[Hpn] Program helps women kick addiction

William Charles Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Sat, 02 Dec 2006 04:50:10 -0500


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Program helps women kick addiction=20

Web Posted: 12/01/2006
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA120206.04B.GOG_Alpha_H=
ome.2e5a4d4.html

Laura E. Jesse
Express-News=20

A few years ago, 36-year-old Rita Godina was sitting in a jail cell =
watching another female inmate deteriorate from the lingering effects of =
drug addiction.=20
Godina, who'd been jailed on shoplifting charges, was a heroin and =
cocaine addict herself, and watching the other inmate provided a moment =
of clarity.=20


"I was pretty much at the lowest a person could be," she said. "For me =
it was a spiritual awakening. I thought, 'If I don't stop now that will =
be me.'"=20

Child Protective Services had already taken away her 8-year-old =
daughter, and Godina, who was homeless, was ready to give her up for =
adoption to continue abusing drugs.=20

After a judge ordered her to residential drug treatment as a condition =
of getting her daughter back, Godina called the Alpha Home and was =
accepted into a 90-day inpatient program.=20

There were times, Godina said, when she literally had to grab the sides =
of her chair to stop herself from walking out. But now she has been =
drug-free and has had custody of her daughter for three years.=20

Started by Trinity Baptist Church, Alpha Home Inc. for 40 years has =
provided a homelike setting for female drug abusers to kick their habits =
and become self-sustaining. The group treats about 400 women annually =
and offers support services to twice that many children.=20

Alpha Home is one of the nonprofits the Express-News is featuring in its =
annual Grace of Giving series, which runs daily through Christmas.=20

Women are referred to Alpha Home through Bexar and area counties' adult =
probation departments, the Texas Department of State Health Services, =
family or drug courts, churches, and self-referrals, said executive =
assistant Nangie Lowrie.=20

The home offers residential and outpatient programs with a 12-step focus =
and individual, group and family counseling, anger resolution and =
medical and mental health care. Prevention programs for at-risk pregnant =
and postpartum women and a counseling program for children of addicted =
mothers were recently added.=20

"I think the most important thing for me was the one-on-one counseling =
that I had," Godina said during a break from her transportation job at =
the center.=20

Clients must find outside work after 30 days of residential treatment, =
Lowrie said, but women have to wait two years after finishing the =
program to work at the home. About one-third of the staff members are =
recovering addicts and alumni of the program.=20

While Alpha Home has an agreement with the University of Texas Health =
Science Center to operate a weekly on-site medical clinic, the =
organization is always in need of money or H-E-B gift cards to pay for =
clients' prescriptions. The gift cards also come in handy to cover the =
annual grocery bill, which tops about $80,000.=20

Lowrie said the organization needs women's pajamas and gloves to give =
clients for Christmas presents. They can use other items such as shower =
gels, hair care products, bath towels, washcloths and winter coats.=20

Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at 300 E. Mulberry Ave., San =
Antonio, 78212.=20

Godina still takes each day as a new challenge, but she knows she can =
reach out to anyone at the home and they will understand and support =
her.=20

"I like to say Alpha Home was the last house on the block and they took =
me in," Godina said. "I'm just amazed at that connection we continue to =
have."=20


ljesse@express-news.net 
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<DIV><STRONG><FONT size=3D5>&nbsp;</FONT></STRONG>
<H2 class=3Dvitstoryheadline><SPAN class=3Dvitstoryheadline>Program =
helps women kick=20
addiction </SPAN></H2>
<P></P><FONT size=3D-1><B>
<H5 class=3Dvitstorydate><SPAN class=3Dvitstorydate>Web Posted:=20
12/01/2006</SPAN></H5>
<H5 class=3Dvitstorydate><SPAN class=3Dvitstorydate><A=20
href=3D"http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/MYSA120206.04B.GOG=
_Alpha_Home.2e5a4d4.html">http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/metro/stories/=
MYSA120206.04B.GOG_Alpha_Home.2e5a4d4.html</A></SPAN></H5></B></FONT>
<P></P><FONT size=3D-1><B><SPAN class=3Dvitstorybyline>Laura E.=20
Jesse<BR>Express-News</SPAN></B></FONT> <SPAN class=3Dvitstorybody>
<P></P>A few years ago, 36-year-old Rita Godina was sitting in a jail =
cell=20
watching another female inmate deteriorate from the lingering effects of =
drug=20
addiction.=20
<P>Godina, who'd been jailed on shoplifting charges, was a heroin and =
cocaine=20
addict herself, and watching the other inmate provided a moment of =
clarity. </P>
<DIV id=3Ddyn_sidebar><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<P>"I was pretty much at the lowest a person could be," she said. "For =
me it was=20
a spiritual awakening. I thought, 'If I don't stop now that will be =
me.'" </P>
<P>Child Protective Services had already taken away her 8-year-old =
daughter, and=20
Godina, who was homeless, was ready to give her up for adoption to =
continue=20
abusing drugs. </P>
<P>After a judge ordered her to residential drug treatment as a =
condition of=20
getting her daughter back, Godina called the Alpha Home and was accepted =
into a=20
90-day inpatient program. </P>
<P>There were times, Godina said, when she literally had to grab the =
sides of=20
her chair to stop herself from walking out. But now she has been =
drug-free and=20
has had custody of her daughter for three years. </P>
<P>Started by Trinity Baptist Church, Alpha Home Inc. for 40 years has =
provided=20
a homelike setting for female drug abusers to kick their habits and =
become=20
self-sustaining. The group treats about 400 women annually and offers =
support=20
services to twice that many children. </P>
<P>Alpha Home is one of the nonprofits the Express-News is featuring in =
its=20
annual Grace of Giving series, which runs daily through Christmas. </P>
<P>Women are referred to Alpha Home through Bexar and area counties' =
adult=20
probation departments, the Texas Department of State Health Services, =
family or=20
drug courts, churches, and self-referrals, said executive assistant =
Nangie=20
Lowrie. </P>
<P>The home offers residential and outpatient programs with a 12-step =
focus and=20
individual, group and family counseling, anger resolution and medical =
and mental=20
health care. Prevention programs for at-risk pregnant and postpartum =
women and a=20
counseling program for children of addicted mothers were recently added. =
</P>
<P>"I think the most important thing for me was the one-on-one =
counseling that I=20
had," Godina said during a break from her transportation job at the =
center. </P>
<P>Clients must find outside work after 30 days of residential =
treatment, Lowrie=20
said, but women have to wait two years after finishing the program to =
work at=20
the home. About one-third of the staff members are recovering addicts =
and alumni=20
of the program. </P>
<P>While Alpha Home has an agreement with the University of Texas Health =
Science=20
Center to operate a weekly on-site medical clinic, the organization is =
always in=20
need of money or H-E-B gift cards to pay for clients' prescriptions. The =
gift=20
cards also come in handy to cover the annual grocery bill, which tops =
about=20
$80,000. </P>
<P>Lowrie said the organization needs women's pajamas and gloves to give =
clients=20
for Christmas presents. They can use other items such as shower gels, =
hair care=20
products, bath towels, washcloths and winter coats. </P>
<P>Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at 300 E. Mulberry Ave., =
San=20
Antonio, 78212. </P>
<P>Godina still takes each day as a new challenge, but she knows she can =
reach=20
out to anyone at the home and they will understand and support her. </P>
<P>"I like to say Alpha Home was the last house on the block and they =
took me=20
in," Godina said. "I'm just amazed at that connection we continue to =
have." </P>
<P></P><I>ljesse@express-news.net </I></SPAN></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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