Friday, May 29, 2009

You're Invited to the Dedication of the Linda DeShields Outreach Center

Brandywine Counseling Invites You to
The Dedication of
The Linda DeShields Outreach Center

Enjoy refreshments, meet our staff, and celebrate Linda's and BCI's work in HIV Prevention and Outreach!

Where & When
2814 Lancaster Avenue
Wilmington, Delaware 19805
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
1:00 - 3:00PM

RSVP by June 17 to:
or (302) 655-9880 ext. 23

ArtAddiction at The Latin Center

The Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program at the Latin Center presents a very unique art contest. ARTADDICTION seeks to capture the person behind addiction and recovery through artistic expression! They will accept drawings, paintings, photography, collages and graphic design. The submission deadline is Friday, June 12, 2009. If you want to participate but don't have the materials to work on your art, come to the art studio on Thursday, June 4 from 2 to 6 pm at Los Jardines (back Door) 1000 W. 5th St. Wilmington DE 19805.

1st, 2nd & 3rd places receive monetary prizes.

*Participants should be 16 or older. To participate or for more information please contact Ana C. Velasquez at (302) 655-7338 ext 210 or avelasquez[at]thelatincenter[dot]org

For more information and flyers, click here.

Everyone has an Artistic side!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Volunteer Spotlight: Ashley Bobey, Alpha Program

Hi, my name is Ashley Bobey, and I was an intern with the Alpha Program.

I heard about BCI through Jenna Theibault Dean, counselor at the Newark site. Jenna and I met at West Chester University's Masters program in Clinical Psychology, and subsequently became great friends. When Jenna learned that I was looking for an internship for school, she suggested I contact BCI. Prior to beginning my internship, I did not know much about BCI. I was surprised to learn how many different programs there are.

During my internship, I ran the addiction education group on a weekly basis, as well as other groups as needed by the counselors. I completed treatment plans, discharge summaries, and occasional counseling sessions, as well as other odds and ends as needed.

Prior to my internship experience, the bulk of my work experience was with children with developmental disorders (i.e. Autism), and I was looking to expand my horizons. Working in the drug and alcohol field proved to be a valuable experience. BCI was a fantastic place to complete my internship. Everyone was very helpful, and I was able to take on projects at my own pace. I would recommend interning at BCI to anyone who is motivated to learn a lot during the experience.

Since the completion of my internship, I have gotten a full time job at BCI at the Lancaster site as an Intake Counselor. While I have not been in the position long, I am thoroughly enjoying it thus far. I feel very lucky to be part of the BCI team.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Suboxone in Sussex County

Suboxone treatment is now available in Sussex County, Delaware.

Are you addicted to opiates, heroin, percocets, or oxycodone,
and not using cocaine, marijuana, benzodiazepines, or alcohol?

Want help?

J.A. Glick, M.D., 302-540-5437
For phone assessment and treatment recommendation

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Real "War on Drugs": Treatment Vs. Your Brain?

Is "war on drugs" an outdated slogan? Gil Kerlikowske, White House drug czar, thinks so. He wants us to see addiction as a public health threat more than a criminal one. Courtland Milloy writes in the Washington Post that we could accomplish the same thing if we keep the slogan, but redefine what the "war on drugs" is.

It’s an interesting idea: Instead of casting the nation as the battleground, why not the brain of the individual drug user? Instead of the combatants as law enforcement vs. the criminal drug suppliers, why not the medication vs. the drug? Milloy’s analogy continues: Medication as a “rescue mission” inside an “occupied brain.” Drugs inside the body as a molecular “distribution network.” And drugs’ effects on the brain as “corrupt[ing] a ‘family of genes.’”

Gaining public support is important if we want to see more money spent on treatment and less on keeping drugs out of the country. For instance, researchers are developing the first medication for cocaine addiction which blocks the desire to use and the rewarding effects. Many would argue, we can’t stop drugs from coming here, and incarceration is of limited use, so why not shift these dollars toward promising research like this? But will the public support it? The old “war on drugs” lingo makes sense to people. Maybe they could come to understand treatment as a war, too.

What do you think?

Free polls from
Should we keep the phrase "war on drugs?"
Yes No

Friday, May 15, 2009

BCI Seeks New Board Members

Do you want to help people affected by drug addiction or HIV/AIDS achieve meaningful, long term recovery? Brandywine Counseling seeks enthusiastic, dependable, and creative people to serve on our Board of Directors. Be our ears and our voice in the community. Invest your time and expertise in support of addiction recovery. Watch us as we save lives, and share our stories with others. Quarterly meetings, and the chance to be involved however you choose.

Any of the following experience is helpful, but not required:
-- Development and/or public relations;
-- Personal experience in recovery (yourself or your family);
-- Computers and technology.

Please send a copy of your resume, and anything you would like to tell us about your interests and what you hope to bring to the Board.

Apply to contactbci[at]brandywinecounseling[dot]org, or fax to 302-472-0392, attention Matt Friedman.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

9 1/2 Minutes HIV Awareness Campaign

Every 9 1/2 minutes (on average), someone in the United States is infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. CDC has launched a new Nine and a Half Minutes campaign to raise awareness of this fact and promote prevention.

Where did 9 1/2 minutes estimate come from?
In 2008, CDC developed new estimates for the annual number of HIV infections—which suggest that about 56,300 new HIV infections occur each year. This estimate is a national average. CDC arrived at the 9½ minutes figure by dividing the number of minutes in one year by the 56,300 new HIV infections that were estimated for 2006. This result indicates that, on average, one new HIV infection occurs every 9.34 minutes in a year. For more information on the 56,300 estimate visit the HIV Incidence section of the CDC HIV Web site.
CDC offers information on how you can prevent HIV, avoid the onset of AIDS if you have HIV, and spread the word about the 9 ½ minutes campaign.

They also provide this useful testing widget you can place on your Web site to find a testing site near you. Get yours here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Take a Video Tour of BCI Alpha

Are you thinking about getting help for drug or alcohol addiction, but aren't sure what to expect? Now you can take a "virtual tour" of the BCI Alpha Outpatient Program! Meet our staff, see each step of the process, and learn what you can do to be successful in treatment.

Thanks to Will Leitzinger who volunteered his time to film this video.

5 Questions for Sylvie Martin, Family Therapist

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: Sylvie Martin
Job: Family Therapist, Alpha Outpatient Program
Time with BCI: 3 years

1. What does a Family Therapist do, and why did you get into this work?
Everybody at BCI that needs to do some family work or couple work, or even therapy, they’re referred to me, and I try to help them out in their recovery. I do believe that the family is a very important component of recovery. We all need someone. We all need to feel connected.

I used to work at Rockford Center as a psychiatric social worker some years ago, and most of the population was suffering from co-occurring disorders. It was upsetting to me that they would treat only the mental health, when the addiction part has such a big role to play. And so I thought, if you want to help somebody in that situation, you need to work on the two fronts. One is not sufficient. I don’t care which one. And it’s personal too; I grew up in a family with addiction. So I got my certificate in drug and alcohol, and then after that went for the [Family Therapy] license.

I love doing it. When I say where I work, people say, “I’m so sorry!” They tend to feel bad for me! So I always retort back, “I love it! You don’t understand, I love it!” There’s still a lot of social stigma regarding people with addiction. You always hear, “That’s the bum, that’s the criminal, that’s a second hand citizen.” So I always have to retort back to them, “Don’t feel sorry for me, I’m really happy that I’ve got this job!” To me, this is a gift. I come here, it’s a gift! I just love what I do.

2. What are the benefits of including your family in your addiction treatment?
I think it’s an important part of the treatment, if not vital. Because at the end of the day, we all need family. We all come from somebody and need to go back to somebody. And sometimes I say to people, none of us want to die alone. I don’t care if it’s the most shy, reserved person, or some consider themselves hermits, at the end of the day, we all want to have somebody by our side. And I think that they’re an important part of the treatment. Sometimes, they’re a deterrent to the treatment. Sometimes I find, I have to help the family, because they are the provoker or the enabler. They’re not helping, sometimes they’re even the trigger. I think it’s important to understand the person in their home environment.

I run group at Wilmington Hospital, where I work [full time] as a psychiatric social worker, and yesterday, I was showing them: “This is you, the first circle here, and then this is your family, and then this is your friends, the society at large.” So I really believe you need to be connected, it’s a vital part to be connected with your family. And I love doing that work, because too often you hear that it’s the person in addiction who had estranged themselves from the family, but the family sometimes is playing a big role, too.

3. What kinds of issues do you help your clients with in their family sessions?
Most, I would say, communication. It’s so funny, you would think it’s so basic. But sometimes, I do active listening, kind of a little lab. Because people are not listening to each other at all. So sometimes, when I first meet with them, I will make them stop and say, “Okay, you’re the one that talks and this is how you’re received.” I help people reflect back. Start with that, but it becomes a lot bigger than that.

I also do a lot about intimacy, believe it or not. Helping people understand that intimacy’s part of being a couple, and it’s way bigger than the action between the sheets. And how to reconnect back, because I’m really a big believer in connectedness between people. I help them with reconnecting, with a kind of joint exercise.

I just had this couple that I’ll see tonight - a big, big dude! I first saw him, and he was like – ohhh, really angry! And I met him the first time by himself, because he “wanted to talk to me…” Then at the second session with his wife, he was, “Oh, blah blah blah blah…” And at the end of the second session, I was saying, “I want you to do something together. What would you enjoy?” And he turned to her and he said, “Can you come with me and take a walk?” Like he was a little boy! And he’s like a big, big man! But he wanted his wife to walk the dog with him, and she wanted for him to cook. So we agreed that next time, you need to do this. This is your homework you’re gonna do.

4. What is your biggest challenge in doing your job?
I think it’s to get them to the door the first time. If I get a new referral, if they don’t come the first time, if I don’t have a face to face with them, then it gets easy to lose them, and they end up not ever engaging. Even if they’re very hesitant about it, and they’re afraid of the word “therapist,” or “family therapist,” bring them to me face to face. Usually, if I meet somebody, I have a better chance for them to come. If you refer somebody, I should set my eyes on them. So that I can, in a hook - and I don’t use it in a bad way! - but I mean, hooking the person, make them understand I’m a very personable person!

5. If you had $30,000 to donate to BCI what would you do with it?
I would put it toward the family services. I think that would be the thing I would wish for you guys, to have a family therapist full time. I only have 8 hours [a week] and it’s not enough, I do what I can. And, train everybody here, to do a little bit of family work, to get themselves interested. [Which we’ve started to do.] And I love it! That’s why I came for the inservice, and now they’re thinking about that. A good program should include family services.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Homelessness in Delaware: 2009 Point In Time Study

The Homeless Planning Council of Delaware has released their 2009 Point-in-Time Study. The publication examines Delaware's homeless population on January 27, 2009 and also provides a comparative analysis with previous years.

Among the findings:
  • 34% of those with a disability experienced mental illness.
  • 31% of those with a disability experienced substance abuse.
  • Nearly 40% reported that they have been incarcerated.
  • About one out of 10 have spent time in foster care, are veterans, or were homeless that night as a result of domestic violence.

Homelessness remains a problem in our state that affect us all. Services like BCI's Project Renewal remain necessary to improve the stability, health and quality of life for homeless substance abusers, by facilitating sobriety, treating mental health symptoms, treating health issues, stabilizing and improving housing and employment, and reducing criminal activity.