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Monthly series profiles personal stories of recovery from clients and frontline staff of Gaudenzia

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Sept. 29, 2022) — Gaudenzia, Inc., the region’s largest non-profit provider of treatment for substance use disorder, launched “My FrontLine Story” today, a new series of online stories that will document recovery journeys of clients and staff members.

The first story of the series was released today on Gaudenzia’s new website, as well as its Instagram page.  A new recovery story will be released once a month on those platforms.

“At Gaudenzia, we see the struggles that people face every day no matter who they are or what they do, but we also see the personal triumphs,” said Dr. Dale Klatzker, chief executive officer of Gaudenzia. “We hope to show that those impacted by substance use disorder are not alone and that there is help available.”

Today’s story features Kristen Paris, administrative coordinator for Gaudenzia, whose journey with Gaudenzia began as a client. Issues with self-image would lead her to using drugs and alcohol during her early teen years and through her high school career. She would end up in prison a number times, and then to Gaudenzia, DRC, for treatment. She contemplated ending her life after her son’s father died of a blood infection.

It was during a final stint in prison where Paris reevaluated her life and decided that she was tired with the vicious cycle of substance use disorder. She completed treatment, enrolled in community college and eventually began a career with Gaudenzia. In the story, she credits Donna Brown-Cade, MA, MS, outpatient program supervisor for Gaudenzia, DRC, for serving as her counselor and inspiring her to change for the better.

“To know that Kristin is a face and voice of Gaudenzia fills me with so much pride,” Brown-Cade. “The fact that she acknowledges my part in her journey lets me know the work I do is not just a job, but a ministry. To see Kristen blossom makes all of this worthwhile.

“My goal is to spread a message of hope to anyone who thinks they can never make it out of the grips of the disease,” said Paris, who celebrates her third anniversary of sobriety today. “I am living proof that a person with substance use disorder can recover and live a full and productive life with hard work and dedication. Drugs no longer consume my life. My hopes and aspirations for the future are to connect with those still suffering. I want to reach the mother who thinks her children are better off without her, because she made poor choices. I want to work with children in prevention, and I want to continue my career with Gaudenzia, because I am excited to see what will come next as I continue to grow as a person.”

To read the full story, visit Gaudenzia’s new website:


Gaudenzia, Inc. is one of the largest nonprofit substance use and co-occurring disorders treatment centers in the United States, with 51 facilities operating in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, D.C. The agency serves about 15,000 individuals annually and operates 120 programs providing a full continuum of care. Since 1968, Gaudenzia has provided specialized services and programs for all demographics, including pregnant and parenting mothers, adolescents, people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders, and more. Those seeking help can call Gaudenzia’s 24/7 Treatment and Referral HelpLine at 833-976-HELP (4357). For more information, visit  

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