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Category Archives: From the Executive Director

We Take Care of Our Own


On Tuesday, December 2, charities, families, schools and many other organizations around the country and the world come together to celebrate generosity and to give back.  This year The Council and PRO-ACT are launching our first ever peer-to-peer giving fundraising initiative and we are turning to you, as past and present supporters of recovery, to help us make this campaign a success.

This effort to generate support for recovery will allow us to continue to provide prevention, advocacy and recovery support to individuals and families wishing to access recovery or stop the inter-generational transmission of addiction in our community.  

Research tells us that if an individual with a diagnosis of a substance use disorder (addiction) is supported and able to remain abstinent for 5 years, there is an 86% probability of life long recovery.  A remarkable statistic when compared with other chronic illnesses!  

Over the past year The Council’s Recovery Support/Recovery Management programs provided services to 2100 individuals to help them access and sustain life long recovery.  Our Prevention early intervention programs provided services to 217 families to help them stop the inter-generational transmission of this disease to their children and 45 pregnant and postpartum women were served through our MOMS program helping to preserve the next generation.  With your support we can do more!

Your investment in recovery embodies the spirit of the adage “we take care of our own” and with your help, we can continue to play a significant role to ensure the continuation and success of these vital services.  In the links below you will find many ways to support recovery in this season of giving.  Please join us. 

Scrip gift card program:

Tree of Hope:

Giving Tuesday supporting our MOMS Program:

With gratitude,

Beverly J. Haberle, M.H.S., L.P.C., C.A.C.
Executive Director
The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.
Project Director, PRO-ACT

Bev Haberle Wants the Hope of Recovery to “Spread Like Wildfire.”

292358_253486728127055_1051017011_nI am a person in long-term recovery who hasn’t drank alcohol or used other drugs for more than 43 years.  My recovery has allowed me to be a mother, a wife, Executive Director of The Council, Project Director of PRO-ACT and many more accomplishments.  

I only just started speaking publicly about my own recovery about 15 years ago, when I began to help mobilize the recovery community.  I didn’t think people needed to see long term recovery role models.  I now understand that we are the evidence that long term recovery is a reality.  We are the proof that investing in recovery “pays off.” 

I strongly believe that speaking out is not right for everyone.  We respect that for many, recovery is a private matter that should stay private.  To “come out” is a big decision, and we fully support an individual’s choice in this regard.  

Still, there may be a misperception among some people who have been in recovery for several decades that because they no longer face stigma from their addiction, it’s not as critical to speak out publicly.  The reality is that as more people earlier in their recovery have come out, we also see people talking more and more about their 20, 30, 40 years in recovery.  Before they might have been afraid they were breaking traditions, or maybe they didn’t see their silence as an issue.  But now they see that speaking about their recovery has some very important benefits.     

Also, silence is a problem.  It can breed stigma, shame and the tendency for society to treat people and families suffering from addiction differently than other chronic illnesses.  My hope is that as more of us speak out, the mounting evidence that recovery is a reality will allow addiction treatment and recovery to one day be on par with the treatment regiments for other chronic diseases. 

For example, I am a breast cancer survivor.  The initial support I received after my diagnosis of cancer was much different than the initial support I received after my addiction diagnosis.  In 1971, during my hospital admission for alcohol poisoning, my doctor called for a family meeting and presented two options:  a year-long stay in a psychiatric asylum or brain surgery to alleviate my compulsion to drink alcohol (a prefrontal lobotomy).  Fortunately, my minister and a female member of a recovery support meeting at my church quietly interceded.  After hearing the woman’s recovery story, I learned of a third option.  I experienced “peer-to-peer support” at its best, even though my connection to this support was veiled in secrecy.  

This experience contrasts sharply with my battle against cancer.  As a person with breast cancer, I was immediately inundated with support from the healthcare system.  I recall stepping onto my oncologist’s floor and seeing a sign that read, “How can we help you with your recovery?”  I was then offered “make-up and wig” advice, yoga, family counseling  and nutrition consultations.  When I asked my doctor how much these services cost, he replied, “Nothing.  It’s all part of your treatment.  We want you to have the best chance of recovery that you can possibly have.” 

I want exactly the same thing for individuals and families who are suffering from the terrible disease of addiction: the best chance at recovery they can possibly have.  For this to occur, addiction treatment and recovery supports services are critical, and need to be connected through the whole recovery process.  We should not be fighting insurance companies for one more day of treatment, recovery check-ups or other recovery support services.  We should be free from the social stigma that characterizes us as weak or morally flawed.  Our disease should not take from us our dignity.    

This is an exciting time for recovery.  We are learning how to be more effective in dealing with this illness and how to really help people access and sustain long-term recovery.  We’re also having a huge impact on their families and their children and other people that see them. And more people are speaking out in support of recovery and against barriers.

So please support recovery in whatever way you feel is right for you.  Finding out more about PRO-ACT’s activities is a great place to start, as there are many, many ways that PRO-ACT members can and do support recovery.  Click here to read more about PRO-ACT. 

I believe that with your help, the hope for recovery is going to spread like wildfire. 

Beverly J. Haberle, M.H.S., L.P.C., C.A.C.
Executive Director, The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, Inc.
Project Director, PRO-ACT

Watch the video of Beverly Haberle talking about recovery, from the makers of “The Anonymous People”

Addiction: Recovering Main Street

blogDramatic increases in overdose rates now terrorize rural and suburban neighborhoods. Inner cities have long dealt with the quiet desperations of addiction, but now these new communities also are overrun. This clashes with our stereotypes of misuse and addiction.

My point isn’t to criticize very real and merited terror over prescription drug and heroin epidemics. It is to ask: what can we learn from this about our attitudes toward addiction and those who suffer from it?


Read the complete blog at

Thank You for Giving to The Council

winterDear Friend of Recovery,

A heartfelt thanks to all of you who have helped us make a difference in the health and lives of so many people this year. Now in The Council’s 38th year of providing a wide range of services to families, schools, businesses, individuals and our local communities, we are grateful to those of you helping with the increasing need for our services. Whether you are an associate in the field, generous donor, dedicated volunteer, friend or staff member THANK YOU for being there in 2013.

Some of the benefits received by more than 27,000 visitors to our recovery community centers this past year are quantifiable improvement in sustained recovery; improved mental health, increased financial stability; stable housing; and increased employment. And this coming year we are excited to be adding another recovery community center in Montgomery County–more about this in the near future. All of these services, in addition to our 24/7 recovery support line, family education program, help thousands of people to engage and sustain their recovery.

I am filled with optimism about the future and believe that the recovery field is beginning to undergo a positive transformation. With your continued help we can together change the way in which addiction is perceived and managed in our society.

But we must keep working hard and need your continuing financial support. Giving to The Council will help us with our mission to provide resources and opportunities to reduce the impact of addiction, trauma and other related health issues for the entire community.  We accomplish this through prevention, consultation, education, advocacy, assessment, intervention and recovery support services. 

The Council is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and your donations are tax-deductible.  Please visit our donation page for more information or click here to enter our secure donation site.    

The Council directors and staff join me in wishing you a safe and peaceful holiday season and a healthy and wonderful New Year.

Bev Haberle


Tree of Hope Ceremony

IMG_2720The Tree of Hope Ceremony CELEBRATES freedom from addiction, honoring persons successfully achieving recovery; DEDICATES rays of hope to those still struggling in the illness and those working in the field; and COMMEMORATES lives lost to this tragic and misunderstood disease.

Please join us and members of the public to decorate the Tree of Hope on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at the Bucks County Courthouse, with personalized ornaments bearing the names of people we wish to honor. Whether in commemoration and remembrance for a life lost, or in celebration and recognition for a life gained in recovery, each ornament placed on the 18-foot evergreen tree is a representation of the hope of recovery and a symbolic reminder that recovery benefits the entire community. Attendees will have special opportunities to place their dedicated ornaments on the tree during the ceremony and enjoy refreshments afterward.  

It’s not too late to purchase an ornament. For more information or to order an ornament click here

Webster’s Dictionary defines the word hope as “to want something to happen or be true and think that it could happen or be true.” 

We asked our community what HOPE means to them, we were overwhelmed by the responses we received and would like to share them with you during this season of HOPE. 

“Hope is not merely a wish or desire.  Hope is a confidence in the future.  I have hope thanks to the wonderful people in my life that I can lean on.” – Council Employee

“Hope is that ray of light that beams up the soul and whispers, it is possible’.” – Council Volunteer 

“Hope means a better future and never looking to the past!” – Council Employee 

“Since being clean hope has been given to me freely. I didn’t have to ask for hope, I didn’t have to seek hope. After working a program and re-connecting with my higher power, hope started appearing in my everyday life. I found Hope in the littlest things that would get me by each day. I now have hope in myself and my future.” – Council Program Participant 

“Hope is confidence.  Hope is determination.  Hope is courage, and faith is the ultimate expression of hope.  Belief fortifies the heart.” – Daisaku Ikeda, Facebook Friend 

“Hope is strength, wisdom, and faith.” – Parent 

“Just a tiny, itsy, bitty bit can go a long way – actually just about the size of a mustard seed should do the trick.” – Facebook Friend 

“Having something joyful to look forward to sums it up for me!” – Former Council Employee

“Hope is what makes me take the next step and know that I won’t be sorry.”  – Council Volunteer 

“A hopeless person feels difficulty in every chance, but a hopeful person feels a chance in every difficulty.” – Facebook Friend 

“Something that I am waiting for.  It’s a feeling of what I want to have.  Everything is going to be alright.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Hope means to me a fresh start in life, and it also give me a chance to make up for some of the troubled times I had in my life.  Hope is like a ray of sunshine, coming through your window in the morning.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Hope means to me, seeking opportunities.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Hope means many things for me such a sharing my hope and experience with my friends, family, peers and co-workers.  Also it is a time of the year that I share so much hope with my family knowing that I’m clean and sober.” – PPLA Alumni 

“There are better days ahead, I show and share the love that I’ve been shown.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Hope means to me when you have another person(s) in your life that you can help with their life struggles.  To maintain a meaningful and sober life.  By doing so it also gives me hope to lead a life of sobriety.  The real meaning of hope is that you have to believe in yourself and by doing so, it makes other people see the light in your life to bring light and hope to their life.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Being successful, overcoming obstacles, eliminating negatives, a hug or a smile, working hard, don’t listen to judgmental people, acceptance.” – PPLA Alumni 

“The chance to start over, to do life the right way.  The belief in the human spirit can and will add something in life to become your personal dream.  The way into real American life. Hope never ends. It can be the never ending light that shows you the way in the darkest night.  The feeling that starts inside and comes to the light. The hope for a better world. A reality that cannot be denied.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Blessings and mercy to breathe life into me everyday. To protect me from the daylight temptation, evil of the world, and nightfall disaster.  That I can live life with a clear view of the obstacles that are before me.  To overcome the negative in my life. To move forward with a  strong bearing and positive thinking and motive.  Sharing and giving the knowledge and wisdom of hope freely can help others know they can do better by wanting to help themselves and seek help.” – PPLA Alumni 

“A desire for something that I would like to see come through for myself or others. Hope is a gift.” – PPLA Alumni 

“Hope promises a way out of the darkness of addiction and into the light of recovery .” – Council Employee

“To me, hope comes from hearing other persons in recovery’s experience and strength. Hope is having faith in a power greater than myself, whatever I choose that to be.” – Council Volunteer 

“Hope is a positive outlook on life and for tomorrow.”  – Council Volunteer 

“Hope is what I now have in my life by being in recovery.”  – Program Participant 

“Hope is having  an amazing feeling about life and recovery.” – Program Participant 

“Hope is a trust and blind faith that I can be healed in recovery and there’s magic and joy ahead for me.”  – Council Volunteer 

“Hope is the possibility for anything if you work at it.” – Program Participant 

“A better future for our children.” – Council Employee 

What does HOPE mean to you?  Comment below. 

 Beverly Haberle, Executive Director

 Proceeds from the Tree of Hope will go toward providing Recovery Support Services to individuals and families and to supporting programs in our PRO-ACT Recovery Community Centers to help people access and sustain long-term recovery.

Giving Thanks


Give ThanksWelcome to our blog!  In the future, we would like to use this blog to provide you with current insight and information on prevention, intervention and recovery support services from a host of bloggers.  However, for our first message we would simply like to give thanks…

We give thanks to those who have volunteered a countless number of hours to work within our communities to support individuals who have been impacted by addiction.

We give thanks to the 20,000+ individuals who walked in unity with us at Recovery Walks! on September 21, 2013 to reduce the stigma of the disease of addiction.

We give thanks to the program participants who come into our Recovery Centers and offices each day and let us be a part of their lives.

We give thanks to the support of the families and communities we serve in Southeast Pennsylvania.

We give thanks to YOU, for your support, passion and guidance to help us with our journey.

Please have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season, and remember if you are in need of assistance during the holidays we are always a phone call away, 1-800- 221-6333.

Bev Haberle, Executive Director

Bailiwick Office Campus Unit 12, 252 West Swamp Rd. Doylestown, PA 18901 | 215.345.6644


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