Fifty years ago a gentleman named Standish Forde Hansell had a plan. But in the midst of renovating a country estate in Bucks County, some friends directed him down another path. Hansell had planned to turn the estate into a retirement community for gentlemen of means. Here they would “live and grin” as they enjoyed their later years in style. However, now some fifty years later, Livengrin is instead among the most respected drug and alcohol treatment centers in the nation.
Livengrin was originally the first non-hospital facility in the state to treat alcoholism. The name planned for the estate still seemed appropriate as those struggling with the disease could find help and direction toward a better future. Today, Livengrin seeks to meet an increasing need as the number of individuals struggling with both drug and alcohol addiction is on the rise. According to the CDC, heroin use alone has more than doubled among 18 to 25 year olds during the past decade.
In response, the Livengrin Foundation has expanded to include a range of treatment options and programs. The 44 acre campus in Bensalem includes four residential houses, a dining hall, gym, offices and meeting rooms and a community center. Prior to admission into a residential program, clients may take the first step to recovery by going through the Medical Detox Center. In addition to services on campus, seven outpatient facilities are available throughout Bucks, Montgomery and Lehigh counties. Treatment centers are located in Allentown, Northeast and Center City Philadelphia, Doylestown, Levittown, Oxford Valley and Fort Washington.
Livengrin’s continuum of care includes special needs as well. Nurses and other medical personnel deal with their own substance issues in Nurses Lifeline, a program designed for those from this specialized workplace. Similarly, those serving as police, fire, EMS, corrections, and military personnel can receive treatment through the First Responders Addiction Treatment (FRAT) program. Also, the AMICare Program offers highly intensive treatment for those individuals who have been through the recovery process multiple times.
Reaching beyond just the medical, psychological and emotional needs of their patients, each patient receives a Patient Care Coordinator. These professionals help with legal, financial, housing and other non-clinical issues, supporting clients on a holistic road to recovery.
Finally, Livengrin reaches out to families as well. Knowing that addiction affects whole families, special programming and counseling is also available to relatives. The Day of Enlightenment is a three-hour program providing basic information about addiction. Family members learn to adjust their thinking and stop enabling behaviors. They are taught to plan for and look forward to their loved one’s life without drugs or alcohol.
How to Help
As a non-profit, Livengrin’s programs rely on donations from individuals, faith-based organizations, foundations, businesses and government agencies. Donations may be given directly on their website if you or your organization are interested. This June, the organization is holding their 14th annual Ride for Recovery. Last year over 750 cycle riders and picnic attendees raised over $130,000 for Livengrin programs. To support this year’s event, visit the registration page by clicking here. If you would like to learn more about Livengrin Foundation’s programs in general, visit their website at www.livengrin.org.
by Betsy Natter