COR Blog

Open Recovery in Marin Magazine

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COR Executive Director Fay Zenoff was profiled in the June 2017 issue of Marin Magazine and shared about the burgeoning Open Recovery movement, how public perception of addiction as a moral failing or criminal matter prevents access to treatment, and how COR is leading a grassroots effort to eliminate the stigma of addiction to change the way people think about and respond to one of the most urgent public health issues of our time.

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Open to Hope TV: The Intersection Between Sibling Loss, Addiction and Recovery feat. Fay Zenoff

By | COR News, From COR Director | No Comments

Open to Hope is an online community offering inspirational stories of loss, hope and recovery through TV, radio, articles and books. Each episode of Open to Hope TV showcases people who have suffered loss and again found hope. On this episode, Dr. Gloria Horsley, Dr. Heidi Horsley and Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, talk to COR Executive Director Fay Zenoff and Julia Sachs about the challenges of coping with the deaths of their siblings, Victor, Paul and Kristian. The show closes with Amy Cooper singing ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,’ a song originally made famous by Frank Sinatra. 

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Documentary at M-A on rescuing teens from drug addiction

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“Generation Found,” a documentary about a community effort to help teenagers recover from drug addiction, will be shown Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Performing Arts Center at Menlo-Atherton High School at 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. The film begins at 7:15 p.m, preceded by a reception from 6:30 to 7 p.m., and remarks by Fay Zenoff, executive director of the Center for Open Recovery, a San Francisco-based nonprofit working with individuals, families and communities to remove the stigma of addiction. Click here for tickets and to see the trailer. This event is part of M-A’s Parent Education Series. Sponsors are D’Anne Burwell, author of “Saving Jake: When Addiction Hits Home”; the Sequoia Healthcare District; and the Sequoia Union High School District.

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Fay Zenoff Wins the 4th Annual Miracles Breakfast Courage Award

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Recognized by her peers, Fay Zenoff - COR's Executive Director, received an award Friday November 4th for her contributions to the addiction recovery field through advocacy, leadership and courage - bringing Open Recovery to the community. Fay shared remarks with colleagues at the Miracles Breakfast hosted by Constellation Behavioral Health in San Francisco at the Olympic Club. Open Recovery findings its place among those working in mental health and the addiction recovery communities. Congratulations to Fay and to the entire team at COR.
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The Healing Truth of a Stranger

By | Recovery Inspiration | No Comments

Our family suffered a terrible tragedy, the death of our son and Henry’s brother, David. David died of a drug overdose on 12/20/15. David was well into rehab at a very well regarded treatment center. By all accounts he was doing well. We had planned a visit to David two weeks after he died. Henry has been mourning the loss of his brother ever since. Only yesterday (10/27/16) Henry told me (his mother) about the following as we were driving home from school. He had never mentioned any of this until yesterday. The day after David died, Henry was understandably in search of meaning regarding losing David. He was browsing on Instagram and saw a post written by a young woman who was struggling with heroin addiction. Henry responded to her post with the following message, which he did not want me to share with others, but I can’t help…

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COR: A Tenderloin Tale of Hope

By | COR News, Recovery Inspiration | No Comments

I no longer drink alcohol. It’s something I need to explain, because it’s something I don’t fully understand. This is a relatively recent thing, I should add. I have been dry for sixteen months, after nearly 50 years of… not being dry. My earliest exposure to alcohol came in a religious context. At my parents’ Passover table one year – I must have been five or six – I discovered that the sweet wine used in the service produced a dizzying sensation that was at once both frightening and funny. After that, I looked forward to the sips and small cups that punctuated Sabbath and festival observance, and which, with the benefit of hindsight, served as the nursery slopes of (much) more copious drinking as an adult. In my first career, as a peripatetic double-bass player, alcohol was the sea in which we all swam. From my decade of small-time…

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Did you catch COR in HuffPost?

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All across America, millions of people who once were imprisoned by their addictions, are now living healthy, free and productive lives in recovery. It’s time to share some of their stories. Watch Open Recovery featured in Facing Addiction's docu-series 'Out of the Shadows'. And read the full article which made front page of the Huffington Post.
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Road to Recovery 5K Announces The Mortar Foundation as Presenting Sponsor, Welcomes 49ers Legend Dennis Brown

By | Events, Road 2 Recovery | No Comments
First-Ever Recovery Celebration Event Finds Support and Participation from Local Community San Francisco, CA, April 25, 2016 – Center for Open Recovery (COR), is pleased to announce that The Mortar Foundation of San Francisco has become the presenting sponsor of the Bay Area’s first-of-its-kind community wellness event supporting recovery from addiction. The Road to Recovery 5K, on Sunday, May 1, 2016 will be emceed by KPIX Channel 5 News anchorman, Allen Martin and featured speaker Dennis Brown, San Francisco 49ers alum and Super Bowl XXIX Champion. The Mortar Foundation, through their generous financial support, has chosen to stand at the forefront of this critical issue with COR to end the stigma of addiction.  Historically viewed through the lens of shame and primarily treated as a crime or moral failing, addiction is in fact, a public health issue that has grown to become a crisis in our community and across the...
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Community Strengthens Recovery

By | From COR Director | No Comments

Last week while in Washington DC for an Alcohol Policy Conference, I had the honor of visiting the offices of Senators Feinstein, Boxer, and Congresswoman Pelosi to ask for their support enforcing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. That law, passed in 2008, has yet to be funded and therefore has not been implemented nor enforced. Without parity, those of us seeking insurance coverage for treatment and recovery services are not given sufficient information as to why our reimbursement claims are not being honored – as they should be. And while it is heartening and monumental that CARA – the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act recently passed the Senate by a vote of 94 to 1, and hopefully the House will quickly follow suit; without funding to address this public health crisis, these laws are nothing more than an acknowledgment and acceptance of dire injustice. How is it…

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Discharged from hospital with fatal dose of opiates. Who is accountable?

By | From COR Director | No Comments

Heartbreaking news of another young person in recovery dying today by accidental overdose to prescribed medication. How is this possible? Who is accountable? What can we do to stop this? “The fact that a discharging doctor could so easily send a patient out of the hospital with a potentially fatal dose of opiates is a reflection of how the rhetoric around treating drug addiction as a public health issue hasn’t gotten much beyond words” says reporter Jason Cherkis in his article. “If you’re allergic to penicillin, that goes on your record, and if a doctor comes in later and tries to write a prescription for penicillin, it’s blocked, you can’t do it,” said David Grubb. “And the same is true with drugs that interact with one another improperly. Anytime you do that, it’s part of the medical records and they’re all electronic.” Why is this not the case when treating…

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Why “open recovery” matters for the community

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Center for Open Recovery’s Drug Diversion Program is geared towards supporting  participants to make positive behavioral and lifestyles changes through the reduction of and/or elimination of using alcohol and other drugs as a solution that actually causes unwelcomed and unintended problems. Instead of reaching for substances, we help clients identify other healthier choices that they can make to enhance their lives and empower themselves to live healthily and positively. Our Drug Diversion Programs consist of 12-24 weeks of group education and counseling sessions. Ryan K. recently participated in the three month Drug Diversion Program, completing the program in January 2016.  He shared the unexpected benefits of his experience: “As I think back to being handcuffed and walking out of the courthouse, it was hard to see what could come out of it.  I was arrested — a bag of cocaine fell out of my pocket at the Bay to Breakers…

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Election Promises and Recovery Parades

By | From COR Director | No Comments
Last week, I listened to one of our presidential candidates outline a ‘five point plan’ for addressing the nation's opioid and heroin epidemic. The plan entailed: 1. Reforming the criminal  justice system to move people with addiction from denial into treatment — rather than into jails. 2. Building greater treatment capacity to increase the number of people who can access help and also reduce the waiting time. 3. Distributing rescue kits widely to be immediately responsive to those who overdose. 4. Utilizing a national database tracking prescriptions to stop doctors and patients from over-dispensing. 5. Changing attitudes to get rid of the stigma of addiction through nationwide prevention and education programs. I absolutely agree with all the points above. However, glaringly absent, from this list is a point focused on supporting long-term recovery. In my opinion, supporting long-term recovery is essential for a truly comprehensive and affective plan. Today the...
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Secondhand Drinking Recovery

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My name is Lisa Frederiksen. I’m 62 years old. In 2015, I celebrated 34 years recovery from anorexia and bulimia – the eating disorders with which I’d struggled for 12 years. I also celebrated 12 years recovery from secondhand drinking – the impacts of loved ones’ drinking behaviors with which I’d struggled for nearly four decades. “Recovery” From Eating Disorders Thanksgiving is the day I quietly celebrate my recovery from bulimia even though my recovery had started around Halloween.  That’s when I happened to read a small column in a Newsweek magazine that talked about a woman who’d been eating huge quantities of food and then throwing it up — for seven years. The column went on to call this behavior bulimarexia. I’d never heard the term but just reading that someone else was doing what I’d been doing, and that she’d stopped, dropped me to my knees. I write, “quietly celebrate,” because back…

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From Darkness to ‘Open Recovery’

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“As I think back to being handcuffed and walking out of the courthouse, it was hard to see what could come out of it. I was arrested — a bag of cocaine fell out of my pocket at the Bay to Breakers race. Those were dark days. It was tough for me to swallow the impact of my situation – especially on my family. My parents work for the government – and as a result of my arrest, my mom lost her security clearance. Instead of going to jail, I participated in the 3 month Drug Diversion program at COR. Most of us got there and were anxious to get through it. There were 20 people in the program when I arrived. We met weekly and over time we began to open up and talk. The facilitators really cared. I got comfortable and began to see how the others transformed…

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Ending shame to save our children’s lives

By | From COR Director | No Comments

I received a call just before the holidays from someone interested in donating to one of our prevention programs. It’s not often that we are sought out by a prospective donor. The importance of our work seems largely obscured by the prevailing societal disdain for addicts. We all know that this country has waged a “war on drugs” for several decades now, resulting in our criminalizing users rather than minimizing the flow of illegal substances onto our streets . This means many of those needing help are met with judgment and typically given minimal access to short-term resources if not incarcerated. So I was quite interested to understand what had prompted this unexpected call. My heart sank as I listened to the all too familiar story of loss, grief, heartbreak and shock. The day prior to our conversation, the caller’s best friend had lost her son to a drug overdose….

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new life

A Pause in the Storm

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Did I have a drinking problem? Let’s just say, I did not have a problem drinking. I drank at sporting events, in college, at pool parties. I never thought that much about it. But things spiked when the economy went down in 2010 and my firm essentially closed its doors. I was under-employed and it hurt. I was home drinking and doing yard work. I went to get some gas and came back. Then the police arrived and I was arrested for a driving under the influence. It was an unfortunate mistake. I had essentially done the same thing years before. My wife had poured out my booze – so I went out to get more. And when I got back – the police showed up. I had never been arrested before. I enrolled in a DUI class at COR (then it was called NCA) – as part of what…

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road to addiction recovery

One Man’s Journey

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My name is Richard … I have 31 years of continuous sobriety. I grew up in a loving middle income family in New York City … My father was a business owner and an ALCOHOLIC … my mom was a stay at home mother…. My job was to IGNORE the stress of his drinking, anger, and bickering. I acted as if everything was normal … this is where I developed my CO-DEPENDENCE … I learned to hold in the stress and compensate with FOOD, my first ADDICTION. It helped me to regulate my emotions and hide my pain.               This was followed by  GIRLS, PORNOGRAPHY, ALCOHOL, FALLING IN LOVE, and  DRUGS… BREAKING OUT At the age of 23, I was married, and a salesman . I was like a 50 years old man!!!!!!!!!!!!! At 26, in 1967, I tried L.S.D. and  TURNED ON and DROPPED OUT … I left everything I knew and moved…

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road to recovery

New name, new focus, big celebration!

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From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem like it’s been a bit quiet over here this past year. Well, after our big move last summer to 1170 Market Street – we did indeed go pretty silent… but we were working hard on lots of great things and are now super excited to share. As you now see…we’ve unveiled a new name. And with it, a new identity, and an evolution of purpose. We have shifted our focus from  “the problem”- addiction, to the “solution”, long-term recovery. Because as anyone in recovery knows, it’s a lifelong process – not a one-time event. So explore our new website and learn about our new initiatives. Yes, we do still offer our well-known NCA programs such as DUI, Diversion and Counseling.So explore our programs and projects to learn more and get involved. And now for another big announcement…. We thought the new name deserved…

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