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  • January 29, 2015 6:00 PM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    Come join us at this important regional event! 

    Thursday, January 29th!  6-7:30pm 
    Please come and be part of a community effort to combat the heroin & addiction epidemic in our area. There will be a panel of great speakers including people in recovery that will be sharing their own stories and struggles with addiction.

    Get additional information by clicking this link:

    Event being held at:

    SUNY Adirondack Theater
    640 Bay Road, Queensbury, NY 12804 United States

  • January 16, 2015 4:18 PM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    Brian Farr welcomed everyone as we all introduced ourselves to each other.

    CHAIR REPORT: Update since last meeting: Since our December meeting, Brian Farr has agreed to chair the RAIS Recovery Community Organizations efforts. Thanks Brian!  

    Ray briefly reviewed the organization purpose and direction, indicating that our RAIS meetings were focused on developing connections and resources to assist people in recovery and to advocate for people in recovery and their families / supporters. The RAIS meetings are not “recovery meetings” (like AA or other peer support or counseling groups), but intended to build capabilities and resources to serve those in or in need of recovery support services.

    PARTNER REPORTS: The Prevention Council – Janine Stuchin: Talked about the role of The Prevention Council and it supports RAIS (which is a program of The Prevention Council). She also explained their role in outreach to schools in support of students and families. She also mentioned various training programs they offer and how they are taking a more pro-active role supporting recovery.

    Friends of Recovery - New York – (FOR-NY) 

    Faces and Voices/Young People in Recovery (YPR) 

    NCADD- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Depedence (NCADD) – Bob Lindsey: Talked about each of these three organizations, focusing mostly on FOR-NY and the upcoming Annual Recovery Advocacy Day (Tuesday, Feb 10th, 2015 – see News in the RAISaratoga.org web site). 

    This is a rally day at the state capital and an opportunity to make appointments and talk with legislators and their staff about the importance of Recovery Support Services and access to treatment through health coverage. If you can participate in this important Recovery Advocacy Rally, please look for “Talking Points” in upcoming emails and other communications and coordinate appointment times with your local legislators.

    Bob also talked about the newly formed Recovery Community Organization (RCO), Friends of Recovery Warren and Washington, based in Hudson Falls and aprogram of The Clouncil for Prevention. The group is planning to open Hope and Healing- Recovery Community Center in the back of the Gospel Lighthouse Church. The group meets every Monday at 5:15 pm, at (30 La Cross St, Hudson Falls, NY 12839-1432).

    He also shared information about the Capital District Assertainment Group which brings together media professionals (broadcast, print and radio) to focus on important issues. Bob will be speaking at the February meeting, hosted by WMHT and focus on Herion addiction and recovery in our area.

    Bob also reported that congratulations are in order for Jacob Weakland as he has been selected to participate in the Peer Recovery Advocate training being held in Albany. This is something we will be hearing more about at future meetings.

    COMMITTEE REPORTS: 

    Community and Family Education: Julianne Thomas was not present as she and some of our members were participating and presenting their stories at a TSA (Transitional Services Association) annual meeting that was held at the same time as our meeting. Julieanne did report that she is planning to hold a committee meeting soon. We know you and our members were also thinking about us. Congratulations!

    Events: Jacob Weakland, wasn’t able to be with us due to work commitments. The committee is developing plans for a spring candlelight vigil, and a recovery rally in September as part of National Alcohol and Drug Addition Recovery Month. We will be looking for updates and notes of events planning at our next meeting (Feb 19th at the Saratoga Library).

    Fund Raising: Julie Brennan was also not able to be with us, but Bob L. spoke about a meeting he had with Julie and they are working on fund raising initiatives including a matching donor program.

    Training: Bob Lindsey talked about the recovery messaging training (how we talk about our recovery and addiction) titled “Our Stories Have Power” and Bob is working on scheduling a training session for March or April. Bob also referenced training on “The Science of Addiction and Recovery” which would also be valuable knowledge when it comes to educating others.

    Public Policy/Advocacy: Janine Stuchin emphasized the importance of attending the Recovery Advocacy Rally Day (Feb 10th).

    Recovery Community Center Committee: Theresa Knorr is in the process of moving from AZ to NY, and was not present. We are looking forward to her relocation back to the area and her work with us.

    Justine shared with us the Hedgerow House Alumni group that is forming and want to be a part of RAIS, supporting recovery and our efforts! Thanks Justine!!

    COMMUNITY PARTNER PRESENTATION: We did not have the opportunity for a community partner presentation at this meeting.

    ANNOUNCEMENTS: Outside Events

    January 29th – Hometown vs. Herion, SUNY Adirondack

    February 10th – Recovery Advocacy Day – Legislative Office Building, Albany

    NEXT MEETING: Committee Reports! February 19th, 7-8:45pm Saratoga Public Library

  • January 08, 2015 2:59 PM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    RAISaratoga Meeting – 12/11/14

    Introductions/Comments:

    - Janine Stuchin – Executive Director of The Prevention Council

    - Jacob Weakland – Chair of Events committee, spoke about different options for Recovery

    - Jimmy – new member, interested in addiction field

    - Kirk – member of Family and Community Education committee

    - Mark H. –  ACC CJ and SA counseling, other options stigma, raising $ for uninsured for treatment

    - Judy Moffitt – Mother of Addict, family advocate,  Nar-Anon rep., looks at addiction as a family problem, also member of Hometown vs. Heroin (Glens Falls/Hudson Falls)

    - Tom – new member, street musician, masters degree, wants to support us.

    - Samantha and Sleebie, CAPTAIN Youth Services Volunteers (both recipients of services) – Presented on ACE survey (Kaiser Permanente’s Adverse Childhood Experiences survey - ACES)

    - Theresa Knorr, new member, former director of Hedgerow House, works in treatment field over 20 years, family member of persons in recovery and in personal; recovery

    - Brain Farr –  HVCC Professor- Chemical Dependency Counseling, SPARC counselor, etc.

    - Ray Patterson – Met with Greg Williams (The Anonymous People).  Discussed Bob Lindsey – Friends of Recovery New York, met with Don Fertman (Subway Chief Development Officer on Undercover Boss and  in recovery 30 years), also interfaces with  Recovery Branches (National)


    Committee Reports:

    Community and Family Education, Kurt for Julianne Thomas: Objective: Eliminate stigma through education and answer questions: what is RAIS, the disease, treatment and Recovery options?  Short Term Goals:  provide language coaching (educating self and others), create RAIS brochure and resource directory (treatment & recovery), be part of creating a Recovery Community Center (RCC), provide peer and parent advocates (response teams).  Next meeting Dec 30th 11 am at Hedgerow House, RSVP via phone/email.


    Events:  Jacob reported on Candlelight Vigil in June (Florida prototype). Movie night to be determined and Speakers Forum- early March.  Jacob expressed concern for more media attention; (twitter, Google account, Facebook),  suggested revamping our Mission Statement and spoke of other avenues to explore including the In The Rooms Project and event to teach REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy) skills, etc.


    Fundraising:  Bob and Julie were not here.  The question was raised:  What are we fundraising for?  It was suggested that we should start to create an “Event pool” and cash for materials?  Short Term Goals:  to provide training, ($25,000.00 goal?), look to established business for “match” with a Long Term Goal of creating a Recovery Community Center.  We may work towards being our own 501 (c) (3), as currently The Prevention Council is acting as our fiduciary.  A discussion ensued about how that works.


    Training:  Bob Lindsey alerted RAIS about a Peer Recovery Advocate training opportunity provided by Young People in Recovery (YPR) through OASAS grant– Scholarships available.


    Public Policy:  Committee did not meet.  Janine spoke about advocates that we need to tap into:  new Assembly woman Carrie Woerner starts in January.  We need to meet with her.  Senator Marchione is also an ally.  Saratoga County Board of Supervisors needs to be educated to insure funding support.  As a Program of The Prevention Council, we are also members of the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce.


    Community Partner Presentation:  CAPTAIN members spoke of the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences Study.  They also partner with Shelters Of Saratoga, Catholic Charities, Soroptimists and mentioned a Homeless Youth Coalition Meetings that meet monthly.


    Theresa Knorr volunteered to chair Recovery Community Center Committee and act as liaison to RCC’s and OASAS. 

  • December 12, 2014 9:54 AM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    As a follow-up to our past discussion, here is the announcement and Scholarship Application form for the Certified Peer Recovery Advocate Training – Adolescent Project being delivered in partnership between Young People in Recovery- New York (YPR) and OASAS (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services). OASAS is providing the scholarship funding support.

    Eligible Age Group: Age 35 and under

    Dates/Time/Location: 5 consecutive Saturdays from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm at Addictions Care Center of Albany (ACCA)

    Scholarship: 7 Training Slots available. Peer Application Scholarship Form is available by clicking this link.
    Deadline- December 19th.
    Submit Application to: Samantha Kawola at Samantha.kawola@oasas.ny.gov, or fax it to (518) 457-1353.
    If you have any questions, please contact Samantha at (518)485-2165.

    Notification: Applicants notified by email by January 6, 2015

    This is a great opportunity!
    Bob

    Robert J. Lindsey
    Consultant
    Friends of Recovery - New York
    518-588-0656
    LindseyRJL@outlook.com
    Follow FOR-NY: Twitter- ZA102637858Facebook- ZA102637861
    Friends of Recovery Logo

    From: Cortney Lovell [mailto:newyorkypr@gmail.com]
    Sent: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 11:00 AM
    To: Aurorajeanf419@hotmail.com; cpandmjgibson@aol.com; drhoades@albanycounty.com; dsilano@northeastcareer.org; Dan Almasi; Dean Hale; Kathleen Gruhle; Keith Stack; Lyons, John; Scott Zempko; Zaloga, Martin F.; briannac@twincountyrecoveryservices.org; reneep@twincountyrecoveryservices.org; kevin@hopehouseinc.org; KeithB@ccalbany.org; lindseyrjl@outlook.com
    Subject: Peer Advocate training scholarship

    Hi All,
    Attached you will find the application for the FREE Peer Advocate training course YPR-NY has set up in partnership with NYS OASAS. THE DEADLINE FOR THE APPLICATION IS NEXT FRIDAY THE 19TH.

    YPR-NY would like to invite you to recommend young people in recovery(<35 years of age) to apply for this training program. There are seven spots available for the Albany training that will be taking place on these dates at the Addiction Care Center of Albany:
    Saturday January 17, 2015 9:00am-4:00pm
    Saturday January 24, 2015 9:00am-4:00pm
    Saturday January 31st, 2015 9:00am-4:00pm
    Saturday February 7th, 2015 9:00am-4:00pm
    Saturday February 21st, 2015 9:00am-4:00pm

    (Make up for missed classes will be difficult to arrange so please consider that before committing to this training.)

    This is a very special opportunity YPR-NY has been given and I hope that you have a young person in mind who can all take advantage of it. After all of the training requirements are met, they will be certified with NYS OASAS as a peer advocate. This will open up job opportunities in the future, as well as provide more education and professional experience to add to a resume.
    As you will read in the application, OASAS plans on putting together a youth summit in Spring of 2015. Those who participate in this training will be asked to attend this summit to help OASAS create peer advocate training curriculum focused on working with young people. A lot of incredible opportunities are ahead of us and it starts here!

    Please forward to any young person in recovery you feel would be appropriate for this. They will need to download and fill out this application IMMEDIATELY! Then return as instructed. If you have questions, please contact Sarah Lang or Cortney Lovell on this email.

    Young People In Recovery | New York
    Learn more at: YoungPeopleinRecovery - NY
    Check out our facebook

  • November 15, 2014 3:33 PM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    We had a really great meeting on November 13th with a good many completed action items and several exciting new action items to be worked before our next meeting of December 11th. (see Events notice for next meeting details). 

    Highlights and Accomplishments:

    We had an extremely productive and positive meeting on Thursday evening at the Franklin Community Center – Thank you all who attended!

    Follow-Up Actions Since Last Meeting:

    RAIS Business Cards:  We distributed “business cards” for people to hand out when introducing RAISaratoga.  The cards were donated by Karla Kelly – Thank you Karla!

    RAIS Wristbands:  We also distributed RAISaratoga.org wristbands that were donated by Julie Ann Brennan – Thank you Julie Ann!

    RAIS Logo:  Jacob Weakland created and posted a new RAIS logo on the website and Facebook page.  It looks great!  Thank you Jacob!

    RAIS Group Photo:  A photo taken at our last meeting has been added to our website and Facebook page.  Thank you Ray!

    RAIS Participation at ASAP Conference:  RAIS members were special guests at the New York State Alcohol and Substance Abuse Professionals (ASAP) Annual Conference in Saratoga showing of “The Anonymous People”, hosted by Friends of Recovery- New York.

    RAIS Presentation to Malta Business Professional Association:  Ray Patterson presented the trailer of the movie, The Anonymous People and discussed Recovery and RAISaratoga.org at the November 12th breakfast meeting of the MaltaBPA held at Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa.  There is interest in further presentations perhaps to joint meetings of local Business Professional Associations, including showing of The Anonymous People or other Recovery related videos.

    We are developing more ways to get our word out and inviting others to join us as we RAIS our Voices for Recovery!

    Special Press Guests:  Meg Hagerty, Features Writer for The Post Star and Megan- photographer attended our meeting and let us know that they have just been notified that The Post Star has received The President’s Award from Lee Enterprises for their series on the heroin epidemic!  Congratulations Meg and The Post Star!  And, thank you for “spreading the word” about the epidemic, recovery and RAIS.

    We also established five committees to further expand our ranks and opportunities for volunteer participation and engagement.  The committees are: (I may have missed some names so please reach out to the chairs of the committees directly to become involved.  I will also be identifying these committees within our website and membership so the committee leaders can use the site for emailing committees if you like.)

    Family and Community Education:  Julianne Thomas – chair, Maggie Kenworthy, Marc Hartman, Brian Farr

    Events: Jacob Weakland – chair, Sue Malesky, Joseph Bryant, Wendy Knowlton-Cook, Judy Moffett

    Policy:  Janine Stuchin – chair, Kurt Flubacher, Jacob Weakland, Kurt Flubacher, Bob Lindsey

    Fundraising:  Julie Brennan – chair, Kurt Flubacher, Bob Lindsey

    Training:  Bob Lindsey, Ray Patterson

    The expectation is that the committees will meet (in-person or via teleconference) prior to our December 11th meeting (7-8:45pm in the Susman room of the Saratoga Public Library), and will share their ideas and action plans during our December meeting.

    Remember that Julianne offered Hedgerow House for daytime committee meeting space (between the hours of 9am-3pm).  Contact Julianne directly for scheduling.

    Other notable discussion included:

    Connecting with the Drug Courts in the towns and counties to see how we might offer support and partner with them.

    Exploring connections with the jails to provide connections for people about to be released and help get them and their family to get connected with resources to assist in their successful recovery.

    Identifying other Recovery initiatives and resources in the region so that we can connect with them and collaborate on initiatives/activities.

    Mark your calendars to be with us at our NEXT MEETING – December 11th  7-8:45pm in the Susman Room (downstairs) at the Saratoga Public Library.


  • October 27, 2014 10:08 AM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    We want to express a special Thank You to Friends of Recovery NY (FOR-NY) and ASAP for inviting us to attend the ASAP Conference showing of The Anonymous People!  Thank you for also supporting RAISaratoga.org in our efforts to create a Recovery Community Organization (RCO)!

    NEWS FLASH - GREAT OPPORTUNITY - (NOTE: the initial announcement is below for historical purposes.)

    You and your friends and family are Invited!

    Recovery Advocacy in Saratoga – RAIS, is proud to invite you and your friends to a FREE showing of The Anonymous People, a ground-breaking documentary on addiction and recovery- an independent film about the 23 million Americans living in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction!

    The film is being shown as part of the New York State Alcohol and Substance Abuse Providers Annual Conference (ASAP) and is being hosted by Friends of Recovery- New York (FOR-NY).

    All RAIS members, their friends and family are invited to attend FREE! Please help us to spread the word and join us on Monday night!

    We are grateful to our friends at ASAP and FOR-NY for this generous opportunity. We also are grateful to Benefits Advisory Services for sponsoring the movie night. Let’s have a great turnout!

    See you Monday, October 20th at 7:00 pm at the Saratoga Hilton/City Center, 534 Broadway in Saratoga Springs in the High Rock Room!

  • October 06, 2014 9:34 AM | Ray Patterson (Administrator)

    Just released Sept 22nd by the Governor –
    http://www.combatheroin.ny.gov/real-stories

    As many of you already know, in June, Governor Cuomo signed into law a package of bills to combat the epidemic of heroin, opioid, and prescription drug abuse in New York State. A critical element of the legislative package required OASAS to develop and implement a statewide public awareness and education campaign.
    OASAS, NYSDOH, OGS and the media service center worked together to create a multifaceted media campaign which includes a new website “www.CombatHeroin.ny.gov” that is easy to navigate and is targeted to parents, adults and young people who are seeking help and information concerning heroin and opioid abuse and misuse. The Website also contains information about the warning signs of heroin and opioid abuse and misuse, access to OASAS treatment providers, guidance to help parents talk to their children and for healthcare professionals to talk with their patients.
    The Combat Heroin (#combatheroin) campaign also includes public service announcements, flyers, social media, and video messages from New Yorkers talking about the impact of heroin and other opioids on their lives.
    We encourage you to read the Governor’s press release and visit the Combat Heroin website as well as share it with your clients and others who can benefit from this information.
    Please be sure to follow OASAS and share our postings on the combat heroin campaign to your social media pages: www.twitter.com/nysoasas / facebook profile: NYS OASAS / www.youtube.com/nysoasas
    Thank you everyone for your dedication and support to help combat this dangerous epidemic.


  • September 11, 2014 11:20 PM | Sean Kelleher

    Recovery Advocacy In Saratoga-Our Voice

    Very lively and productive Community Forum this evening.
    One of the biggest topics was the multitude of recovery oriented events happening around our area in the near future. September is National Recovery Month, so go figure. Our new webpage, raisaratoga.org will be promoting them soon so check it out! Among them are 3, yes 3 screenings of "The Anonymous People" on the same night in 3 different cities in our area: Saratoga, Albany and Glens Falls; a march for recovery in Albany, a public forum on heroin use in our area hosted by The Prevention Council of Saratoga at Saratoga Library, and two upcoming Naloxone(opiate overdose prevention) training seminars.
    We also discussed stimulating engagement within the community through, well, RAISing our voice and becoming more visible. Many opportunities for this are coming up with the events aforementioned and through continued promotion to friends and families that we DO recover, that our voice can and will be heard in the community, in the polls in our homes.
    We are looking for support, for your face and your voice, to help carry this message to anyone who feels desperate or alone in either their own or a loved one's struggle with substance use.
    We had a discussion about the importance of co-occurring disorders and their relevance to our mission. Peter Lacy, Asst. Dir. of Saratoga County Mental Health Center, and a member of RAIS, informed us of the connection of addiction and mental health issues in an effort to educate the public on how very inter-twined the two disorders are. From his experience, he has witnessed the transition of addiction related issues and mental health related issues finally coming into accordance with one another, and we, as an organization, feel the need to recognize the parallels and over-laps. We still agree that our mission is to promote recovery from substance use, but in order to do that effectively we must not exclude the prominent presence of mental health issues that often co-occur with that disorder. My sincerest gratitude to Mr. Lacy for his active participation and trust in our primary mission.
    And, I must not forget the most valuable voices in the room tonight: My friends in recovery expressed great hope and confidence in RAIS's mission and future by participating and being heard. Wendy Knowlton-Cook, who has been an avid participant and just loving her chance to make a difference, was brimming with suggestions on how to get people in recovery involved. Ideas like BBQs and community garden projects just pour out of her like someone who 'gets' recovery. It is about advocacy, in the most positive form, when she speaks. Adam, who is in recovery, expresses himself so openly and honestly every time he speaks. He wonders how this experience will help him, but he keeps coming back, seeking answers that RAIS can only hint at answering, but what he generates in the room is the EXACT answer for why I got involved in this in the first place: the quest for serenity, and to give back what I have been given so freely. Adam is the foundation of why I do this, he is hope.
    We don't do this to rock the boat. We do this for individual and community welfare. We do this because recovery is...
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