Friday, February 26, 2010

"Welcome To The Light!"

BCI's Lighthouse Program for women with children continues to grow in leaps and bounds! We will be filled to our 10 bed capacity within the next week or so. Our treatment schedule has added new topics like Developing Positive Values, Manners Matter, and Decisions In Action.

Several women have enrolled and are attending GED classes via Sussex Technical School. We have 2 moms who have been awarded regular visitation with their children, and another mom who has regained custody of her children while at the Lighthouse. The Lighthouse is keeping these families together. It helps women find the courage to break the generational cycle of addiction and transform their lives to become productive citizens and good mothers.

That is why Program Director Natascha Hughes welcomes new residents upon arrival with a big hug and a smile and says, "Welcome to the Light!" Funding from the State of Delaware for this program continues to be essential, as does your support. Thank you to all who have contributed to the success of these important services.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Georgetown's New Programs Take Off

We are doing some exciting things here at BCI Georgetown that we wanted to share with you.

First, we are taking off with our expanded homeless program, thanks to a 5 year CSAT grant. Since December, our case managers have been getting out in the community and engaging homeless individuals in need of treatment. We have been able to transport them to appointments, and help them with housing and employment. We are all very excited about that.

Our new vocational program, funded by a First State Community Action grant, is also making a difference. Vocational Counselor Tammy Williams has had a number of her clients find employment, and when they come in to see her, the change in their self esteem is evident to us all. One gentleman in particular just got employed with a cellphone company. When he came in to see Tammy, he was in a suit and tie and was beaming with pride! Very cool!

We are also excited to announce that we will be starting a Co-Occurring Disorders group the first week of March 2010 which will run every week for an hour and a half. We have many other plans in the works for our growing office here in Georgetown. Stay tuned to for continued updates.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BCI Thanks David Oppold for 15 Years of Board Service

Longtime Brandywine Counseling Board member and past President David Oppold has retired from board membership after fifteen years of dedicated service.

“My time on the Board, serving first as Vice President and for the past twelve years as President, has been most rewarding,” said Rev. Oppold. “I have seen the amazing growth and cutting edge services created by this organization. I will continue to hold a special place in my heart for Brandywine Counseling.”

David was instrumental in BCI’s purchase of the 2713 Lancaster Avenue building, and also in pushing for HIV/AIDS treatment at our sites. BCI thanks David for his many contributions to our organization, and wishes him well in his future endeavors.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DSM-5 Draft: Call It "Addiction," Not "Dependence"

The guidebook doctors use to diagnose behavioral health problems is being revised to eliminate the term "dependence" and replace it with "addictions and related disorders." The change is one of many proposed in the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). According to the APA, the revision is intended to differentiate between normal withdrawal from a prescribed medication, and harmful behavior associated with non-prescribed substances.

You can read the full article from Join Together here. And here are some thoughts from the Discovering Alcoholic, who is skeptical the changes will benefit people seeking treatment.

What do you think about this proposed change in language? You can comment to the APA through April 20 through their Web site.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Celebrating Shay Lipshitz’s 19 Years with BCI

Brandywine Counseling gives thanks to and celebrates the career of a longtime member of our team, Shay Lipshitz, as she leaves BCI for new endeavors.

Sheera Lipshitz, or “Shay” as she likes to be called, had many accomplishments in her 19 year career with Brandywine Counseling. She started as an outreach worker in 1991, providing education and intervention in high risk communities about drug abuse, safe sex, and HIV/AIDS. She then joined the Assertive Treatment Team, providing counseling and case management to severely and persistently ill I.V. drug addicts. She helped to develop BCI’s original program for pregnant women, Diamond Deliveries. This partnership with Wilmington Hospital provided supportive services to drug-addicted women with high risk pregnancies in their homes. In 1994 she returned to the Assertive Treatment Team as Project Director.

In 1997 BCI opened its Riverfront Site and Shay became Site Supervisor, overseeing the methadone program, transitional housing, transportation, and all BCI’s case management programs. In 2003, BCI expanded into Sussex County and Shay became Site Supervisor at the Georgetown Site, overseeing the Project Renewal homeless program. In 2007, when BCI was awarded state funding to start the Lighthouse residential treatment program, she oversaw the project from startup to opening within a 4 month period, including completely renovating an old shelter home, and forming partnerships with social service providers and the faith community.

Shay received her MHS in 1995 from Lincoln University and has been a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor since 1992. She was the project director on 3 grants from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). She served on the Homeless Planning Council; the Division of Drugs, Alcohol & Mental Health DUI Appeals Committee; and the Delaware HIV Consortium Policy Committee. She received the Kelly/Pazzaglini Memorial Institute Scholarship Award in July 1999 and the Brandywine Counseling President’s Award in 1999. Shay brought to BCI her experience providing women-specific treatment, treatment for pregnant women, and ability to implement non-traditional services. She knew that environment plays a crucial role in recovery from substance abuse and addiction. She also brought a passion for helping others in need and was quick to roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty to get a job done.

Shay is a strong advocate for treatment and recovery because she knows personally that treatment works. She believes addiction is a deadly disease that left untreated kills more than the person, and destroys families, homes, health, dreams, hope and dignity. She takes joy in keeping families together that otherwise would have been separated, and watching the faces of children who are spared the suffering that comes with active addiction.

Our BCI family is grateful to Shay for her many years of service, for touching the lives of countless individuals affected by addiction, and for being a part of our lives. We will miss her and wish her all the best in her future pursuits.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Expanded Oxford Houses Promote Recovery in Delaware

Today's News Journal gives us an update on the expansion of Oxford Houses in Delaware. Over the past year, the number of the houses has risen from 9 to 28. Jim Martin is the man behind the expansion and a success story himself. The houses are addressing a great need for recovery housing in our state, and yet still not meeting all the demand. And generally, the residents make good neighbors, too.

If you are interested in moving to an Oxford House, click here for a directory of locations, vacancies, and contact information.