The Holidays and Addiction – What Every Family Needs to Know A Discussion About Intervention, Relapse Prevention and Survival

December 11, 2017

Symetria Health, the parent company of Soft Landing Recovery Centers, a leading addiction treatment provider in the Chicago area, will host a town hall style event for families and individuals seeking information on addiction issues on the evening of December 19th. The event will feature major national thought leaders and world renowned speakers and authors representing the national conversation on addiction.The purpose of the evening will be to answer questions, explore solutions and provide a pathway to treatment for families who are in need of treatment for a loved one or supporting a loved one in early recovery.

“The holidays are a difficult time for families struggling with addiction issues,” said Chris Hassan, CEO of Symetria Health. “In service to the community we are bringing together some of the biggest names in the addiction advocacy movement to answer questions about intervention, treatment options, long term recovery, relapse prevention and insurance issues.”

Moderated by Young People in Recovery executive director Justin Luke Riley, the town hall panel will include: Ryan Hampton (Advocate and Activist and founder of the Voices Project), Brad Lamm (America’s Interventionist, founder of Breathe Life Healing services and and Mackenzie Phillips (substance abuse counselor, actress and author).

During the evening, families and stakeholders in America’s addiction crisis are welcome to hear an important discussion about what families MUST know if a loved one is need of help, is undergoing treatment or living in recovery.Justin Luke Riley, who is the leader of the largest network of young people living proudly in long term recovery and has lead panels with President Barrack Obama addressing the opioid crisis, will moderate questions among the panelists designed to provide hope and practical steps for families seeking a pathway to recovery and in need of intervention, or who want to support a loved one and help prevent relapse.The panelists, all three of whom are national figures, renowned authors and thought leaders in America’s conversation on addiction, are also in long term recovery from substance abuse addiction and working in the field as clinicians or advocates.They will discuss their own journey as well as their current work and provide practical steps for families seeking answers and a new and crucial perspective on the pathology of addiction and the challenges and joys of long term recovery. Families will have an opportunity to submit questions to the panelists.

“Families who need to instigate a change for a loved one who needs care will be together at this time of year so exploring that conversation is crucial,” said Brad Lamm, founder of“How families support someone in early recovery through what is typically the most difficult time of year, is also critical. This is an opportunity for families to learn what resources are available in their community, what questions to ask and how they can behave as a family to move from crisis to thriving.” 

An introduction and discussion of the recently issued SAMHSA Principles of Care that outline what families are entitled to and must know about insurance and addiction will be led by Chris Hassan, addiction treatment veteran and cofounder of the organization that brought Suboxone to market.Hassan is CEO of Symetria Health, the parent company of Soft Landing Recovery, an evidence based treatment provider with five campuses in the Naperville area and surrounding counties. Hassan has spent decades in the addiction field developing and refining the treatment approach that has resulted in the model that Symetria has launched system wide – a long term comprehensive outpatient plan with medication assisted treatment for opioid dependence led by a physician centered multi-disciplinary team of counselors, addiction physicians, psychiatric health professionals and other staff. This multi-disciplinary model delivered by a single united team of addiction professionals is the most effective approach to date, with a very high rate of sustained recovery at 12 months.Along with the panel, Hassan will teach families what to expect and what to look for in choosing a treatment provider and why long term IOP and medication are crucial tools in any treatment plan.

The evening will begin at 7PM and will be held at Wentz Concert Hall at North Central College, 171 E Chicago Ave, Naperville, IL 60540.The event is free however attendees must register at:

The Symetria Model:

The Symetria Model is a balanced approach that combines medication assisted therapy with behavioral counseling in an outpatient setting. The Symetria team designed the long term comprehensive out-patient plan because of its effectiveness in keeping patients engaged in treatment and from relapsing. Hassan wanted to create a program to aid patients through the early recovery process, as well as integrate medication assistance such as buprenorphine for opioids, Vivitrol for alcohol as well as opioids, as well as methadone and Naltrexone under the supervision of an addiction certified physician. This is a deliberate departure from the traditional 28-day residential plans many providers offer and is based on evidenced outline in the recent 2016 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health that concluded new pharmaceutical therapies combined with frequent behavioral health services such as individual and group counseling are highly effective at treating many substance use disorders.The latest data shows that for the vast majority of opioid patients, residential care is unnecessary and actually can increase a patient’s chances of relapse. Symetria’s focus on relapse prevention and long term support is core to their mission to provide the best and most effective care possible. 

“Our goal is to treat the whole person, not just their addiction,” Hassan stated.“Seeing separate professionals as you seek treatment creates confusion and leads to patients falling through the cracks and relapsing.Our program gives the patient everything they need to gain sobriety and enter into recovery, delivered by a united team of addiction professionals.Our patients have access to addiction physicians, psychiatrists, individual counselors or groups and nurses who work in a coordinated manner in the same clinic to help our patients gain control of their life .“It’s all we do and we take pride in how we help our patients.”

Symetria also incorporates both traditional outpatient groups, using mindfulness and relapse prevention therapy, with alternative therapies including massage, acupuncture, yoga, and guided meditation.Symetria provides long-term care and will support patients and their families throughout their recovery journeys, providing counseling and physician support as long as required.

About the Speakers:

Chris Hassan – President and CEO of Symetria Health/Soft Landing Recovery Centers- Mr. Hassan joined Soft Landing in 2016. He is a Senior Healthcare Executive with over 25 years of experience in the field of healthcare. Prior to coming to Soft Landing, Chris co-founded Reckitt Beckiser Pharmaceuticals creating the office based treatment model for opioid dependence and launching Suboxone[R]. Subsequently, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of Colonial Management Group- the largest chain of opioid addiction treatment centers in the US. He also developed and patented a number of new opioid product combinations focused on preventing diversion and inadvertent benzodiazepine overdose in patients.

Justin Luke Riley - President & CEO of Young People in Recovery (YPR)- YPR envisions a world where everyone can access the necessary tools to recover from substance use disorder and associated high-risk behaviors. Riley is 29 years-old and has been in long-term recovery from a substance use disorder since 2007. He graduated cum laude from the Honors & Leadership Program at the University of Colorado at Denver in 2013 and recently completed his Executive MBA at the University of Colorado. He is a former organizational development consultant and a youth and community engagement pastor in Denver; former secretary of the board of Faces & Voices of Recovery in Washington, DC; and past president of the board of Advocates for Recovery in Denver. He is also a White House Champion of Change award recipient. Most recently, Riley was featured as 1 of the 4 Social Entrepreneurs Advancing The Nationwide Recovery Movement in Forbes and another time in Forbes for his leadership and entrepreneurial acumen. 

Brad Lamm - CIP, is an author, teacher and interventionist best known for helping people make life-enhancing change on The Dr. Phil Show, The Doctors, TODAY, and The Dr. Oz Show. Brad’s mission is to help families have “more good – less bad” in their lives.

Brad began his own recovery journey in 2003 from drugs, bulimia, nicotine + alcohol. What seemed an impossible challenge proved how even the most challenging cases might not just recover, but thrive from a starting point of hopelessness and brokenness.

He has managed more than one-thousand interventions, visited hundreds of treatment facilities across the country, presented before Parliament in the UK, served on the board of the Association of Intervention Specialists, and collaborated with the most knowledgeable and effective specialists in the field of recovery treatment and worked at the state level to introduce treatment options to communities.

In 2012, Brad realized a dream come true as he opened the first Breathe Life Healing Center ( to provide powerful residential, insurance-friendly trauma treatment in urban environments. Breathe’s treatment standards are industry-leading and aimed to support mind, body, and spirit. In 2016, he founded Awakenings Change Retreat, the five-day workshop-based educational center in Wickenburg, Arizona (

2016 also marked a new chapter for his intervention and case management agency Change Inc, after acquiring Brad believes a family is remarkably resilient and uniquely poised to offer support and loving leverage to help someone they love begin change.

He is the creator & producer of the eight-part docu-series Addicted to Food with Oprah Winfrey for her network and conducts clinical trainings worldwide highlighting 21st Century intervention and family recovery using his BreakFree Intervention method. Brad’s book JUST 10 LBS, helped more than 500,000 people lose over ten million pounds through a season-long initiative on The Dr. Oz Show. His work with “Blueprint to Quit Smoking” – the smoking cessation resource – launched at 4300+ Walmart locations in November 2011. His stop smoking book Stop It: 4 Steps in 4 Weeks to Quit Smoking, became a resource for treatment centers across the nation in 2016.

Previously a network affiliate news anchor, his current TV work focuses solely on helping families.

Ryan Hampton – In long term recovery from heroin addiction,RyanHamptonhas been rocketed to the center of America’s rising recovery advocacy movement. He is now a prominent, leading face and voice of addiction recovery and is changing the national dialog about addiction through social media. With content that reaches over 1 million people a week,Ryanis breaking down cultural barriers that have kept people suffering in silence and is inspiring a digital revolution of people recovering out loud through his #VoicesProject. He’s also advocating for solutions and holding public policy makers accountable.

He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on addiction and was singled out by Forbes as a top social media entrepreneur in the recovery movement.Ryanconnects a vast network of people who are passionate about ending the drug epidemic in America. His writing on recovery and addiction related issues regularly go viral in online journals such as HuffPo and The Hill.

He also serves as an outreach lead and recovery activist for Facing Addiction, America’s leading non-profit dedicated to ending the addiction crisis in the United States. In 2016,Ryancreated the web series Facing Addiction Across America, documenting his 30 day, 28 state, 8,000 mile cross-country trip visiting areas hit hardest by the addiction crisis.

Mackenzie Phillips - A world renowned actress and author, Mackenzie Phillips also works as a substance use disorder counselor bringing with her a unique perspective, much of which has been shaped by her own battle with substance abuse, in addition to her ongoing professional training as an addiction counselor. 

“My addiction was so powerful, and so rooted in early trauma, that I lost myself for many years. Now, with a strong recovery I’m committed to helping others find their voice at Breathe Life Healing Centers,” says Mackenzie.Author of the book “High on Arrival” about her journey through addiction while acting in television shows such as “One Day at a Time” and “American Graffiti” and achieving long term recovery, Mackenzie is also an advocate for survivors of trauma and assault which she has discussed in national television appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The View. 

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