LIRA Introduces 12 to 12 Telephone and Text Recovery Support Service

In January, LIRA was awarded a mini grant through OASAS and The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene and launched a new Telephone & Text Recovery Support line targeting youth and young adults. The LIRA young people’s committee came up with this innovative first of its kind reciprocal, telephone communication network for individuals in recovery seeking support. The initial pilot project was staffed by Recovery Support Specialists (RSS): Conor Mulvaney, Jenny Von Lang, Joe Cavallo, and Kelly Marie Serrano. 12 to 12 has since trained a group of volunteers to help staff and strengthen the service. You can reach a 12 to 12 RSS rep Mon-Sun 12PM to 12AM at 844-551-1212.


Continues to exceed expectations and shatter predictions. With a robust schedule of events, activities, and groups THRIVE has raised the bar in becoming the gold standard for recovery centers in New York; leading the way through a collaborative effort by founding partners LIRA, FCA, FIST, and LICADD in conjunction with a dedicated staff and team of volunteers. Come on down to 1324 Motor Parkway, Suite 102 and see why we are thriving on Long Island!

Above, LIRA hosted an All Recovery Night of Gratitude on Thanksgiving Saturday which generated over 140 attendees.


Please join us this year on Friday, September 28, 2018 at 7 PM at St. Peters in Huntington Station as we celebrate National Recovery Month with our flagship event. Please consider a sponsorship level, donation or door prize. For more information on the event or to donate, click here to view this section of our website.


LIRA continues to work together with the other member organizations under the LICAN umbrella in an effort to add sorely needed resources to the Long Island battle against opioids. To that end there are ongoing discussions with state officials, hospitals and health systems. One goal is to partner and elevate and expand access to Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) with accompanying recovery support services. Many thanks to Dr. Leslie Marino for lending her experience and spearheading the MAT collaborative in Suffolk County and for her efforts to train physicians in the administration of MAT. Kudos to LICAN lead organizer Joe Morris for coordinating the overall opioid response effort amongst LICAN organizational congregations and LIRA with support from school districts, the medical community and local government leaders too.

LICAN annual meeting of organizational leaders in Plainview.


FOR-NY and ASAP hosted our conference in Albany once again this August. More than 500 attended the biggest and best conference yet.

Over 500 attended the 3rd Annual FOR-NY Recovery Conference.

Below LIRA participated in the OASAS pre-conference Institute, coordinating the Multiple Pathways to Recovery presentation.


The Patient Brokering Bill aimed at unscrupulous individuals holding themselves out as interventionists or recovery coaches and taking advantage of families in crisis, was signed into law by Governor Cuomo and several other initiatives including the creation of an ombudsman to investigate complaints about access to treatment passed and were codified. We can expect the first recovery high school in New York to open shortly and additional action on recovery housing and improved access to care. We will continue to press for treatment and recovery on demand.

On the federal level LIRA continues to work with other groups around the country with our focus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to advance a robust legislative and funding package. The House passed HR-6 which included more than 50 separate bills geared to combat addiction and support prevention, treatment, and recovery. The package of bills is currently in the US Senate and we are hopeful a vote will occur by mid-September.


The nation’s leading recovery voice since 2001 continues to lead the way at the federal level.

Faces and Voices Board retreat 2018: Chairman Richard Buckman from Long Island passed the baton to Rev. Jan Brown of Virginia

The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) a Faces and Voices of Recovery initiative now boasts 104-member organizations in 40 states. ARCO was formed by Faces and Voices back in 2012 as a way to connect existing and emerging communities of recovery. The initial framework was designed to focus on regional work with board representatives from SAMHSA and the ATTC’s. ARCO has since shifted to individual state focus by RCO’s for greater local impact.

Attendees at the ARCO Leadership Academy ALA July Wash. DC

ARCO is now a well-known entity on the national stage with a potent presence and a powerful voice. ALA attendees joined the FAVOR board and staff for the Annual America Honors Recovery (AHR) Gala at the Hyatt Regency in Washington DC. Long-time friend Tom Hill served as MC as America paid tribute to outstanding individuals including Walter Ginter of the MARS project in the Bronx and Tonya Wheeler of Advocates for Recovery in Denver, Colorado.

ROCK N RECOVERY IX in Deer Park 2017

LIRA’s 9th Annual Rock N Recovery celebration took place in Deer Park in September 2017. An estimated 275 came out to help celebrate National Recovery Month. The evening featured some delicious food and great music by Get Your Groove on DJ. Over $2,000 in prizes were given away thanks to our generous donors and sponsors. LIRA recognized Nora Milligan as our Friend of Recovery Award recipient in 2017. Nora, an outstanding advocate in dual roles as a parent and person in recovery, has been a visible and vocal presence on the local landscape and in Albany. Congratulations! LIRA also presented two separate Recovery Community Scholarship Awards of $500.00 each to Denise Alba & Donna DeBiase. Denise, a LIRA trained Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA), has made significant contributions as a volunteer and is deeply committed to helping others. Donna has been a loyal supporter and introduced us to her creative expression, A2R magazine in 2016. The two initial editions featured LIRA prominently and she has devoted time and publicity to promote other local not-for-profits on Long Island. Congratulations Denise and Donna! The cumulative total of our RCSA giving stands at $9,500 since the onset of the awards.

Above are Donna & Board members Edmond and Elsie to the right.

Rock N Recovery continues to provide a venue for many of our folks including dozens currently in treatment to participate with others and learn to socialize without the use of alcohol or other drugs. The value of this experience in early recovery cannot be emphasized enough.

Many sponsors and supporters donated funds, and prizes and again helped make our annual event possible at no cost. A huge thank you for all the support! A complete list of sponsors and donors is on the last page. We would like to acknowledge the following individuals for their volunteer efforts and service helping to make our annual event a huge success:

Monique Aguido, Tina Bruzzo, Richard Buckman, Joe Cavallo, Elsie Demers, Sue Ferraro, Edmond Hakimi, Eugenia Karahalias, Suzanne Loevner, Michelle Louzoun, Doreen Mazzei-Buckman, Conor Mulvaney, Jessica McNamara, Rev Debbie Nardozzi, Ed Olsen, Jean Shabkie-Fessenden, Jahnice Strange, and others.

Long Island’s United 3rd Annual Walk

The Walk for Hope & Recovery was held on September 24, 2017 at Marjorie Post Park in Massapequa. About 700 turned out for the hope and remembrance walk hosted by our community organizations including founding partners LIRA, FIST, LICADD and DFLI. The 2018 Walk is set for Heckscher Park in Huntington, September 30, 1 – 4 PM.

Friends of Recovery New York (FOR-NY)

Our statewide group continues to grow having helped to launch some 27 recovery community organizations across the state. We are thrilled to see this tremendous expansion of our recovery community statewide.

For many years, LIRA was the only RCO in NY State and we should have a sense of pride in our contributions to helping launch FOR-NY in 2008 and for staying the course and helping to sow the seeds of recovery statewide.
FOR-NY’s 9th Annual Standup for Recovery Day, was held in on March 6, 2018.
A new record-breaking crowd of over 1000 advocates from across the state made their way to Albany to join our rally in support of recovery in the morning, before meeting with their regional state lawmakers in the afternoon.

Some of the LIRA advocates at Empire State Plaza March 2018.

Above: Over 1000 advocates from across the state descended on Albany March 6, 2018 in our largest show of force to date!

Below: LIRA in the mix! Board members: Sue Ferraro, Rev Deb, Nardozzi, Eugenia Karahalias and Suzanne Loevner with banner.

LIRA Tidbits

Did you know LIRA was the first ever recovery Community Organization in New York State and helped to lay the groundwork for what has become a robust statewide movement?

LIRA has facilitated two CCAR Recovery Coach training academies so far this year and another is planned for later this year. In the last 18 months, LIRA has trained nearly 60 individuals and we have helped to place many graduates into paid positions after being contacted for recommendations by agencies across Long Island.

Recovery Coach training for Peer Advocates with LIRA at THRIVE 2018.

LIRA continued to provide other trainings as well including our own Advocacy training (in advance of our annual Albany trip), Our Stories Have Power-Recovery Messaging Training and the Science of Addiction Recovery (SOAR) from Faces and Voices of Recovery.

LIRA Meets on the first Tuesday of the month alternating meeting times and locations to include evening and morning meetings. We must support and invest in ourselves. Your generosity makes it possible for us to continue our educational and advocacy efforts.

Please support recovery from addiction with your generous gift. You can also donate on our web site You can like us on Facebook & follow us on Twitter and Instagram.


Conor Mulvaney was awarded a full scholarship to attend Adelphi University for his Bachelors of Social Work. Edmond Hakimi, in addition to marrying his lovely bride Gloria this past June, is heading up the brand new mobile recovery unit at CNG. Joe Cavallo is also a part of the team at CNG and will serve as a CRPA. We applaud this innovative initiative that brings opportunities to find recovery into areas of need in local communities. Ed Olsen was elected to the Board of Directors at FOR-NY. Congratulations to these outstanding LIRA representatives!


For more than 18 and a half years, LIRA has advocated for the rights and needs of individuals in recovery, our family members, and all those impacted by addiction. LIRA’s good work continues to expand thanks to support from FOR-NY and NY State OASAS. Please support LIRA by making a tax-deductible contribution. There are two ways to donate: Write checks payable to LIRA and mail
to PO Box 653 Hicksville NY 11802, or online through this website!

Scroll of Honor Sponsors/Donors 2017

Restore Health & Wellness CenterRev. Debbie Nardozzi
RECOVERY CHAMPIONSCO Morningstar Communities
Ancestors Alive! GenealogySober Alliance Inc.
Friends of Recovery New YorkSusan & Edward Ferraro
RECOVERY AMBASSADORUnleash Your Full Potential Now
American Addiction CentersRECOVERY SUPPORTER
Bridge Back to LifeAngela Piccininni
Cornerstone Treatment Facilities NetworkArms Acres & Conifer Park
Drug Free Long IslandBob Swiatko
Ethan Heisler & Michelle LouzounBunger Surf Shop
Florida Center for RecoveryCarvel of Oceanside
Long Island Center for RecoveryClaire & Ed Olsen
Long Island Council on Alcohol & Drug Dependence (LICADD)Donna Russo – Parklane Jewelry
Quality Consortium of Suffolk CountyFrippery
Richard & Doreen BuckmanGlen’s Dinette
Seafield CenterGoodenough Personalized Gifts
Susan & Edward FerraroHome Instead of Alone, Inc.
RECOVERY ADVOCATEIn Memory of “William Hughes”
2000 Computer Solutions, Inc.Jahnice Strange
A & S Pork Store of East IslipJanice Talento
Carolyn & Bob MyersMarian & Nicholas Karahalias
Carolyn DonnellyMom’s Friend Randi
Coca Cola Bottling CompanyNew Grace Nail & Spa of East Islip
Families In Support of Treatment (F.I.S.T.)Panera Bread
Geisinger-Marworth Treatment CenterRev. Debbie Nardozzi
Get Your Groove on DJ EntertainmentTrinkets
In Loving Memory of Peter K. RuhryUnleash Your Full Potential Now
LECSA EAPBabylon Bean
LI EAPA ChapterGino’s Pizza
Nina Massey & Al BuckmanSherry’s Market
Susanne LoevnerBethpage Nail & Spa
The Kenneth Peters Center for RecoveryCovergil Fashions
Bethpage Federal Credit UnionFaces & Fragrances
Bikers Against HeroinGlobal Planning Consultants Corp.
CN Guidance & Counseling Services, Inc.Irene Garone
Dr. Edmond Hakimi & Gloria YuryevKilwin’s
Elsie DemersMama Sbarro’s Pizzeria of North Babylon
Glenn Reiner & Annmarie GennattsioOlympic Diner
Healthy Alternatives in Babylon VillagePizzaiola of North Babylon
Home Instead of Alone, Inc.Shoprite of Bethpage
Janice TalentoStables Toymart & Garden Center
John BuckmanYes Community Counseling Center
Ken Lavery
Monsoon Steak & Sushi Restaurant
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