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Ben Affleck’s Journey in Recovery

Ben Affleck is one of Hollywood’s most famous actors/producers/directors. He is also an alcoholic. Just because you are famous, does not mean you are immune to addiction. Well-known for his roles in movies like Good Will Hunting, Gone Girl, The Town, and his role as Batman in Justice League, he has certainly made a name…

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Pet Therapy During Recovery

Now more than ever, pets are becoming a valuable part of our families. Scientific research has shown that human-animal interaction and companionship provide several benefits to individuals who are in addiction recovery. Pet therapy is becoming more and more common through all stages of recovery because they provide unique benefits to humans and can increase…

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Narcan, The Life Saver

narcan, woman looking out over the ocean

I won’t pretend to be even the slightest bit knowledgeable about Narcan, the drug, or the medical side of things. I will tell you, though, that I recently read a Facebook post from a “friend” (we are no longer “friends”) stating that “we should just let them die and stop giving them Narcan.” Anger Taken…

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Young and Anonymous

young and anonymous, several young people smiling

“I was in and out, in and out, in and out.” The one famous cliff hanger that always kept my attention from the stories of those who suffered. Sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear how they fought the battle of their addiction. I was eighteen the first time I sat in…

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Our Art Room

My classroom is busy and kind of loud sometimes; people walking in and out, questions, instructions, laughter, donuts and cookies. Sometimes paint gets on the floor, sometimes water jars spill. We run out of paint, brushes become used too much, and every once in a while, someone adds too much water to their brush, and…

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Some Days

Some days are just hard. As the mother of an addict, sometimes it just hits you in unexpected ways. Sometimes there is no happy ending at the end of the blog, no joyous encouragement or flowery words of hope. Sometimes the reality of addiction overwhelms you. Grief Today on the way home from teaching art…

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Art, an Awakening

My Favorite Each Tuesday and Thursday I go to Victory Bay Recovery Center in Laurel Springs, NJ where I have the honor of teaching art class to recovering addicts. I describe my days there as “my favorite time of the week”. It’s a time where I get to look hope in the eye, witness adults…

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Changed Names

Water color floral picture with black ink on dark wood table

Did you know that in ancient times, it was said that God changed people’s names? Names meant a lot back then. They were more like titles or declarations of who people were and not just something that sounded pretty. I feel like my name has been changed. Death of a dream It wasn’t changed from…

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Vanessa Vitolo Speaks at Rutgers University’s Substance Use Disorder Seminar

Doctors beside Victory Bay staff member Vanessa Vitolo

As a department who has had several residents affected by substance abuse, the Doctors wanted to make sure their future trainees know as much as possible about this important issue. They provided a seminar to their clients addressing several different issues including the Neurobiology of addiction, the Professional Assistance Program, Resident Wellness and Excellence Program…

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