CFLR In Action

Connecting with Love

Connecting with Love

The addiction and recovery journeys are challenging ones.  They come with tests and triggers, and everyday life stresses.  One of the pieces that remains so consistent is knowing there is love on the journey.  Even at the worst of the challenges, we see love in our community, with family members, friends, and even strangers.  Allies in the journey are sometimes the foundation that create the stepping-stones to success.

What does it mean to be part of the stepping-stones across the raging river?

  • It can mean supporting someone in the way they will accept it.
  • Maybe, active listening without fixing.
  • Sometimes, it’s just holding space.
  • Often, it’s getting out there and doing something fun and not focusing on the problems at all!
  • It could be boundary setting to guide independent success.
  • At times, finding resources to new paths.

All of the time… it’s about connection and the relationship you have together.

One of the most beautiful successes that many families find through this journey is how to connect and be stronger together.  The strength and growth in the family that may not have happened if addiction and Recovery were never part of their lives, many call it a gift of addiction.


Posted by Wendy Stevens in CFLR In Action

Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Light of Hope event to take place on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. Light of Hope event to take place on Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Utica, New York – Join Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. (CFLR) at its Annual Light of Hope Event on Wednesday, August 31st at Franklin Field in Rome, NY from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Light of Hope event brings together the community in an awareness event and a beautiful ceremony held to remember the loved ones lost to suicide, and overdose and recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day. The Oneida County Opioid Task Force is collaborating with CFLR on this event and other events in Oneida County.

International Overdose Awareness Day is the world’s largest annual campaign to end overdose and remember those who have died without stigma and acknowledge the grief of the family and friends left behind. The Mohawk Valley in Central New York is not immune. So far in Oneida County, we have had 40 fatal overdoses this year. International Overdose Awareness Day provides an opportunity for us to talk about and prevent overdose in our community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages. And the second leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds. In 2020, 54% of Americans had been affected by suicide in some way. CFLR works to prevent suicide through education, advocacy, and support for those impacted by suicide.

The Light of Hope event acknowledges the profound grief felt by families and friends whose loved ones have died from a drug overdose or suicide. CFLR wants to spread the message that the tragedy of drug overdose death, drug overdose and suicide is preventable. This event is an opportunity for love, compassion, outreach, and healing and creates educational opportunities to lessen the stigma.

CFLR invites the community to be a part of this event and remember a loved one lost to overdose or suicide by donating to support CFLR’s prevention and recovery programming, buying luminaries at the event, or becoming a sponsor.  For more information go to Proceeds from the Light of Hope event benefits the programs and services of the Center for Family Life and Recovery, with a focus on Recovery, Suicide, and Substance Use Prevention services.

Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is proud to be the area’s leading expert in advocacy, prevention, counseling, and training. As a community partner, it is important to us that we continue spreading the message of help and hope to our area and with those whom we work.

Along with supporting individuals and families struggling with addiction, mental health and behavioral issues, CFLR’s goal is to inspire hope, provide help, promote wellness and transform lives. The vision of CFLR is to be a leader in creating a world where people have the power to achieve and celebrate recovery. To learn more, visit

Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action, News

Center for Family Life and Recovery to offer 2 new classes: Anger management and Grief & Loss

Center for Family Life and Recovery to offer 2 new classes: Anger management and Grief & Loss

Utica, New York – Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. (CFLR) is offering two new classes that are open to the public. These programs provide emotional support, validation, and education. “We are seeing the significant emotional damage Covid has left our community with and the losses it has caused many people to endure.” Says Erica Baslow, Family Prevention Specialist at CFLR. “We want to be able to provide support and education for anyone within the community who may be struggling”

Anger Management

Description: By working through this anger management program, individuals will be able to identify, and problem-solve stressors that lead to anger. They will learn effective communication and listening skills while also increasing empathy and emotional intelligence. We are aiming to improve stress management skills, identify and set healthy boundaries and learn to challenge irrational thoughts and beliefs.

When: August 9 – September 6. It is a 5-week program from 5-7 PM on Tuesdays.

Why: A formal anger management program provides structure to guide the change process, helps motivate participants and helps them recognize and be proud of the progress they have made.

Grief & Loss

Description: The goal of these groups is to help you complete your relationship to the pain, isolation and loneliness caused by significant emotional loss. While death and divorce may seem to be the most obvious losses, our groups are not limited to those losses. There are more than 40 life events that can produce feelings of grief.

When: August 8 – September 26. It is an 8-week program from 4-5 pm on Mondays.

Why: This program will help people process emotions and understand how they’re feeling.

Call for more info:

Erica Baslow
Family Prevention Specialist
Office: 315.737-2082
Cell: 315.795-6001
502 Court Street, Suite 401
Utica NY 13502

Center for Family Life and Recovery, Inc. is proud to be a leader in creating a world where people have the power to achieve and celebrate recovery. CFLR supports individuals and families struggling with addiction, mental health, and behavioral issues by inspiring hope, providing help, promoting wellness, and transforming lives. To learn more, visit or call (315) 733-1709.

Posted by Cassandra Sheets in CFLR In Action, News

CFLR Welcomes Dr. Harold Berkeimer to the Herkimer Clinical Programs

CFLR Welcomes Dr. Harold Berkeimer to the Herkimer Clinical Programs

Dr. Berkheimer “Dr. B” is one of our newest employee additions to CFLR. Dr. B started as a counselor in our Employee Assistance Program, working to help individuals and families. He was recently promoted to a supervisor position in Herkimer programs. 

Dr. B was born and raised in north central Pennsylvania in a small rural farming town. After graduating high school, he joined the US Navy and served for 4 years. During the last 13 months of his enlistment he worked as an EOD/MED-EVAC in Viet Nam. After his military service he moved to southern California and started college with a major in chemistry and psychology. While in school, he began an electrical contracting business, which quickly grew into a 20-year business.

His real dream was to pursue a career in psychology and medicine. At age 45 he decided to change careers and realize his dream. He decided to sell his company and was admitted to medical school. After medical school, he completed a 4-year residency in adult psychiatry and immediately afterward did a 1-year fellowship in addiction medicine. Dr. B began his medical career at OMH at Central New York Psychiatric Center in Marcy, New York where he was assigned to the acute care ward. There he managed 10 to 20 patients daily from the surrounding state prisons for various psychiatric ailments. A few years after retiring from CNYPC, he decided to apply to CFLR for a new adventure.

CFLR is excited to have Dr. B as part of our team.

Posted by Wendy Stevens in CFLR In Action

Families Experience Vicarious Trauma

By Ambi Daniel, Director of Family Service Navigation

It’s an interesting thing, we often talk about the trauma history of the person with a substance use disorder.  What if I told you there was both vicarious trauma and community trauma that also may require help and intervention? 

Family members may have pervasive impacts from experiencing fear, being in traumatic situations of overdose, a missing loved one, and more.  Family members may need space to learn tools to navigate this both from a clinical perspective, and from an engagement perspective.  Resentments, mindfulness, radical acceptance, awareness, and redirection can help families better connect and impact the cycle of trauma.   

Becoming trauma informed can also help loved ones to understand the why a person may use drugs or alcohol, or why certain behaviors persist.  When we look at it differently, we can practice empathy, reduce frustrations, and move ahead reducing our nervous system responses, decreasing stress, and engaging as a family in a recovery process more successfully.   

If you’d like to learn more about tools that can help your family work on this, connect with our Family Support Navigation Services or join us in one of our virtual support and educational groups!   

Family Support Group, for loved ones impacted by an individual’s substance use disorder Tuesday 6:15 alternate Tuesdays 

The Light Carried, for parents who have experienced loss of a child due to substance use disorder 6:15 alternate Tuesdays 

CRAFT and engagement Wednesdays at 12:45 

Ambi Daniel,

Posted by Wendy Stevens in CFLR In Action