Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Why We Got Involved! Supporters of The Lighthouse Program Tell Why Giving Feels Great

Since the opening of The Lighthouse Program for women and children, we at Brandywine Counseling have seen a wonderful response from people in the community who want to help out the program by donating time or items. Thank you to all of you!

You’ve volunteered to teach classes for the moms, including crocheting, computers, ceramics, and Life Skills. You’ve donated toys, clothing, a huge train set, five sewing machines for the sewing class, and handmade quilts for the babies. Most impressively, you answered our call to help build a children’s playground, as we raised over $19,500 and surpassed our goal! The playground has been built and gives our kids an outlet for relaxation and releasing stress while their moms work on their recovery.

It’s time now to celebrate you, our donors. We want to share some of your stories, why you gave, and what it meant to you. Though your reasons for giving were quite diverse, you did have something in common: a feeling of personal involvement. By giving, you were also getting something back. And, there was another common thread: Shay Lipshitz, BCI’s Director of Sussex Services. It seems that wherever she goes, Shay can’t help but spread her enthusiasm for the program!

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Miriam Zadek was one of the first friends Shay introduced to Lighthouse. “The Lighthouse program has a superb advocate in Shay,” Miriam says. “Her ability to engage one’s interest, both by providing information about the importance of programs such as Lighthouse, and her willingness to share her own story, can capture the imagination of anyone who has the privilege of hearing it.” Invited to visit the program for a firsthand look, Miriam willingly accepted. “I was struck by the young women[’s] engagement in achieving goals which would lead them to being productive, accomplished, self-sustaining parents and individuals.” However, she also saw a paucity of resources for children's play and learning. She saw the need to rectify this, and decided to support the playground campaign with a donation.

“My husband and I have spent happy summers and year-round visits in Rehoboth, and owned homes here since 1973. We feel, wherever we live, that we have an obligation to give. We have welcomed opportunities to assist several programs in the area, all of which aim to assist people in acquiring the skills to live more comfortable, productive lives. We are especially concerned with the need for educational resources for children. As programs provide opportunities for growth, this makes our world a better place for all. We hope, in giving, that we can encourage others to give, according to their capacity.”

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Suzanne Squires became involved with Lighthouse for a different reason. For her, it was a chance to support addiction recovery, something she has personal experience with as Shay’s sponsor. “Addicted mothers have the hardest time staying with their children,” says Suzanne. “Through the Lighthouse Program, they can be with their children and learn parenting skills.” Upon visiting the program, she found it was “wonderful; very homey and clean.”

She felt she could impact the program in a positive way by donating. “I decided to donate because I thought it was a much needed program. It is a great feeling to know that by contributing, I have helped someone in a very concrete way. Every little bit helps. I think Shay and Brandywine Counseling have made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. I applaud them!”

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Carol Ann Rudolph became introduced to Lighthouse and Shay through the Seaside Jewish Community. Carol Ann met Shay through her late mother, Dorothy Shor, with whom she used to play mah jong. “Shay told me about her work, and I was totally intrigued by it, and very, very moved by the concept of this program.” After visiting the program, she became even more committed to raising money. “The facility has been done so beautifully. The quality of the work, the space for the counseling is so warm and inviting. It’s a place that’s been built with a sense of dignity and respect for the women, and for the hope they will have a better life, and I truly sense that.”

In September, Carol Ann organized a “Lunch With A Purpose” fundraiser (pictured above) in conjunction with Seaside to benefit Lighthouse. About 60 people attended, the largest turnout the luncheon had ever had. $450 was raised from a raffle including gift certificates, crafts, and art. In addition, guests pledged a number of in-kind donations to the program.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to use your energy and your time for something as purposeful as this program,” Carol Ann says. “These women are now going to be able to be productive in society, and they’re going to be healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally. Then, they will have better lives. The children will have a better quality of life, and a better chance at life in this society.”
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Florence Levy brings a one-of-a-kind perspective as a supporter of Lighthouse. An 84-year-old retired nurse, Florence gave out the first dose of methadone in Delaware in 1968, at Wilmington Hospital. That clinic turned into Brandywine Counseling in 1985. More recently, she became friends with Shay through Seaside Jewish Community.

Florence recalls what a new experience it was to open the clinic with less than ten patients. “I didn’t know a drug addict from a hole in the wall, all I knew was some guy that played a horn in New York City in a dingy bar. That was my opinion of a drug addict! I had no idea what I was dealing with. Everybody said, 'Aren’t you afraid?' Well, I wasn’t afraid of them. I went to conferences in Washington, D.C. and I was the only older white woman without torn jeans and long hair!”

Under Florence’s supervision, the clinic grew, and soon it generated success stories. “We had one young woman who was pregnant, and we started to wean her off of the methadone, and she didn’t know we were weaning her off, she just thought maybe she was getting a touch of the flu. When we gave her the last dose, she was so thrilled and so excited, she was jumping and dancing around. We had a success story! Over the years, I’ve lost track with a lot of them, but it was a rewarding assignment and it was an education for me.”

When Florence learned that Lighthouse was opening, it just made sense to become involved. “I was there for the opening day when Gov. Minner was there. I truly believe in it, and to have their children there is a great asset.” Years ago, Florence would have eagerly taken a more active role in the program, but today she feels the best way she can contribute is through the occasional donation of money and clothes. The reason is simple, and the same as it was forty years ago. “It feels wonderful to help those people.”

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We could not celebrate our donors’ stories without including Shay herself, because in addition to directing the program, and spreading the word to others, she is also a donor. Why does it come so naturally to tell others?

“I tell because I believe in what we do at Brandywine,” she says. “I tell because I know personally that treatment works. I tell because this is a deadly disease that left untreated kills more than the person. Addiction destroys families, homes, health, dreams, hope and dignity. I tell because I am loyal to a company that gave an addict like me a chance to work. I tell because to watch the faces of children who are spared the suffering that comes with active addiction is a joy unparalleled. I want people to put a face on recovery. I do not think people have seen treatment. They hear about it, but have no idea what it looks like.

“I gave because it is a way of giving back the gift I received. Recovery has given me a life that is priceless and my dollars would never even be possible without it. I give because it shows that treatment works, and I give because I am thankful.

“My donation was for the playground. Many of the children have had little fun in their short lives, and I want to hear their laughter and see the moms feel joy from the happiness of their kids. I have a wonderful life, and I am grateful to be clean and sober. I am the one who benefits from my giving. In recovery, it is my obligation to pass on what works, and giving to others works. It has for me.”

The Lighthouse Program is funded by and is part of the system of public services offered by Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health. For more information about The Lighthouse Program, please call 302-424-8080.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A Network of Partnerships and Technology Makes "Safety Net" Work for Delaware's Severely Ill

One year ago, Brandywine Counseling began an ambitious, multifaceted project targeting Delawareans with some of the most severe needs for substance abuse, mental health, and HIV risk reduction services. Never before in the state had all of these services been connected under one umbrella. Safety Net Services has changed that, and the results so far indicate this approach is working.

We started this program last October with a 5 year grant from CSAT, and admitted our first clients in January. Many of them enter the program through Christiana Care’s Wilmington Hospital. They come to the hospital for emergency care, OB/GYN care, or other services, but also have substance abuse and/or mental health needs which the hospital system is not equipped to treat. Through Safety Net Services, we’ve established a partnership with Christiana Care and other agencies so we can link these patients to appropriate care, whether it’s medication management; HIV outreach, education and risk reduction counseling; or substance abuse treatment.

We are reaching people who could otherwise get “lost in the cracks.” On one occasion, a woman we encountered during street outreach tested positive for HIV on our mobile van. She was ready to be linked to medical care and other services, and also was ready to enter substance abuse treatment. We got her admitted to our program that day, enrolled her in our on-site HIV medical clinic so her health could be monitored, and also connected her with our HIV case management program (NSAFE). She now has easy access to all these services under one roof, increasing the likelihood that she can adhere to medical care and be successful in treatment.

Safety Net Services owes much of its success to technology. Staff have the ability to do “mobile intakes” out in the community, which creates a path of least resistance for clients to enter treatment. We use laptops with wireless air-cards for Internet access to remotely dial into the Brandywine Counseling servers. We also depend on cell phones to keep our team in constant communication with one another, whether it be for a new referral or to contact a client who has been absent for treatment. Constant communication among our staff from various programs lets us assist each client with managing their time and responsibilities, such as keeping appointments.

In the past year, we’ve seamlessly transitioned 75 clients to co-occurring treatment, in which substance abuse and mental health disorders are treated simultaneously. Our average client is 40 years old and female. About half the population is minority. Of the 75, 42 clients had medical problems in addition to HIV that required medication management at our “one stop shop” clinic, with an average of four medical problems per participant. Most (83%) of the clients also have a mental health diagnosis, most commonly major depression. They are also seeking greater stability in regards to living situation, employment and income.

Six months after admission, we measure several indicators of recovery and stability. Our clients show good progress on all measures. None had dropped out of treatment after six months. Two-thirds reported no drug use, half reported no alcohol use, and 40% reported no alcohol or drug use.

Overall, Safety Net Services is making recovery and stability possible for many Delawareans with severe substance abuse and mental health issues. This program has allowed us to focus on some of the most needy individuals in this community, simultaneously addressing multiple critical issues. The interagency partnerships with organizations like Christiana Care, and the new technology available to us, make it possible to reach people who would otherwise have no contact with treatment providers.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: James Kennedy, Alpha Program

Hi, this is James Kennedy and I'm an intern with Brandywine Counseling Alpha. I first heard about BCI through a friend who is also in recovery. She recommended that I check into working here for my internship for Delaware Tech. I later heard more about it through my advisor at school, who recommended it to me to consider for my internship for my drug/alcohol counseling degree.

I decided to do my internship here for several reasons. I like the diverse and eclectic staff that offer such a wide range of skills and life experiences, from mental health to art groups, to provide a progressive approach to addiction treatment. I also like the tight knit family atmosphere among the staff. From the day of my interview and on, I felt welcomed and part of the team, and I feel it’s this attitude that makes the program so effective and beneficial to our clients.

Honestly, I didn’t know much about BCI’s program before I came in, except that it was an outpatient treatment program, but when I met with Mark Lanyon, I soon learned that it is more than just a simple outpatient program; it’s instead a resource for the clients to treat every aspect of their addiction, including their mental health problems, family problems, and even compulsive gambling issues.

In the time I’ve been here, I have been working on a wide array of projects, such as intakes and assessments, brief face to face sessions with clients, assisting with treatment plan writing and revising, discharge summaries, as well as facilitating several groups here, and at the North Wilmington site, the Plummer Correctional Facility, and the Webb Correctional Center.

I will take away from this experience a greater knowledge of how to treat addiction, how to connect with clients in a friendly yet professional manner, and a beginning knowledge of working with clients in the criminal justice system and those with mental health issues. But I will also be taking with me a better knowledge of myself and how my strengths can fit in with a team. It really is a terrific feeling to get involved and help people in need. It’s a greater high than any drug can offer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How Might the Presidential Election Impact Needle Exchange in Delaware?

Our friends at Prevention Point Philadelphia are featured in a recent Philadelphia City Paper article, "Hope and (Ex)Change: What the Election Means for Heroin Users." The article describes how Philadelphia’s needle exchange faces limits in its funding, and consequently, on its effectiveness. Due to a federal ban on funding needle exchange, Prevention Point operates with city funding alone. This amounts to much less support than other AIDS prevention programs.

However, a new Presidential administration brings a possibility that the ban could be overturned. What would this mean for programs like Prevention Point, and for Brandywine Counseling in Delaware? What would it mean for injecting drug users?

The most obvious answer is that if federal funds became available, programs would have one more funding source to pursue. It could mean more staff, more supplies, and increased hours of operation.

Besides an increase in available dollars, there is another potential effect. Needle exchange programs would have increased freedom to partner with other community organizations. Imagine that BCI’s van could offer mobile screening or vaccines for infectious diseases besides HIV, and thus combat several dangerous public health epidemics at once. This is not possible under the ban, because the agencies that would do this work are federally funded. Although their staff would not exchange needles themselves, they are not permitted to provide ancillary services to needle exchange participants.

But perhaps the greatest impact would be on another level altogether, and that is to reduce the stigma associated with syringe exchange. Federal funding would be symbolic as a stamp of approval for the practice, from the highest level of government. It would legitimize what we do. It would substantiate the science that has proven the effectiveness of needle exchange at reducing HIV risk. The ripple effects might even extend into substance abuse treatment, lending credibility to harm reduction in general, and allowing providers to follow its principles alongside cognitive behavioral therapy.

Most likely, needle exchange isn’t the foremost issue on our minds as we head toward November 4. Even so, for heroin users here in Delaware, the ramifications are potentially far-reaching.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2008 Director's Award and President's Award

The Brandywine Counseling Board of Directors presented their 2008 awards on October 21 to recognize members of our staff for their exemplary accomplishments.

The Director's Award was presented this year to co-recipients: Needle Exchange Program Coordinator Rochelle Booker, and Director of HIV Prevention Basha Silverman. Rochelle and Basha have stood ready to help further the mission of Brandywine Counseling in any way they can, from building new programs, to managing outreach and the Needle Exchange Program, to creating community awareness.

The President’s Award was presented to Director of Sussex County Services Shay Lipshitz. In this past year, Shay’s initiative and dedication have moved her to oversee the building of the Lighthouse Program, monitoring expenses while ensuring quality, and continuing to manage programs and secure innovative grant money.

These awards were given in recognition, not only for these employees’ years of dedicated service, but of their dedication above and beyond their job descriptions. They have truly shown Excellence in Service. David A. Oppold, President of the Board of Directors, presented the awards to the honorees, and said, “Please accept our heartfelt thanks and admiration for all that you have done in furthering the mission of BCI.”

Congratulations to Rochelle, Basha, and Shay for this well-deserved honor.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Dedication of The Linda DeShields Outreach Center

Brandywine Counseling's Outreach Center, located at 2814 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, has been renamed in honor of Linda DeShields, our first Director of Outreach Services. The dedication coincides with the near-completion of renovations to the facility to accommodate our outreach staff and human resources. The following proclamation was made October 21 by our Board of Directors:

Board of Directors
Brandywine Counseling, Inc.

Whereas, Brandywine Counseling, Inc., a non-profit organization, has announced a Building Dedication in establishing The Linda DeShields Outreach Center;

Whereas, Linda DeShields Outreach Center will establish a focus towards "intervention and outreach to addicts;"

Whereas, Brandywine Counseling, Inc., has a mission to intervene and provide outreach;

Whereas, All outreach and intervention in the Disease of Addiction is the key to prevention;

Whereas, Outreach and intervention begins with hope, self acceptance and forgiveness;

Whereas, Linda DeShields believed that with tolerance and compassion we embrace diversity;

Whereas, Linda DeShields believed that Together we make a difference through outreach,

Whereas, Brandywine Counseling, Inc. invites all to declare October 21, 2008 as the dedication of its outreach center, as the Linda DeShields Outreach Center and this Center will act as a model for all of us to follow, each and every day;

NOW, THEREFORE, The Board of Brandywine Counseling, Inc. hereby dedicate and proclaim October 21, 2008 as the dedication of its annex building as The Linda DeShields Outreach Center and invite all to observe and honor her memory.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have here unto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of Brandywine Counseling, Inc. to be affixed this 21 day of October 2008.

David Oppold, President

ATTEST: Lisa Sherwood, Interim Secretary

2008 Annual Report

Brandywine Counseling's 2008 Annual Report is now available for viewing. Click to see our many highlights over the past year and goals for the coming year. Here's a few examples:
  • All sites have reduced the wait time for psychiatric services by 4 to 5 weeks.

  • 412 opioid treatment patients have at least 90 days of abstinence.

  • The needle exchange has identified 7 HIV positives in less than two years.

  • The Lighthouse Program will expand its capacity from 10 to 14 women.

  • Alpha North Wilmington increased its patient census from 28 to 60 after moving to the Edgemoor Community Center.

Thank you to the staff for their excellent work this past year. And thank you to all our donors and volunteers who supported us. We look forward to another year of successes and lives saved in 2009.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Daily Message 10/15/08

You can't live "in" today, if you are still focusing on the regrets of yesterday. Examine the past, repair what you can and move into today... let God's love, lead you into the future.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Women's Health Screening Day at BCI November 6

If you are a female BCI client, you may be eligible for a free mammogram on-site, Thursday November 6.

The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition will be at the Lancaster Avenue Center with their Women's Mobile Health Screening Van from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The address is 2713 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware, 19805.

The American Cancer Society estimates that a woman in the United States has a 1 in 7 chance of developing invasive breast cancer during her lifetime. Approximately 3 million women in the U.S. are living with breast cancer: slightly over 2 million have been diagnosed with the disease and an estimated 1 million who do not yet know they have the disease. Mammography screening may detect the disease before symptoms occur.

Several women have already signed up for their mammogram November 6, but we have many slots still remaining. Call Laura at 1-888-672-9647 to schedule your appointment, and to learn more about free health screenings for those who qualify. Most insurances accepted.

You may also call Evelyn Handley at 472-0381 for more information.

Daily Message 10/14/08

Own the choices you make. Hold yourself, not others accountable for all that you do.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Volunteer Spotlight: Felecia Doyle, Outreach Support

My name is Felecia Doyle. I am doing my internship at BCI HIV/AIDS Outreach Program. I first learned about the program from seeing the sign on Lancaster Avenue. I started researching what programs they offered and was interested in how much the staff helps the community. Being a Delaware Tech student in the Drug and Alcohol Degree program we are required to complete 200 hours of unpaid internship. Not only am I learning from my experience here, I am helping the staff achieve their goals by offering my support.

Before I started at BCI, I figured the staff had to have a heart in working with the community that is at risk for HIV. Once I started, the staff welcomed me with open arms. Since the facility is under renovations, the staff is working out of one room. Even though the space is tight, they all work together like one family.

I am currently working on data entry for the NEP, Needle Exchange Program. This program manages the clients who are new to NEP and who have utilized NEP as repeat clients. These clients are given numbers to use as their identification. Another program I am helping with is the CSAT GPRA, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment Government Performance and Results Act. This is through SAMHSA, which funds grants to provide substance abuse and mental health services to states and communities. This program monitors clients for a year.

I have learned a lot with the needle exchange program. I believe that this is a great program to help the community. The outreach workers go out into the community to promote the program, give out safe sex kits, bleach kits and let clients know about the rapid free HIV testing.

What I would take away with me from the experience is to have had the pleasure of meeting such great people who work at the HIV Outreach. All of the staff have hearts of gold and give so much to the community. I like to help people and bring smiles to their faces. If more people would open up their hearts it would make such a big difference.

Friday, October 10, 2008

5 Questions for Tanyel Johnson, Counselor

5 Questions is our ongoing feature where we introduce you to the people who make Brandywine Counseling run, spotlighting a different staff member every two weeks.

Name: Tanyel Johnson
Job: Counselor, Alpha Drug Free Program
Time with BCI: 4 years

1. Tell us what you do at BCI.
I provide encouragement for clients who are coming through the disease of addiction, who are addressing their issues - for whatever the reason, whether they were coerced or if they are self-referred here. I offer feedback for clients, pointing out discrepancies about things that they say. I provide referrals for clients who are in need of other resources than what I can provide here at Brandywine, like clothes closet referrals, mental health referrals.

I also listen. That’s a big part of my job. Listening, and hearing things that clients are saying without saying. Watching for body language, watching for any problems with the ability to communicate, because a lot of our clients are not capable of articulating specific needs. Showing genuine congruence. I think because I am in recovery, I can feel the pain that a lot of people go through. Because the disease of addiction, it doesn’t discriminate. It tears families apart. It destroys people’s very soul.

2. What can I expect if I come to your group?
I run the Women’s Education Group, which is held on Tuesdays at 10. And I gotta put a plug in for Brandywine! They worked with me, because I go to school now, and so they adjusted the schedule of the group. So now it runs Tuesdays at 10:00. And then I run the Relapse Prevention Group Tuesday night at 5:30 to 7.

For my Women’s Group, I provide salads. We do a mix-up, because I know a lot of our clients are strained when it comes to nutritional issues. So, trying to make sure that a little filling happens on Tuesday at 10:00, that’s a big difference. It started because I was trying to breathe life into the Women’s Group, trying to increase my population. When you mention food, folks show up. And it just works. I am open to my women bringing their toddlers, their young folks to the group, because babysitting is an issue for women. And a lot of times, they bring their children in and they eat, and that’s always a win-win. [And] my population did increase. So, it worked.

I also have a small clothes closet in my office that is available for my ladies, when they express, “Y’know, I need a shirt.” “Well, c’mon. Let’s go in my office and look and see.”

3. Why did you decide to work in addiction treatment?
It was an assignment by my Creator. Actually I’ve been preparing for this role all my life. So when it came to pass that I needed to make the change in my life, I evaluated what I had, and how I could continue my life on a positive note, and drug addiction counseling was it. I realized I needed to go back to school as a part of this, because just wanting to do it wasn’t enough. I needed to improve academically, how to write a sentence, how to speak. It took me going back to school. I did that. I got my Associates degree.

And as I journeyed, I realized more and more that this was something I really wanted to do. Especially with women, knowing all of the issues that I personally went through as I began my journey of sobriety. I was faced with things like, how do you get a job when you have a police record? And when you have been marked “unsuitable” for so many years, how do you build self esteem?

So my own journey needed to play itself out in other people’s lives, not to change anyone, but to show that it can be done. You can do it if you work hard, if you open up and let the information in, and know that it’s not about you anyway, it’s about helping another person. And watching families be destroyed made me closer to this issue. So that’s why I stay and why I do it. I feel it.

4. Tell us your favorite client success story.
A female came to me as a referral from Gateway Foundation. She had already done six months [of residential treatment], and we were her aftercare, and we were tying her into the next piece, which was housing. She needed to get a support system, and she needed to get a place to live. She named everything that she wanted when she walked in our door, and piece by piece, she accomplished each one of them.

She now is in a place of her own, she has a new renovated apartment, she now is chairing her home NA group. She is employed full time on her job. She is going to community college. I’m a big advocate for going back. When my clients come in, one of the first things I suggest is community college, and this client followed up with it.

So, all of the things that she came in this door saying that she wanted to do, she’s done each one of them. She was successfully discharged recently, and has been asked to speak at various places on what recovery has done for her. I think that was a big success story.

5. You can tell a lot about a person from their office. Tell us what you have in your office.
As you see over here: “Live, laugh, and love.” “Dream, believe, and discover,” are my philosophies. I also say, “How do you change? By being honest, open-minded, and willingness.” And I put these on the wall so that my clients, when they come in and do a survey, they’ll get a feel of who I am.

Then over on this side, are my accomplishments, because these are the degrees that I’ve afforded myself, because of hard work, because of some sacrifices that I had to make, and I like to put this on display. When I got my CADC [Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor], it was Lynn Fahey and Mark Lanyon and Luther [Whiting] who prepped me for my orals. And I had failed my orals. It was simple enough, but I kept stumbling through it. So when they took charge, giving me a mock audience, and the feedback that actually pushed me where I needed to go, I think that was my shining moment. When I finally passed the orals and became CADC, I had proven to my colleagues, my peers, that I was qualified to become a drug and alcohol counselor.

Then, the center of my life is my Heavenly Father. And of course I believe in recovery and sobriety, which is posted there. And “New Life.” It’s about nature. If we pay more attention to how nature replenishes itself, then I think we would get a feel of what we need to do for each other. It’s important to remember, to continue to encourage, assist, detach, and stay healthy. So that’s why my office looks like it looks.

"To Have Their Kids With Them - It's A Motivator."

Denise Kitson, Lighthouse Program Director, is interviewed in the latest issue of the Coastal Point newspaper. She provides an inside look at this one-of-a-kind program in Delaware, including our therapeutic philosophy and how the residents spend their days. I encourage you to check it out!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Photos From the 3rd Annual Sober Softball Tournament

On Friday, September 19, 2008 Brandywine Counseling sponsored our third annual Sober Softball Tournament in honor of Recovery Month. Treatment staff, clients, friends, and family gathered at Sports At the Beach in Georgetown and competed in teams of nine. It was a day of games, food, friends, and sober fun.

The tournament was a great success and a lot of fun!!! We had about eighty players and fans turn out for the event. Thresholds, Aquila, Hudson Health, Fellowship, The Lighthouse, and Brandywine Counseling all played hard. The championship game came down to Aquila and Hudson Health. Hudson pulled ahead to take the lead and won the whole tournament!! Thank you to every one who came out and cheered, played, cooked, and supported our third annual softball tournament. See you all next year!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brandywine Counseling Job Fair: October 22

BCI will hold our first ever Job Fair on Wednesday October 22, from 1 PM to 5 PM at the Lancaster Avenue Center.

Available positions are for full-time Counselors, Case Managers, and Clinical Supervisors. All positions require AA and CADC or Bachelors or Masters degree with CADC preferred.

Meet our staff, take a tour of our facilities, and enjoy light refreshments.

The address is 2713 Lancaster Avenue, Wilmington, Delaware, 19805. For more information call (302) 656-2348, ext. 108.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Ten Thousand Needles Off Delaware's Streets Through Exchange

Delaware's needle exchange program passed another huge milestone recently when we exchanged our 10,000th syringe. What an accomplishment for a program now entering its twentieth month of operation. Six months ago, our total was at 3,500.

Every syringe has been exchanged for a clean one, meaning ten thousand dirty ones are no longer on the streets of Wilmington. Because it's a one-for-one exchange, there is incentive for participants to bring every clean one back after it’s been used. So although we’ve given out ten thousand syringes, they are being returned. The effect is not needle litter, but the opposite.

Here’s some more impressive numbers:
  • We’ve enrolled a total of 353 participants.
  • A total of 1697 exchanges have taken place.
  • 132 participants were referred by another needle exchange participant.
  • 17 participants have entered drug treatment.
  • Since November 2007, 621 rapid HIV tests have been done on our van. 7 positives have been identified.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

SAMHSA's Public Attitudes Survey: What Does It Mean?

This week I received in my email box the press release for a new survey on public attitudes about substance abuse, treatment, and recovery, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). At a glance, it seems that the findings are encouraging. More than half of American adults know someone in recovery. A large majority believe recovering persons can live productive lives. About two-thirds of us would be comfortable being friends or co-workers with a recovering person.

Over at the Addiction and Recovery News blog, Jason Schwartz has a different and interesting take on these stats. He poses some thought-provoking questions about recovery and stigma. I encourage you to check it out and share your thoughts. What do you think is the real meaning behind these survey findings?