 17, 2014**

 Seating is limited -- these sessions often fill up so please register as soon as possible. 
To register for the sessions or for more information, 
call Dana Cohen, Family Therapist -- 215.638.5200 x162 
Ample free parking is available!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.

STEP 10 :Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Well there you have it , all issues of life come from the heart .Society teaches that addiction is a mental health issue but the Bible puts it in a completely different context. This is why I have said addiction is a heart problem , fix that and the head will follow. People have asked me whats the difference between Christian recovery and secular recovery. CHRISTIAN recovery GETS TO THE HEART OF ADDICTION IN ALL THOSE WHO ARE STRUGGLING. SECULAR TREATMENT CONVINCES US THAT WE HAVE An INCURABLE DISEASE . I AM not buying that ! Addiction is the byproduct of a broken heart and only JESUS can fix that .
Jesus said I am the truth , the life ,the way no comes unto the father but through me. 

Monday, February 3, 2014


Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.6 
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.

STEP 3 : Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God .

Some of you are waking up this morning and your lives are a mess. No matter  how hard you try to do things right in your life you keep winding up back where you started from. That is called insanity ,no I am not saying your  insane but I am the process of active addiction is insane. We cannot keep doing what you have always done and think our lives are gonna change. Let me save you some precious time and tell you its not. Read the Proverb take the step, pray , get a sponsor and work it !
 A New Showing in Philadelphia
of the feature documentary film about the 23.5 million Americans living in
 long-term recovery, and the emerging public recovery movement that will transform how alcohol and other drug problems are dealt with in our communities.  
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To view the trailer, click here 
Help us to change the conversation from problems to solutions for America's top health problem!
About The Council
The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc., an affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), is a private nonprofit organization serving Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County. The Council provides a widerange ofservices to families, schools, businesses, individuals and the community at large regardless of ability to pay, ethnicity, race, gender, age and/or sexual orientation.

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PRO-ACT is the regional nonprofit organization working to mobilize and rally individuals in recovery from addiction, as well as their families, friends and allies in a campaign to end discrimination, broaden social understanding and achieve a just response to addiction as a public health crisis. 
All proceeds donated will support recovery
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 
The William Way
LBGT Community Center
1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 
 Doors open 5:30 pm; Film and Discussion 6 - 8 pm
A panel discussion with behavioral health and public policy experts will follow the film, offering attendees the opportunity to ask questions of area leaders and experts.
Tickets in advance are $15; at door $20
To purchase advance tickets please click here 
Or call Michael Harper at 215-345-6644, ext. 3109
Email him here
Sponsorship and Expo Opportunities Are Available
Sponsors also assist students and people in early recovery 
to attend this event
For sponsorship information email Michael here
The moving story of The Anonymous People is told through the faces and voices of citizens, leaders, volunteers, corporate executives, public figures, and celebrities who are laying it all on the line to save the lives of others just like them. This passionate new public recovery movement aims to transform public opinion, engage communities and elected officials, and finally shift public policy toward lasting solutions.
Council Masthead

2014 Masthead 
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September 20, 2014

        We're delighted to announce that planning for our 13th Annual Recovery Walk in downtown Philadelphia is in full swing. Committees have been formed and they are busy making exciting plans. In each of the last few years, we have gradually increased the number of participants--last year we reached 20,000 at Penn's Landing. Let's top that this year! We know we can do it with your help!
 has been updated and has all the information you may need 
To register to join the Walk: click here
To learn about the Honor Guard: click here
To form and register a team: click here
To volunteer for a committee or or Walk Day: click here
To learn the benefits of sponsoring the event: click here
To sign up as a Sponsor: click here
To download team captains' tools: click here
To donate to the Walk: click here
Sincere thanks to our newest Sponsors
Doylestown Hospital
St. Mary Medical Center
The First National Bank and Trust Company of Newtown
We can't do it without all of you!
Recovery Walks 2014 is an Important Fundraiser

        The Recovery Walk has several goals:  to show that recovery is real--it's happening NOW; so that the joyful solidarity of 20,000 or more people can provide hope to others; to do our part in reducing the stigma of the disease of addiction; to educate the media; to honor people and organThe Havenizations that provide services for the recovery community; and to honor those who have not survived this disease.
        Hand in hand with those goals, the Walk is a fundraiser so that PRO-ACT can continue to expand our services to the growing number of individuals and families who wish to access and sustain long-term recovery. First, however, we must raise funds to cover the cost of the Walk--signs and banners; t-shirts; speakers and entertainers; parking; added law enforcement for the city; rental booths and equipment, etc.

To donate now to Recovery Walks! 2014, please click here
Celebrate National Recovery Month

        While we're celebrating our 13th Annual Recovery Walk, we're also celebrating the Substance Abuse and Mental Services Administration's 25th Annual Recovery Month. Recovery Month promotes the societal benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery for mental and substance use disorders, celebrates people in recovery, lauds the contributions of treatment and service providers, and promotes the message that recovery in all its forms is possible.

         This year's theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,Recovery Monthencourages people to openly discuss--or speak up about--mental and substance use disorders and the reality of recovery. The theme aims to foster public understanding and acceptance of the benefits of prevention, treatment, and recovery from behavioral health conditions. The observance also promotes ways first responders, faith leaders, youth and young adults, and policymakers can recognize these issues and intervene--or reach out--to help others, as well as themselves.
conquering grounds header
Join us this  
       Saturday, February 8, 2014    
7- 10:00pm
doors open at 6:30
 F e a t u r i n g:
"Eddy Mann and the 
Worship Circle"
Join Bill Doney, Eddy Mann and Kathy Romett for a spiritual night of acoustic          worship in song, story, and prayer.           
  (Donations appreciated to cover costs and for the band. Thanks for your prayerful consideration and generosity so we can keep this event FREE!)   
The Edge Building at Christian Life Center 
3100 Galloway Rd., Bensalem, PA   


Conquering Grounds Outdoor Music Fest
    2014 Conquering Grounds Music Fest Sponsor Form
On September 13, 2014 We will have our annual outdoor music fest to help fight addiction. If you would like to become a sponsor of this life changing event, PLEASE click on the link for more information.
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Feb 8th
Eddy Mann & the Worship Circle
March 8th
Joe Antonelli
April 12th
The Paul Paoli Band
Joe Miralles
Conquering Grounds Café, our monthly coffee house ministry, reaches out to individuals and families who have been affected by substance abuse. The Café serves up Christian bands, plus
FREE beverages and baked goods in a laid-back atmosphere. ALL are invited to this
FREE event!
Thanks to Shoprite Bensalem and Hornbergers Bakery for their generous donation of baked good to Conquering Grounds.  
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"My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he
will release my feet from the snare."  ~Psalm 25:15
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OUR MISSION: CLPRM is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping those incarcerated and to stop substance abuse in the community by offering support to those actively struggling with addiction, as well as to their families. We offer recovery meetings, resources, counseling, and referral services to those who wish to seek treatment.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


These are the proverbs of Solomon, David’s son, king of Israel.

Their purpose is to teach people wisdom and discipline,
to help them understand the insights of the wise.

Their purpose is to teach people to live disciplined and successful lives,
to help them do what is right, just, and fair.

These proverbs will give insight to the simple,
knowledge and discernment to the young.

Let the wise listen to these proverbs and become even wiser.
Let those with understanding receive guidance
by exploring the meaning in these proverbs and parables,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline.

STEP 1- We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable
STEP 2 - Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
STEP 3- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
STEP 4 - Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
STEP 5- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
STEP 6 Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
STEP 7- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
STEP 8- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
STEP 9- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
STEP10- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted 
STEP 11 - Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out
STEP 12 - Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

 I posted the first half of today's Proverb along with the entire list of the twelve steps to show you how similar they are and to stress the importance of both for our lives. I believe addiction is not the problem. Addiction is a by-product of a broken and empty heart. It does not have to be drugs and alcohol it could be food , gambling , money , sex  and the list goes on and on. For those of you out there who are just unsatisfied with life and no matter what you fill your life with you just cant seem to fill that void start reading the Proverbs ,there is one for every day of the month and get a close friend and work the steps and I guarantee you , your life will change for the better. The old saying goes , it works if you work it.

Sex Work and Sobriety
First I used drugs, later I became an escort. Then I got clean and sober, but it still took a while to get out of the life.


By Riot Stern


Around 6pm, after a manicure, I called my sponsor and went to a Pills Anonymous meeting in midtown. I really related to the speaker. Then one of my crew asked if I wanted to hit an NA meeting in Hell’s Kitchen; later I went back to his place to get his extra copy of the NA book. Checking my phone then, I saw that one of my favorite clients wanted to meet me before he went home to his wife. I figured I could do that around 11:30. Minutes later, my agency called to ask where a car could pick me up at midnight for a job in Westchester. I’d have to get home and change from jeans and sneakers to a dress and heels.

I looked at my friend, who’d watched me count days, and told him that I was a hooker. I left so quickly, he didn’t have much chance to react. I was four months sober.

I changed and did my makeup, saw my first client at an apartment he had access to, (he works in real estate) then had the car service collect me. I had to pick up “male enhancement pills” at a gas station on my way to Westchester. There, I met a doctor in his early 30s who was watching porn on two screens. He had two rubber bands on his cock and wanted a non-stop, three-hour hand job.

I left after 3am. The car service next took me to a nightclub to meet three men, plus two other escorts. I had a Red Bull. We all left the club and went back to an apartment uptown. The men were very good looking and in their late 30s—their wives were out of town at bachelorette parties. One of them gave me a hard time for refusing to do vodka, cocaine or a valium: “I asked them to send me party girls, not someone who doesn’t even drink!” He told me I was hot though. I rattled down the suicidal list of substances I used to put into my body daily, but added that he was welcome to do whatever he wanted and I wouldn’t judge him. That call ended up being a lot of fun. The guys were just hanging out and talking. Since I was the only sober one, I was in charge of making sure everyone was having a good time. Only one of the men actually wanted to fool around, so the other two girls kept him company (dancing and doing drugs) and I smoked cigarettes with the other two men in the living room. I didn’t even have to take my clothes off.

I got home at 7:30am, took a bath, read my daily meditations and lay in bed for a few minutes. Then I threw on sweatpants and walked to my favorite Sunday morning AA meeting, “Living Now.” I had bagels with my boys beforehand and saw their horrified eyes as I told them about my night. At noon—three prostitution calls and three recovery meetings since I’d last slept—I texted my sponsor and crashed. I met my commitment to qualify at a beginners’ meeting that evening. I didn’t share about my job.

My early childhood was spent on the floors of AA. Neither of my parents has had a drink in my lifetime. I rarely got drunk in my teens. But at 14, I began stealing prescription pills from medicine cabinets. And after my drug-dealing high school boyfriend moved to my suburban town, I began doing pharmaceuticals more, as well as ecstasy, special K and cocaine.

In college, I realized my biggest love was for benzos, and I scored them anywhere from the street to doctors and online pharmacies. I was the nice Jewish girl who was down for anything—I found myself in Los Angeles’ most thugged-out neighborhoods, hanging out with gangsters who sold drugs and carried guns.

At 21, I was back in New York and I started my first full-time job after graduating. By then, I was doing Xanax and cocaine daily. I OD-ed for the first time and “pretty much” quit drugs for four years, focusing on my marriage and my creative career. Still, I embraced other forms of self-destruction, from cutting to diet pills.

By 27, I was constantly doing Xanax (again), Adderall and OxyContin. After my ex from high school committed suicide by OD-ing on heroin, I was ready to set my own life on fire. I quit my job, moved out of my apartment, got divorced and cut my parents off.

I ran away to Vietnam, and checked myself into a health spa. I thought it was a detox. In fact, I’d signed myself up for fat camp (I weighed 90lbs). So I just took sublingual vitamins all day and drank or smoked crystal meth with Thai hookers all night.

Next, I ran to New Mexico, to meet a guy who moved from New York after he had ruined his marriage by doing coke and fucking whores. I did what I knew I wasn’t supposed to—closed him in less than 10 minutes and made him fall in love with me. After we finished getting drunk, we went back to his hotel and blew a bunch of painkillers, and he asked me how much I got paid.

I was confused; I thought we were just having a good time. He kept alluding to my being a prostitute, which I wasn’t: “Best whore I ever had. How much do I owe you?” Any self-respecting woman would have hated this guy. I thought I was in love with him—even when he nearly killed us both by drunk driving.

When it was over and I was leaving for New York, he advised me to be an escort, because I would be good at it, make a lot of money and have fun. My creative jobs sure weren’t supporting me. So despite initially feeling offended, I began to take his words as a challenge, and to research the sex industry.

So one day in February of 2012, I was bored at my day job and decided to start working as an escort that night. I was willing to go to extremes to be financially independent. At this point, I was just a daily drinker and had the occasional Xanax or few. I was little bit apprehensive that I would get caught, or killed, but I really didn’t feel much.

Looking to gain experience in the industry, I opened myself to working in various ways. First I researched ads posted on Backpage and Craigslist, in order to understand what men were looking for from their companions. Next, I searched online for an outcall agency that would hire me immediately.

The outcall agencies I worked for would have a driver pick up two girls around 10pm. We’d sit in the car, waiting for calls, until 7am. Most of our time was spent driving, or in Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s parking lots. The fee was split three ways: the agency, the driver and the girl. Typically I would see one or two men in a night and keep anywhere from $300-$700. Except for the night I met a drug lord from Harlem and he hooked me up with my first two bundles of heroin and paid my rent for the month. I was only with him for two hours and there was no sex involved but he knew I would be back. I was taken to fancy hotels and to sketchy neighborhoods. Most calls involved drugs; it was easy to get them from one client and sell them to another.

Next, I worked in a brothel in Long Island City. Picture a few girls—plus a phone girl and a manager—in a three-bedroom apartment, watching reality TV, reading tabloids, doing opiates and waiting. When a customer arrived, each of us would walk into the bedroom in our lingerie and introduce ourselves, so he could choose. In-calls are more popular in the daytime. The split was 50/50 with the house, and we often got tips.

After two months of that, I decided to go independent. I posted myself on Backpage. I actually enjoyed exchanging emails with potential clients; I went to great lengths to verify them before we met. I wouldn’t work past 8pm and would only see white-collar businessmen with wives—never single men. As an independent, I developed ongoing relationships with regulars. I was able to set my own schedule, with money to fund my jet-set lifestyle and support my drug addiction.

I really do have a soft spot for some of my favorite guys. I found something admirable about every man I met and enjoyed the experience of luxury, and the thrill of a double life.

Lastly, I decided in order to make more money and gain more experience to be a high-end call girl, working for an upscale agency with an elite clientele. I was able to set my own schedule and was responsible for my own transportation. I worked long nights and experienced situations that I found both glamorous and dangerous. With my low self-esteem and raging false ego, I never thought that pursuing this line of work would be a big deal. I had access to men, money, drugs and danger—I felt proud that I was such a bad-ass. I felt like I’d really come a long way from being a spoiled brat, and assumed most men would be relieved that I was so down to earth.

In no time, I went from being a daily drinker to being a daily pill-and-illegal-drug addict. There’s a lot that I don’t remember. I just medicated myself, blacked it out and counted my money every night. I was entirely detached from sex, from my body and my emotions.

It didn’t occur to me that one night of mixing Nyquil and Xanax with gin would be any more important than any other. But in November 2012, I ran into a guy that I had banged (for free) in a bar bathroom a week prior, during a blackout. He reminded me of our interaction.

He’d said, “Can I buy you a drink?”

I replied, “I’ll blow you in the bathroom."

“I want to take you to dinner,” he said.

So I took his hand, led him to the bathroom and told him, “Fuck me and forget about me.” When I was done with him, I Irish goodbye’d. I have no memory of any of it.

When I ran into him the next week, it was clear I’d made quite an impression. He spent the entire night— this total stranger—professing his love and planning our future together. In the morning, I asked if he meant it. He told me he meant every word.

So I ran away to Columbia that day and sent the guy about 30 intoxicated emails detailing my life story. For the first time in years, I was flooded with emotions. Suddenly, this stranger had made me believe in my future. I realized I needed to change if I was ever going to live happily ever after. I only saw him one other time— six months later. The timing was off and I believe our fate is to be continued. But he still changed my life.

By mid-December I was working at a coffee shop. A guy I hadn’t seen since high school came in, and overheard talk about how dangerously I was living. He asked me if I’d ever been sober. My response was, “Well, I did special K this morning, but I haven’t had a drink all day.”

Three days later he took me to my first AA meeting in Manhattan. I got a sponsor the night before I went out for the last time. My sobriety date is December 27, 2012. I now attend several recovery programs, work the Steps with my sponsor, chair several meetings a week, and am so grateful.

But I had no intention of quitting my work as an escort. I was honest with my sponsor about it from the start. Looking back, it’s incredible that she was still willing to help me.

In my first three months sober, I got a lot of legit work—and since I’d stopped spending money on drugs and alcohol, I had no desire to post a new ad or find new clients. When work with my regulars came up, I spoke to my sponsor before making the decision to see them. I was honest with them that I’d stopped drinking; most had no idea that I was a raging addict, but they all seemed to respect my decision. I went to almost 200 meetings in my first 90 days. When I shared, it was always in a general way, referring to “my boyfriend” or “my job.”

After I got 90 days and finished my First Step, I joined a new high-end agency and began working most nights. I spoke to my sponsor about it and she told me that I needed to bookend my calls with a meeting before and a meeting after, and that I needed to keep calling her every day and throw myself into my step work.

With that agency, I realized I needed to be prepared to be around drugs, alcohol, addicts and assholes. But it’s strange: The more money people are willing to pay, the less you’re actually expected to do. A client who will pay say $800/hour most likely just wants company. More often than not, there is no sex involved. I acted like a therapist, a listener to most of the clients.

I thought that if I could survive and stay sober in such a dirty industry, than what didn’t kill me would make me stronger. I would silently recite the Serenity Prayer while I was working, to keep myself present and humble. I kept sharing about “John” at meetings.

When I was in enough pain, I would work on the Steps. The day I finished my writing for Step Three, before I had a chance to discuss it with my sponsor, I decided I was going to test my faith and really try to turn my will over to my higher power—by being on call every night for two weeks. But in that time, it turned out, I was only asked to work once, for a female client at a karaoke bar. I ended up not going; my agency decided that since I didn’t drink, it would be best to send someone else.

Then things started moving quickly. One day I finally got my unemployment back after being without it for three months. That night I also got a call to work and took my last on June 25, 2013. The call was with someone very mentally ill, and I was scared for my life. The man was OCD, had not left his apartment in over a decade, was dirty, paranoid and flat out creepy. You can’t black things out when you’re sober and you can only suppress them for so long.

So it finally caught up with me that my work was risking my sobriety—and more. Another reason for my decision to quit being an escort is that it kept me from pursuing a more meaningful career path. I also knew I would be alone for as long as I did it. Being an escort is easy money in a way, but I’d been working full time to convince myself that none of it was real. I was tired of it. My job had made me a prisoner in my own sober life.

I spent all of my six-month anniversary day with my sponsor. After we finished discussing Step Three, we turned to my work. I talked about some of the traumatizing situations I’d experienced, and she told me that she had been praying for my safe bottom. In the most loving way possible, she kept reassuring me of the progress I’d made, and that I didn’t need to be a hooker.

So I decided to quit sex work, one day at a time. I deleted the email accounts my clients used to contact me and called off with my agency. I feel confident that I will never go back to that life. None of this would be possible without AA and the support of my sponsor.

At 29 years old, I have committed to a life of sobriety. I have absolutely no desire to use. If I ever pick up again, I won’t stop until I am dead. So I have decided to live in the solution and look forward to a long, slow recovery. I look forward to having a family one day, and want to live a life of service and charity. I hope that my experience will be able to help young women to have the strength to move from the illicit lifestyle into recovery.

Riot Stern is a pseudonym

Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Linked | The Fix

Severe Mental Illness and Substance Use Linked | The Fix

The Balancing Act Of Sobriety: Joe Putignano Talks Acrobatics And Addiction | The Fix

The Balancing Act Of Sobriety: Joe Putignano Talks Acrobatics And Addiction | The Fix