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Tuesday, December 4, 2007

She had lost custody of her children: Recovery from alcoholism

Jennifer Boeth Whipple, 53, is a journalist who arrived at Delray Beach, Florida, in the clutches of alcoholism in 1998. Jennifer said she "took to heart" during her third effort at rehabilitation – "that some people have to change their lives completely to maintain their sobriety."

She had lost custody of her children.

She stuck around in Delray Beach, following a carefully phased program known as the Florida Model, from residential treatment to a halfway house and a "recovery job" at Home Depot. Eventually she bought a condominium and worked for an art dealer.

For six years, she said, she "felt very safe here, surrounded by people who'd been through what I’d been through" – detoxing in the same roach-infested apartments, cycling through recovery centers familiar to New Yorkers, like Silver Hill or Four Winds.

Then a year ago, "after I'd gotten my sea legs," she returned to New York City, where her son lives with his father.

Advice to people struggling with a drinking problem: It might take more than one attempt to get and stay sober.

Browse for related stories in the index at the very bottom of this page, or read another Delray Beach recovery story.

Thanks to Jane Gross for the source article in the Nov. 16 issue of the New York Times.

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