Providing information for People & Families to Recover

Navigating the Holidays in Early Recovery

Holiday StressWith the holiday season upon us, many of us look forward to get-togethers with friends and family, and work celebrations with colleagues. From the smell of holiday cookies baking to hearing carols in stores, we’re primed to be in a holiday mood.

But the season can also bring stress. Attending or planning holiday events can be exhausting and we often have high expectations that don’t always align with reality. For someone in early recovery – and their family members – it can be an especially stressful time.

Here are tips for those in early recovery on how to navigate the holidays.

For those in early recovery:

  • Isolation is not beneficial for someone in early recovery. Even if you’re not in the mood to attend a holiday party, surround yourself with people who are healthy and sober. Attend a meeting, call a sponsor, or find supportive friends and family.
  • Plan ahead for get-togethers. The combination of alcohol and family dynamics can be challenging. Consider an exit strategy or a safety plan if alcohol is being served or if you feel anxious at these events.
  • Don’t plan to stay for the entire time if it’s going to make you uncomfortable. It’s fine to bring a friend as sober support or to call someone from a support group if you need to talk.
  • Don’t stress if someone offers you a drink. It’s perfectly OK to just say no, without explanation. You can also keep a glass of water in your hand at all times.
  • Remember that putting your sobriety first is your priority. You don’t have to accept every invitation. Spend time with sober friends instead, or create a new tradition like volunteering at a soup kitchen.
Read more at Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

Sober Parenting Journey from Berlin to Portsmouth

Sober Parenting Journey (SFJ) training (officially changed to Parenting in Recovery) was held in November at the Greater Tilton Area Family Resource Center.

Fifteen people from from seven recovery centers (Greater Tilton Area Family Resource Center, Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region, Safe Harbor, Re-Vive, Keene Serenity Center, North Country Serenity Center, and Center for Recovery Resources) were trained/certified to facilitate future SPJ trainings at their centers.

Sober Parenting Journey is a 14-week program for parents and caregivers who have three months or more in recovery. The program and facilitators support all participants by creating a safe environment for them to share their life experiences while uncovering their inner strengths. The program is designed to help people move forward building on their recovery by initiating their personal understanding of their addiction, any past traumas, triggers that lead to setbacks (relapse). 

The program provides tools for participants to uncover strategies to overcome emotional guilt and shame while they learn to create new possibilities for their children and themselves.

The SPJ program is funded by State of NH Department of Health & Human Service using grant dollars provided by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Association.

For more information on parenting education for recovery contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Monadnock Community Walk


“What happens after you decide not to use,” Harry Wolhandler said. “How do you become a contributor instead of a problem?”

Wolhandler helped organize the Monadnock Rotary Community Walk on October 19th and said the focus of the event was to change the narrative about recovery from addiction, and demonstrate what the community can do “to stop substance use disorders from stealing peoples’ lives.”

Wollhandler believes communities should celebrate people in recovery, rather than stigmatizing them for their previous actions. He referenced efforts made in New Hampshire’s Doorway program to provide a warmer and more personal atmosphere in order to encourage and retain those seeking recovery.

“As Mary Drew of Reality Check said, ‘Recovery is having a job. Recovery is having a place to live and a community to belong to’,” he said. Wolhandler cites recovery as the overlooked ingredient in the chain of prevention, treatment, and recovery, since most existing agencies’ primary missions are for treatment or prevention, and frequently lack the funds to meet the region’s needs.
Watch the video   Read more

Spotlight: New Plymouth RCO Opens


It feels good to DO good!

Dylan Oliver is the Director for a new Recovery Community Organization opened recently in Plymouth, NH called Plymouth Area Recovery Connection or PARC.

Dylan sees this new recovery center as a safe place for people in or seeking recovery from addiction to come and make connections and be supported in recovery. The recovery center will support people to gain more life skills: emotional, spiritual, mental and physical. She hopes people will come and use the recovery center for a creative outlet that inspires them to “be who they are meant to be” without judgment and discrimination.

“We have ideas for offering multiple pathways for recovery, whatever that looks like for the people who come here. We’re in the infancy stages with big plans and an encouraging community of partners supporting us. Our location provides easy access to 14 social service agencies who all focus on the common good and enhancing the lives of families in the Plymouth area.”

Dylan applied for this job after working in the financial field for many years as a sustainability analyst. When asked why she applied for this position in the recovery field she replied, “I have many family members who have issues with addiction and mental health, this seemed like a natural progression from my recent job in mental health services. I wanted to help people; I wanted a job that satisfied my emotional, spiritual, creative and curious side as well as to utilize my skills working with people and finances.”

PARC is co-located with MidState Health Services Intensive Outpatient services in the Whole Village Family Resource Center at 258 Highland St. in Plymouth, NH.

Gratitude in the Granite State: Voices from Recovery

Check out Gratitude from the Granite State!

New 24/7 Emergency Response Team

The Emergency Response Team (EMT) launched in September 2019 and is a collaboration between Mt. Washington Valley Supports Recovery, White Horse Recovery and the Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department. This service provides 24/7 response to a hospital request for a recovery coach. The recovery coach provides support, information and services to people struggling with a substance use disorder.
A local dealership gifted a lightly used car to the Keene Serenity Center  to help fill its need for reliable transportation for people in recovery.
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Doorway campaign launches

Features stories of recovery, resilience and hope
In response to New Hampshire’s opioid crisis, the state has created outreach materials promoting Governor Sununu's Doorway initiative. 

These materials are available to help  promote services and resources available at The Doorway NH, and for people and families experiencing a drug or alcohol related problem, to find help and information. Order Campaign Materials Now. You can also download the marketing campaign Partner Toolki
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Keep Connected

In addition to the NH Recovery Fix, many recovery community organizations release regular newsletters about ongoing meetings and support groups and upcoming training opportunities.

Subscribe to SOS' e-newsletter or read Navigating Recovery of the Lakes Region's April or May Creative Recovery newsletter. Newsletters are also provided in recovery community organizations' listings on the Recovery Hub.

The voice of recovery

Harbor Homes is collecting stories of recovery throughout the granite state. Check out our YouTube account for more videos.
Learn more about Safe Harbor Recovery Center
Visit our YouTube Channel

Older Publications

Family Support Services Brochure

Granite Pathway's Parent Support Program has produced new products that will be distributed throughout New Hampshire communities. A brochure, describes some of the benefits of family support programs, including helping parents and adult siblings develop relapse prevention plans.

To request a hard copy of these products, reach out to Lynn Fuller at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Download the brochure today.

Overdose Followup Kit

Although fatal overdoses declined this year for the first time since 2012, far too many lives are still lost. This short guide describes self-care for survivors of overdoses, tells you where to find help, and discusses safe practices designed to keep you and your loved ones stay alive.

Download the kit.

Family Resource Recovery Kit

Families suffer from addiction and recover together. Donna Marston has created a family recovery kit designed to help parents, grandparents, caretakers, and mentors begin to have difficult conversations about overdose and the grieving process. The guide also describes family dynamics around addiction and the importance of using person-first language.

Download the kit.

Tainted Stimulants in NH

Stimulants that are contaminated with fentanyl can be a deadly combination, particularly if the user has not developed tolerance for the opioid. Our FO team has created a flyer designed to help those still struggling with addiction identify risky substances. 

Download the flyer.


Better Know a System

General information on the New Hampshire Doorway Initiative


The well-known 2-1-1 system can direct you or your loved one to substance use disorder resources or connect you directly to Doorway NH staff, who can schedule assessments and referrals to services. Dial 2-1-1 today to start your journey.

The Doorway Website

The Doorway NH will direct you to the help you need, from screening and evaluation, to treatment including medication-assisted treatment, to long-term recovery supports. Doorway hours vary by location. Learn more