Dialogue eNewsletter, September 2016
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    In this issue... September 2016

Central East ATTC’s eNewsletter

Monthly Health Check

September 2016

Upcoming Training Events

Sep 20 Buprenorphine Summit, Philadelphia
Sep 21
Follow-up Response to Seniors - Health Roundtable, Washington, DC
Sep 26 
 Road to Recovery -The Opioid Epidemic: An Integrated Approach, Baltimore
Sep 27-29 
 East Coast SBIRT Training of Trainers, Philadelphia
Please visit our complete training calendar.

Recovery Month

Each September we celebrate persons in all stages of recovery, whether it is the first acknowledgement of needing help or someone marking decades of recovery. By sharing their stories, the brave people below hope to educate, fight stigma, and promote the message that recovery in ALL its forms is possible.

Recovery month resources:
Recovery Month
Regional Events

Language Matters

"Addict, aburser, alcoholic: The language used to refer to people can exert a powerful impact on both perceptions and expectations."

A new ATTC Network initiative promotes using the "people first" language, which is discussed in the ATTC/NIATx Service Improvement Blog.

Sharing Stories of Recovery


My name is Robert Earl Alston. I am a 50 year old African American male. I was raised in a family of 3 sisters. My childhood was pleasant but uneventful. In high school I developed a desire to graduated high school as an honor student. I graduated from Carroll Park High School in 1978 having reached my first goal of being an honor student.  In the fall I enrolled in the Fashion Design Program at the Community College of Baltimore. In 1986 I took a basic course in the field of Fashion Design at Parson School of Design in New York City, which I completed with a certified. Read more


Sixteen years ago, I fell ill-very ill. I went to my brother’s house, as he was the bravest and most powerful person I knew. I was a mess. I couldn’t discern what was real and what was the product of a very paranoid mind. I was unable to get out of bed and leaving the house was painful, as I felt I was being stalked. Looking back, it is clear that I had undiagnosed Bipolar for years, but the paranoia was new.  I was obsessed with suicide and always felt unsafe in the world. As a result, starting in 1999 through this April, I was in and out of hospitalization and partial hospitalization for well over 365 days. Not consecutively, mind you, but all total. I once spent three months sitting in a window sill watching a lone tree turn from green to auburn to brown and then I cried, as I watched the leaves blow away completely. Read more


My name is Katie and I know that recovery is possible! I am proof that recovery is possible! For me, recovery is a choice that I make every day. It’s a life style. Of course it wasn’t always the choice that I made. In fact it wasn’t even a familiar concept for most of my life. I suffered with debilitating anxiety and depression for the majority of my life. I have felt broken from even my earliest memories. Broken is the only word that I can use to describe how I felt. I hated who I was, I hated how my family was, where we came from and how we lived. I just want to be someone else. Read more


The invitation to submit this article began with three questions which practically guaranteed I would write it. Was your recovery journey the catalyst for your current career? How? Why?
It can be argued that for the first fifteen years of my life I was collateral damage in the lives of my family. My mother and father both drank alcoholically for as long as I knew them. They separated when I was four and I reunited with my father when I was fourteen. By then, the seeds of an alcoholic lifestyle had already been deeply planted; hanging with the outcasts, drinking whatever came to hand, and a contempt for all authority. Read more


I Choose Life – Morgan

Where should I begin. Where indeed. When I was a child, actually from birth, I was the victim of severe child abuse and neglect. I know you’ve seen those words before and that anyone can deduce just what that abuse and neglect entailed so I will not bother you with the specifics. Such drama is not necessary. Let us agree together that it was very traumatic. In fact, it was so traumatic that my personality splintered and I became a conglomeration of “alters” afflicted with a condition known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (it was once called Multiple Personality Disorder). The abuse continued until I was fifteen years old and my father died. I had been protecting him from the horrible truth that was my life, so when he died I no longer felt it necessary to keep the secrets I had held my entire childhood and I spilled the beans on my abuser. Read more

Victim to VictorIRENE:

Hi.  My name is Irene O'Neill.  The symptoms of my illness began before some of you were born. I graduated HS in 1973 – I was voted “Most Energetic” by my classmates. Three short years later, I dropped out of college, lost my p/t job, was afraid to go out of my house or see any of my old friends. I had no self-confidence, didn’t think I could ever go back and finish school or get another job. I continued spiraling downward and had my first hospitalization and a diagnosis at that time of Clinical Depression. I felt helpless, and I almost lost hope completely, but gradually regained it, as I learned that I could actually live an extremely fulfilling and wonderful life. Read more

Connections Corner


During the month of September we celebrate recovery and focus on the many activities that take place in our communities to honor those in recovery. As a part of this celebration, the ATTC would like to acknowledge the individuals who work all year to ensure that recovery is front and center in policy and practice at the State level. Thank you Patty, Holly, Brandee, Bill, Becky, and Matt for the work that you do and for sharing your thoughts on recovery with all of our readers.

Patty McCarthy Metcalf, Faces & Voices of Recovery

The recovery movement is about having a voice for people in recovery at all levels. This includes meaningful representation in decision-making and service delivery as well. Peer leaders in Maryland have been amazing examples of highly skilled ambassadors of the recovery movement. Maryland is a model to strive for across the nation and beyond; where people in recovery live purposeful lives in their communities, helping others while keeping their recovery first. Read more

Holly Dixon, Delaware

"Recovery" implies regaining something once lost or moving away/forward from something that is perceived as abnormal or negative in some way. I would rather look at my experience as one of growth and discovery, of who I am and who I want to be as a human being. My lived experience has prepared me for my purpose. Read more

Brandee Izquierdo-Johnson, Maryland
Recovery is an ongoing process that creates an internal change. It has become a point of freedom that has afforded me the opportunity to give back to communities by sharing my lived experience of trials, tribulations, and triumphs. As a person in long-term recovery, I have discovered my full potential and have been able to enhance the voice of recipients of behavioral health services by promoting and facilitating meaningful participation in all aspects of the public behavioral health system. Read more

Bill Stauffer, Pennsylvania
Recovery Month 2016 is here! It will be a busy month in Pennyslvania in the state wide recovery community. We have a calendar of more than 50 events occurring across the state of Pennsylvania. The recovery month edition of our newsletter, Quarterly Report, has an extensive list of events around the state as part of Recovery Month. Event highlights include the Courage to Change Rally on September 20th in our state capitol rotunda and is focused on bringing people from around the state together to share recovery with our elected officials. Read more

Becky Sterling, Virginia
A Personal Definition
Recapture, reclaim, retrieve . . . all action words that are synonyms with Recovery. For me, Recovery is action. We have come to use the word as if it is a noun that describes a person, place or thing.  We say “do you have recovery?” or “are you in a place of recovery?” or “are you a recovery specialist?”  My hope is that we all remember that recovery is not a noun, it is instead a verb. Read more

Matt Boggs, West Virginia
As a person in long-term recovery from Substance Use Disorders, recovery means transformation to me. The solution of recovery has enabled me to achieve the hopes and dreams I once had as a child but active substance use hindered my ability to achieve any of them. My family relationships have healed, I pay taxes, I own a home, I am a college graduate, I am a husband, a brother, and an uncle. My spiritual path has been fruitful through watching others pull themselves from the depths of despair to a new life in recovery. Read more

Making The News in Region 3
Topics/Focus Areas
Addiction Medications
Cultural Competence
Opioid Epidemic
Peer Support
Tobacco Addiction
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