Franklin Cook


SADOD Director Profile: Franklin Cook By Franklin Cook, SADOD Director My story is an old one. I have been in recovery for more than 30 years. The challenges I face because of family members’ use of alcohol and other drugs cross several generations. My father died more than 40 years ago after a lifelong struggle …

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Brightly colored artwork


Milestone Gives Voice to New Vision By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor VOICES is celebrating a milestone as we approach the first anniversary of our monthly newsletter. Over the last year, we have introduced you to a new peer grief helper in each issue, along with inspirational stories of overcoming grief, recovery, harm reduction workers, …

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Share Your Voice Sign


Your ‘Visions & Voices’ Welcome Here VOICES creates content to help people survive the loss of a loved one to a death from substance use. Creative coping is a technique that goes one step further and helps people share their experience (through art) in a way that feels cathartic to them. According to artist Lauren …

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support group circle


Finding ‘Our People’ Is Crucial By Peter Babineau, Learn to Cope Regional Manager Editor’s Note: I joined a Learn to Cope meeting a year ago and was introduced to Peter Babineau — an uplifting facilitator who works on the front lines and has experienced substance-use disorder on a personal level. He sprinkles empathy and joy …

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Patrick, Louis, James Avitabile


A Wounded Healer Remembers By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor, & Ann Ahearn Avitabile, Guest Contributor  Many families suffer silently while their loved ones battle the demons of a substance-use disorder, and even more so when their person dies. They may mistakenly feel that they are somehow responsible for what happened or that they let …

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Amy Horowitz


Peer Grief Helper Profile: Amy Horowitz By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Amy Horowitz was about to launch her first peer grief support group on March 23, 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic exploded, and face-to-face meetings came to a screeching halt. This presented a critical moment for people who had suffered the death of a …

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PTSD booklet title


Handout Guides Helpers to More Help “When Professional Help Is Needed” is a guide from SADOD for peer grief helpers when they encounter a bereaved person who might need more help than is available from a peer supporter. The handout concisely explains and describes key factors about suicide risk, debilitating grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder, …

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Janice Kaplan


Peer Grief Helper Profile: Janice Kaplan By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Five days after losing her youngest son to an overdose in 2013, Janice Kaplan was back at work. Her bereavement time was up, and she wasn’t sure what she would do at home, anyway, except feel sad. So, she says, this kept her …

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Molly and Cory on the mountain


Nurse’s Compassion Strengthened by Grief By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor Healthcare providers are faced with more than their share of loss these days. Between the overdose epidemic and the current pandemic, our caregivers are being challenged like never before — which places them at significant physical and emotional risk.  In addition to work-related exposure …

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Stigma Lingers After Death from Substance Use By Kerry J. Bickford, VOICES Editor “Even though medicine long ago reached a consensus that addiction is a complex brain disorder with behavioral components, the public and even many in healthcare and the justice system continue to view it as a result of moral weakness and flawed character,” …

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