Alina Lodge Blog

2020 Alina Lodge Virtual Gratitude Event

12:00 PM (EST) on June 13, 2020 - Facebook Live.

Posted May 27, 2020

Virtual Gratitude Event, Alina Lodge

Like the page and tune in on that day and time!”

As we embrace the changes that COVID-19 has brought to us, we have found the opportunities it offers.

"When the door closes, look for the open window."

As many of you already know, we have transitioned from our annual in-person Gratitude Picnic to a Live Virtual event, and we have found many open windows!  We are excited that this event can be attended by more alumni, families and friends from across the nation.  We look forward to showing you what we are grateful for.

Read the full article.

Renee Harman
Director of Development and Communications, Alina Lodge

He finally asked for help and The Lodge was there.

Alumni Testimonial

May 15, 2020

Alumni Testimonial, Alina Lodge

Only Hollywood actors and homeless people are alcoholics and addicts.  Only THEY have a problem with alcohol and drugs… I DO NOT!”

This was my absolute certainty: a boy (I was actually a man of forty when I got sober but I behaved like a little boy) from a very good family, with a great education, creative, charming, smart, caring, with lots of friends and a family who loves him CANNOT have a problem.  For me, I told myself, alcohol and drugs were a choice, a lifestyle, part of being an artist… they were necessary to create better.

What I could not see was...
Read the full article.

Alumni, Alina Lodge

What is Stress, it's Impact & 12 Ways to De-Stress in Trying Times

Coping in Recovery

April 24, 2020

Coping with Stress during Covid-19, Alina Lodge

One of our biggest challenges in life is managing our stress levels in a complex world filled with various demands and expectations.  With COVID-19, we are globally experiencing an increase in anxiety, loss and uncertainty.  Small daily hassles are compounded by much larger concerns regarding our well-being, safety and future.

Stress management has always been a critical component of long-term recovery.  Given the global crisis we are all experiencing, it is absolutely imperative on so many levels...

Read the full article.

Jackie Ré
Program Director
Haley House

Alina Lodge is Standing Ready

We are accepting admissions

April 17, 2020

Heather Ferris, Alina Lodge

Alina Lodge stands ready to provide addiction treatment for recovery as these trying times only exacerbate the stresses on people struggling with substance use disorder (SUD).  Covid-19 changed the landscape of the recovery community and many people have had to implement new methods and avenues for recovery and treatment.

Alina Lodge and Haley House for Women remain open for admissions as we believe people need help for SUD now more than ever.   Our team has rapidly adjusted to the pandemic with enhanced policies, procedures, and testing.  Every new student has been medically screened and approved for admission.  

Alina Lodge continues to partner with detox centers and hospitals to make sure that each admission is properly quarantined as well...

Read the full article.

Heather Ferris
BA, BRI-C - National Director of Marketing and Admissions
Alina Lodge

Staying Sober in the Age of Social Distancing

It begins with Gratitude

April 10, 2020

Megan Hein, Alina Lodge

While we all continue to adjust to the closure of businesses, schools, places of worship, etc. during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to remember that addiction is not going away, and neither is recovery.

If you are suffering from an addiction, or are in recovery from an addiction, there are some things you can do to care for yourself during this difficult time.

Keep a routine.  Keep sitting down to meals. Don’t forget that morning cup of coffee you enjoy.  Keep as much structure in your day as you can.  My family is making a point of getting up and dressed at our normal time to maintain our routine... Read the full article.

Megan Hein
Counselor, MA, LCSW, LCADC
Alina Lodge

Online Meetings - Innovative Solutions for Difficult Times

Staying Connected; Alina Lodge is Here for You

April 2, 2020

Online AA Meetings for Alumni, Alina Lodge

You are our number one priority: our alumni.  Alina Lodge and Haley House have started online AA meetings.

It isn’t the same as an in-person meeting, but it is the closest thing we can get to comfort and routine.  No one understands what you are feeling better than another alcoholic/addict in these online meetings through Zoom.  This is not a bunch of strangers, it’s me (Laurie) your dedicated Alumni Coordinator and Amanda from Haley House hosting.  I am hoping most of you will recognize me and find familiarity in seeing me and hearing my voice.  We can all get through this together.  You are not alone...  Read the full article.

Laurie Andrysiak - Alumni Coordinator
Alina Lodge

Covid-19 Coronavirus Policy

Our proactive stance at Alina Lodge and Haley House

March 12, 2020

Covid-19 Coronavirus Policy, Alina Lodge

Alina Lodge and Haley House are taking a proactive stance to protect student, resident, employee and visitor health.  We are working to address people’s uncertainty and apprehension as well as to contribute to public health efforts to be able to continue our important addiction treatment services.

We have adopted internal measures to reduce environmental risk and prepare for various contingencies.  These include policies around infection prevention practices, and environmental disinfection routines.  Our policies, procedures and decisions will be based on facts provided by local and state agencies, as well as, the recommendations of the CDC and WHO.  Please understand that this is an evolving situation and we will continue to update all policies and procedures as necessary...  Read the full policy.

View printer-friendly:  Covid-19 Coronavirus Policy

Alina Lodge

Nutrition and Recovery

Good nutrition is vital to the recovery process

March 2020 -National Nutrition Month

Good nutrition is vital to the recovery process, Alina Lodge

Alcoholism and drug addiction is a disease of the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of life.  At the very basic level, alcoholism and drug addiction creates a lifestyle that starves the addict in all these areas.  We have learned that a person’s physical needs must be met before they can make progress in other areas of their lives.

According to Erikson’s Hierarchy of Needs, physiological needs are first on the list.  Food, water, warmth and rest are required before someone can move further up on the pyramid toward self-esteem and self-fulfillment...
Read the full article

Eileen Reuter - MA, LPC, LCADC
Alina Lodge

A Desire to Live

An Alina Lodge Alumna's Story of Hope

February 2020

A Desire to Live, Alina Lodge

I entered Alina Lodge completely lost, scared and ready to give up.  I was 30 years old and had spent the past 6 years in and out of treatment centers after relapsing after several years sober.

I felt as if I had lost everything and there was no reason to live.  I was unable to stay sober after leaving treatments and could never understand why. I was basically dropped off at Alina’s doorstep.  My parents drove away as fast as they could because they knew that I was in the stage of my addiction that Alina was my only hope.

My family, unfortunately, had been preparing for my death.  On the way to Alina I read about there being a place where hope can become fact.  At that moment I had a little glimmer of hope but what really made this place any different from my previous treatment centers... Read the full article.

Shelley G.
Alina Lodge Alumna

Professionals Speak

What Leading Recovery Industry Professionals Say About Alina Lodge

February 2020

Professional Endorsements, Alina Lodge

Here are a few thoughts from industry professionals who trust their clients to the proven long-term addiction recovery program at Alina Lodge.

Our mission at Alina Lodge is to provide effective residential treatment and care, both as a first-stop facility and for the chronically ill and relapse-prone alcoholics, drug addicts, and those with dual disorders, and to provide a strong family program.  We have been providing long term rehabilitation of substance abuse successfully for over 63 years... Read the full article.

Several Industry Professionals

A Grateful Valentine

My Husband’s Sobriety is a Gift that will last a Lifetime

February 2020

A Grateful Valentine, Alina Lodge

December 21, 2016, this is the day my husband entered Alina Lodge and had his last drink.

Up until this day, my days were filled with so much fear, anger and sadness.  I felt powerlessness on a daily basis.  In August 2016, Jimmy, went into the hospital with acute pancreatitis and then fell into ketoacidosis. HIs organs started to fail, and he was on a ventilator for 3 days.  I prayed every day that if he pulled through this would be it.  He’ll be ok and stop!  I thought for sure this was his rock bottom.  I remember sitting there all day and praying.

I wanted to walk out the door and never look back so many times, but I couldn’t. For better or worse.

... Read the full article.

Wife of a Sober Alina Lodge Alumni

Healing One Day at a Time

Addiction Isn’t About Alcohol and Drugs.

February 2020

Bill Rust, Counselor, Alina Lodge

Addiction is a chronic, progressive disease which cannot be cured, but with proper treatment, it can be kept in check by a daily program of recovery.

Nobody wants to become an addict. Never have I heard someone say struggling-with-addiction was on their bucket list of things-to-do in life. People don’t choose to be an addict; unfortunately, addiction chooses them. Once caught in its grasp, there’s little they can do to stop the progression.

At Alina Lodge we are dedicated to helping addicts... Read the full article.

Bill Rust
Alina Lodge

2020 Spring Refresher

At Alina Lodge

January 2020

Refresher 2020, Alina Lodge

Step away from the chaos of daily life and renew the foundation of sobriety that you gained at Alina lodge. Alina Lodge is now offering Alumni Refreshers.

Does your program need a refresher? Are you feeling spiritually centered? Do you need to return to the Lodge to get grounded and focus on what’s important?

Read the full article.

Laurie Andrysiak
Alumni Coordinator
Alina Lodge

Body, Mind and Spirit

Addiction as a Tri-fold Disease; Recovery as a Holistic Approach

January 2020

Mind, Body and Spirit, Alina Lodge

Addiction is a disease that affects the whole person - body, mind and spirit. It is a process that often begins with a spiritual malady, an overall feeling of loneliness, and a lack of purpose and meaning in one’s life.

In addition, lack of effective coping strategies and a history of negative thinking patterns often lead to a sense of hopelessness...
Read the full article.

Jackie Ré
Program Director
Haley House

A Parent’s Perspective

We were scared, lost and feared losing our son.

January 2020

A Parent’s Perspective, Alina Lodge

It is fair to say that Saturday, November 5, 2016 was one of the toughest days of our lives. We knew our youngest son, Matt, was in deep trouble. He had become rail thin, detached and seemed very lost. At the young age of 18 it did not help that he was away at college and our interactions were limited.

We were scared, lost and feared losing our son...
Read the full article.

Kim C.
Parent of Alumnus

Not Just January

Today's society expects instant gratification and immediate results...

January 2020

Thérèse Smerklo, Counselor, Alina Lodge

If you have an addiction, putting down a drink or drug is one of the most difficult things you will ever do in your life. The power of these brain (and hence mood) altering substances is so strong that it leads one to compromise every value that is important to them and ultimately march them towards death.

It isn't prudent to think that a short-term fix can remedy years of addiction...
Read the full article.

Thérèse Smerklo

Sobriety is much more than not drinking/drugging

It is there for anyone who wants it.

January 2020

William Robbins, Executive Director, Alina Lodge

If you have an addiction, putting down a drink or drug is one of the most difficult things you will ever do in your life. The power of these brain (and hence mood) altering substances is so strong that it leads one to compromise every value that is important to them and ultimately march them towards death.

Yet to be sober, not drinking or drugging is not enough...
Read the full article.

William Robbins
Executive Director

Practicing Delayed Gratification & Use of DBT in Treatment

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

December 2019

Ryan Lansdell

In today’s culture the concept of delayed gratification appears to have an old-world feel to it. This culture encourages us to pursue band-aid solutions and instant gratification. Some of the mentality today is to do whatever it takes to alleviate discomfort now in sacrificing long term gains.

This is predominantly by the impact social media has on our lives. It’s also prevalent in get rich schemes, same day delivery, casinos, and commercials for psychiatric medications.

"Putting off gratification can lead to better control over one’s impulses in just about every area of your life."

Read the full article.

Ryan Lansdell
Counselor - MA, LAC, LCADC
North Warren Counseling Center

A message of recovery and gratitude

Thanksgiving Testimonial

November 2019

Grateful... to live a fulfilling life of long-term recovery.

Thanksgiving recovery testimonial

When I came to Alina Lodge my life was in shambles. I had been living in a flea infested house, unemployed, got kicked out for not paying rent, and all I wanted to do was use drugs until I never woke up again.

I had no hope for the future, no self-respect, and no desire to live.

"The Lodge and my counselor saved my life. I’m forever grateful."

Read the full article.

Phil C.
Alumnus, Alina Lodge - Long-term recovery program

Choosing One's Own Way

Gratitude and Our Scholarship Fund

November 2019

Reflections on the recent Golf Tournament and 5k Racing Events.

William Robbins, Executive Director, Alina Lodge

In Victor Frankl's stirring book, "Man’s Search for Meaning" Frankl, who writes about his experience as a Holocaust and Nazi concentration camp survivor, states,
"Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way."

Read full article.

William Robbins
Executive Director, Little Hill Foundation

Inaugural Malinda Mattar Memorial Golf Tournament

September 2019

The Mattar family has created the Malinda Mattar Golf Tournament

Malinda Mattar

It is with gratitude that we announce the Inaugural Malinda Mattar Golf Tournament will be held on Monday, October 21 st at Panther Valley Golf and Country Club in Allamuchy, NJ. Proceeds will go to Little Hill Foundation which operates Alina Lodge.

Dear friends of the Mattar Family,

As you may know, on August 27 th of last year, our beautiful 25 year-old daughter Malinda lost her battle with drugs. She had a kind heart and touched the lives of so many. Her troubles began at age 16 with prescription painkillers and for 9 years she fought hard for her life, attending a number of rehabilitation treatment centers along the way. And while she was able to experience periods of sobriety, she ultimately lost her fight.

As you can imagine, her loss haunts us every day. There’s no way to make sense of it. But we feel that we can do something that might help at least one family avoid the pain and grief we’ve endured. We’ve chosen to support the Little Hill Foundation, a non-profit organization operating Alina Lodge, a long-term residential alcohol and drug addiction rehab facility near Blairstown...

Click to read the full letter from Mattar and Linda Mattar here.

Polypharmacy, Monotherapy, Deprescribing, and Vindication

July 2019

Who doesn’t enjoy the opportunity to say "I told you so?"

Perhaps only the most self-critical and masochistic individual doesn’t like to be vindicated. What follows in this piece is the story of vindication for the way we do certain things -- and always have done certain things -- at the Little Hill Foundation.

Daniel P. Greenfield, MD, MPH, MS
Psychiatric Consultant, Little Hill Foundation

In psychiatric practice, as in so many areas of human activity, the pendulum of trends in prescribing psychotropic ("acting on the mind," or "psyche") medications has swung widely over the years: From disinterest and avoidance of these medications (during the psychanalytic era in the first half of the twentieth century); to the guarded but hopeful use of limited psychotropic agents (in the 1960's and 1970's); to the acceptance of tailored and specific "monotherapy," or use of single agents for patients (in the 1980's and 1990's");* to "polypharmacy," the enthusiastic and wholesale prescribing of multiple psychotropic medication for multiple presumed clinical diagnoses in the same individual (in the 1990’s and 2000’s); to a recent backlash movement against polypharmacy called "deprescribing" (over the past several years).

Read full article.

Daniel P. Greenfield, MD, MPH, MS
Psychiatric Consultant, Little Hill Foundation
Clinical Professor of Neuroscience (Psychiatry), Seton Hall University


July 2019

Client-Centered-Therapy and Client-Centered Language is changing the way we do therapy and document client records all together.

It allows the client to be the expert with their story, empowers their decision-making; and increases autonomy within the counseling relationship while being genuine, and truly empathetic using client-sensitive language.

Jennifer Russo, Clinical Director NWCC

With that being said-- it was only a matter of time that within the drug and alcohol field, this would lead to how we would change the way we address the "Family Disease", and more specifically, "Codependency".

Robert Weiss, Phd. in Addiction and Sex Therapy, is responsible for beginning a movement in how we address codependency. This movement is known as "Prodependence".

Read full article.

Jennifer Russo
Clinical Director, North Warren Counseling Center

Managing the Substance Use Disorder client with a Co-morbid Eating Disorder

June 2019

In my experience, approximately 40-50% of our population of women with Substance Use Disorder have also been diagnosed with an Eating Disorder, or display disordered eating behaviors.

Due to the severity of both illnesses, and in order to be a more effective therapist, I believe it is essential to treat these disorders concurrently.

Jackie Re, Program Director Haley House

To further complicate matters, co-morbidity is high among this population, including other disorders such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders.

Frequently SUD and ED clients will also have physical and medical complications due to their drug use and disordered eating patterns.
Read full article.

Jackie Ré
Program Director, Haley House

2019: A Year for Optimism

June 2019

I am writing this note the day after our annual Gratitude Picnic.

It will be difficult to top this year’s event! Perfect weather, a fantastic turnout, great food, a superb speaker, friends old and new! It is just wonderful to see our beautiful campus filled with beaming smiles. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who worked so hard and gave so much to make it such a success.

Robert Berry, Board of Trustees President

This is my first year as President of the Board. It is an exciting time in our history, and I feel both humbled and proud to work with Bill Robbins as he and I start our stewardship.

There is a lot for us to be optimistic about.
Read full article.

Robert Berry
Little Hill Foundation Board of Trustees

Mental Health Awareness Month

May 2019

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

The theme of Mental Health Awareness Month 2019 is #4Mind4Body, reflecting the relationship between mind and body in health. In the words on the ancient Romans, "Mens sana in corpore sano" ("A sound mind in a sound body").

Dr. Daniel Greenfield

Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed for the month of May since 1949, in an effort to educate and destigmatize the public and its all-too-prevalent confusion and fear about mental illness. Combining mental illness with substance use disorders (i.e. 'dual diagnosis') a high prevalence, or proportionate – upwards of 35% of the adult population of the country experiences either or both of these conditions during a lifetime...
Read full article.

Daniel Greenfield, MD, MPH, MS
Medical Team

What is Mindfulness?

May 2019

What is mindfulness and how do you practice it?

Mindfulness is a term used to describe a way of responding to stress that allows you to get out of old mental patterns which worsen stress and decrease problem solving.

BluJean Casey

Mindfulness is a tool that is beneficial for people struggling with mental health and substance use disorders, but it is just as useful for everyday stressors. Practicing mindfulness means increasing your awareness of the present moment without judgment...
Read full article.

BluJean Casey, MA, LAC, NCC
North Warren Counseling Center Team

Alcohol Awareness Month

April 2019

April is Alcohol Awareness Month,

a public health program organized by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1987 to increase awareness and outreach surrounding the dangers of alcohol.

Megan Hein

Originally targeted at college-age students, Alcohol Awareness Month is now a national movement meant to improve understanding of the causes and effects of alcoholism and enable families and communities to better deal with alcohol-related issues...
Read full article.

Megan Hein
Clinical Team Member, Alina Lodge

Gratitude Picnic

April 2019

A message from Erica Norris

I’d like to tell you why the Picnic is so important to me personally. You see, I am a recipient of the Scholarship Fund. Without it, I would not have been able to finish my stay at Alina Lodge. When I ran out of funds, Alina Lodge did not discharge me. I stayed until my counselor said I was ready to go.

The Gratitude Picnic and the Scholarship Fund is what made this possible. It is my honor to be the Chairperson of the 2019 Gratitude Picnic

Erica Norris - Little Hill Foundation

You can help support the Scholarship Fund with a purchase of a Gratitude Journal ad, a raffle ticket or sponsorship. The Journal ad form is attached, and you may write a message in honor of your counselor, a loved one, a memorial or a simple message of hope to others. You never know the life you have touched...
Read full article.

Erica Norris

It's about Time

April 2019

A message from our Executive Director - William Robbins

I must say I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about both our founder, Mrs. Geraldine Delaney and our most recent Executive Director, Michael Hornstein... It's about Time

Bill Robbins

As I embark on my own stewardship of Little Hill Foundation and work with our Board of Trustees to create a vision of our future, I inevitably keep returning to our past....
Read full article.

William Robbins
Executive Director


March 2019

March is National Nutrition Month.

Nutrition in Recovery: The goal is to find a balance in intake between Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fat to meet macronutrient needs, balance brain chemistry, and maintain a stable blood glucose level...

Ellen Sagan

By taking in adequate protein, cravings can be minimized which helps prevent the need to use drugs, alcohol, or sugar to meet those needs...
Read full article.

Ellen Sagan, B.S., RD


February 2019

Don’t Call Me Names: You’re Codependent, You’re An Enabler, You’re The Weak Link.

The truth is Codependency is different than loving, caring, helping and being supportive.

Donna Pittala

A family that is dealing with an active addict is in crisis, many times dealing with life and death situations. There are no hard and fast rules to tell us exactly how to respond in each situation. Right now, the opioid epidemic has many families in a panic...
Read full article.

Donna Pittala, MA, LCADC, CODS, CCS
Director of Family Services

Eating Disorder Recovery

January 2019

Eileen Reuter - Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor

At Alina Lodge we are aware of the many co-occurring disorders that our students struggle with, in addition to their substance abuse. These combined issues add confusing and complicated components to treatment. But it is necessary to address...
Read full article.

Eileen Reuter