SOURCE: NorthEast Treatment Centers

NorthEast Treatment Centers

November 15, 2010 14:34 ET

NorthEast Treatment Centers: Taking Positive Steps Toward Recovery

White House Drug Czar Recognizes NET's Role at the Forefront of the Recovery Movement

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwire - November 15, 2010) - When White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, visited Philadelphia last month to seek ways to curb drug abuse, he invited NorthEast Treatment Centers to participate.

That invitation recognized NET's expanding national reputation as a leader of the Recovery Movement, based on its innovative Consumer Council and Peer Specialist programs which empower people to take control of their treatment and recovery.

In his brief speech, Kerlikowske emphasized that President Obama wants to cut teen drug use by 15 percent over the next five years. "We should approach it in the same way we look at other public health problems. For too long we've looked at it as a criminal justice problem; our focus instead should be on treatment, rehab and prevention strategies. There needs to be a transformative way of thinking," he said. 

During his visit, several of NET's Peer Specialists had the opportunity to discuss the agency's transformation initiatives with Kerlikowske. "Our Peer Specialists are consumers who have completed their treatment and now help others on the road to recovery. They serve as a bridge between professional service providers and our clients by helping and engaging people when they first become involved in treatment," said Terence McSherry, NET's president and CEO. "They are integral to our program and its success."

NET's role in the Recovery Movement had an even more visible face at the 2010 Recovery Walk. NET's Adult Behavioral Health Division had well over 350 Persons in Recovery (PIRs) participate, while NET Steps, a medication-assisted -- methadone -- program, had 200 representatives.

John Carroll, Director of NET Steps, said enthusiastic participants proudly carried signs reading "We Celebrate Recovery Here" and "Long-term Recovery is Real." In its 10 years of existence, this was the largest Recovery Walk yet, according to Carroll, "and each year we've had more participation."

This year's event drew more than 11,000 walkers. According to Sonya Mendelovich, director of NET's Wharton Residential Center, the walk demonstrates that recovery is possible. "It's encouraging for our clients to see how many people are actually in recovery, to see the positive aspects. The walk provided a great opportunity for people to express their enthusiasm about their personal recovery and to acknowledge the recovery of others."

Mendelovich added, "The major concept of transformation is to create communities of mutual support that reinforce sobriety and mitigate relapse. At the walk, you could see the mutual support and camaraderie. People came because they understand how important they each are to each other."

NorthEast Treatment Centers is a community-based provider of addiction, behavioral health and youth and family services in Philadelphia and the state of Delaware. For more information, call 215-451-7100 or visit www.net-centers.org.

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