Go to Them Recovery

Going to those in recovery by providing a specific acupuncture procedure proven to strengthen recovery efforts, reduce stress and PTSD, and reduce other harmful behaviors.


About the Program

Go to Them Recovery literally goes to those in recovery from addiction who attend programs in the community. It provides a specific acupuncture procedure proven to strengthen recovery efforts, reduce stress and PTSD, and reduce other harmful behaviors. Currently Go to Them includes the Pennsylvania Recovery Center-Achieving Community Together (Pro-Act) North Philadelphia site, the Veterans Multi-Service Center in Center City, and pending for August, the Stephen Kline Wellness Center of Project Home in North Philadelphia. 

According to a literature review (Bemis 2017): “The prevalence and appropriateness of acupuncture for addictions is well established. The US federal government’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2007), the United Nations (2006), the State of New Mexico (Bigelow, 2008), as well as the US Department of Defense/Veteran’s Affairs (2010) have each published best practice guidelines that address the value of acupuncture for chemical dependency.” Acudetox is used in the prison system in New Mexico, and according to a publication from Governor Richardson’s Task Force on Prison Reform, 2008: “Acudetox is cheap and a very effective on-the-ground treatment modality when coupled with other psychosocial interventions.”

Why this program is essential:

“This is better than drugs!” This statement made by a participant in an acudetox program at ProAct in North Philadelphia sums up the potential impact of strengthening recovery efforts through group acupuncture treatments at locations serving those in recovery.

“For members of the Pro Act Recovery Center, having access to non-chemical related ways to deal with stress and anxiety is important. In the era of the opioid epidemic it is imperative that we have more ways to deal with life’s issues,” says Beverly Haberle Executive Director of the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania

The treatments at community-based organizations not only benefits those who self-select into the groups, but model positive healthcare behavior for other clients. The treatments increase the general well-being of individuals, including staff who work with clients at the locations. As indicated by Denise McCulley, Senior Peer Coordinator at ProAct Philadelphia, “Acupuncture makes me calm and I feel less stressed in stressful situations. I like having the ear seeds because it gives an extra boost of stability when I need it. I like having the Go To Them Program here because it draws people in just for the acupuncture. I am ok with that because they might also seek recovery or become volunteers”. The need to treat symptoms of PTSD, depression, addiction, and other health concerns is high, but access to services is a barrier. Combining health care services in locations that already serve veterans is one less barrier on the road to health and well-being.

How this program works:

Participants self-select and are treated seated and fully clothed in a group. Needles are inserted in the ear (auricular acupuncture) while patients are relaxing. Licensed Pennsylvania acupuncturists with additional national certification (NCCAOM’s Dipl.Ac) supervise one or two clinical internship students at each site.

Treatments are provided one day a week in each location for 15 weeks each semester (August — December); (January — May); and eight weeks (June — July). Your support can help those in recovery with treatments that have a proven history of easing and abating symptoms of PTSD; assisting in recovery efforts; eliminating pain; and providing both physical and mental relief from stress.


Program Dates: 

Every Wednesday and Friday

Stephen Klein Wellness CenterPro-Act (Bristol)Philadelphia Veterans Multi Service CenterPro-Act (North Philly)
2144 Cecil B. Moore Ave, Philadelphia, PA 191211200 Veteran Hwy, Bristol PA 19007213-217 N. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 191061701 W Lehigh Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132
Wednesday 10:30 am – 12:30 pmWednesday 1:30 pm – 3:30 pmFriday 10:00 am – 12:00 pmFriday 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Program Clinic Supervisor:

Vito Leva M.S.A. , L.Ac.

Vito is a board licensed acupuncturist with an interest in bridging the practices and theories of Eastern and Western beliefs on health and wellbeing. Vito began his course of study at Temple University with a focus on Kinesiology, and received his Masters of Science from the prestigious Tri-State College of Acupuncture in NYC. With an incredibly patient and kind approach to his treatments, Vito is dedicated to helping people improve their health by applying a wide range of techniques such as Tui Na, which is a form of Chinese medical massage, Cupping, Gua-sha and acupuncture.

Doreen Lafferty, L.Ac., OTR/L, NCTMB (NCBTMB), Clinical Director

M.Ac., Won Institute of Graduate Studies

Doreen Lafferty is a graduate of the Won Institute where she received her Master’s in Acupuncture and Certificate of Chinese Herbal Medicine. She practices at the Cancer Treatment Center at Hahnemann University Hospital. She is also a licensed Occupational Therapist and Massage Therapist. She is the Clinic Director at the Won Institute.


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