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Urgent Call to Action: New York Residents Needed

With only days left in New York’s legislative session, we need your help to bring the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill to a vote. If passed, this bill would ensure that all individuals mandated by a court in New York to attend recovery support programs are provided with secular options. The bill has passed the Assembly and passed out of committee in the Senate, but has not been brought to the Senate floor for a vote.

If you live in New York, please take five minutes to make a phone call and/or send an email to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins using the instructions below. Hearing from even just a few local constituents could make the difference on whether this bill is brought to the Senate floor for a vote—or not.

Today, individuals with criminal justice involvement account for 47% of all treatment admissions to New York State’s Office of Addiction Services and Support. However, the only support groups available for many participants are based on the traditional and faith-based 12-step model. Too often, individuals in the court system are denied access to nonreligious recovery options that are consistent with their values and personal beliefs.

We need our leaders to pass the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill to make sure New Yorkers have multiple pathways to recovery available to them, including secular options. Your voice can help make this a reality. Act now using the instructions below.

Read more about the act at

Thank you for your activism and continued support!
Adrienne Miller
Women for Sobriety, Inc.


If you get a voicemail, please leave a voicemail using the script below. If someone picks up, it will likely be staff. If you’re extra short on time, the most important thing to remember are to establish you are a New York voter, mention that you are a member of Women for Sobriety, and say you are calling to urge the Majority Leader to bring S.7313A, the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill, to the floor for a vote.

Phone number: (518) 455-2715

Script for phone call:

  • My name is (NAME). I’m a New York voter in (CITY/NEIGHBORHOOD IN NEW YORK) and a member of Women for Sobriety
  • While I am grateful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for her leadership on passing and funding substance use-related services and programs, I am calling to express concern that with only a few days left in session, S.7313A, the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill has not come up for a vote.
  • This bill is very simple—it will ensure that nonreligious recovery options are made available for individuals mandated by courts to attend substance use treatment programs.
  • This bill protects the First Amendment constitutional rights of individuals in the criminal justice system by preventing our state from coercing attendees to attend faith-based programs. Faith-based recovery programs work for many people, but not for everyone. This bill ensures that multiple pathways to recovery are available so that individuals can choose programs that will work for them.
  • I strongly urge the Majority Leader to bring S.7313A, the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill to the floor for a vote. Thank you.


Simply copy-paste the subject line and text below into an email to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and fill in the blanks (your name and address). Feel free to edit the email and put it into your own words. If you have a personal connection to the issue, please feel free to share it.

Email: [email protected]
SUBJECT LINE: Bring S.7313A, Nonreligious Recovery Options, to a vote
TEMPLATE EMAIL (make sure to fill in the blanks):

Dear Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins,

As a voter and member of Women for Sobriety, I am writing to urge you to bring S.7313A to a vote. This bill that expands treatment options for New Yorkers in the criminal justice system. If enacted, this legislation would ensure that all individuals who are mandated to attend recovery support programs are provided with secular options.

While faith-based programs work for many, they don’t work for everyone. It is critical that individuals on the path to recovery be provided with options so that they can choose what works best for them. Furthermore, we must ensure that our criminal justice system is protecting the First Amendment rights of all New Yorkers. This bill shifts the burden of protecting this constitutional right from the individual, who often does not have the resources to advocate for themselves, to the state.

In recent years, New York has seen a 200% increase in opioid-related deaths, impacting our families, friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, those in the court system are routinely denied access to secular treatment options, including those where Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) plays a central role in the recovery process.

I urge you to protect the First Amendment rights and expand recovery options for New Yorkers in the criminal justice system by bringing S.7313A, the Nonreligious Recovery Options bill, to a vote.Sincerely,


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WFS Town Hall: Online Site Agreements

As we prepare to move to our new platform, it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate our OSA’s.

The lawyers are updating the legal Terms of Service, we’ll work together to create a set of more personalized agreements about how we will let our 4C’s shine as we interact in our dynamic support environment.

Come help shape the future of your online community!

WFS Town Hall: Online Site Agreements

Saturday ~ December 11, 2021

1:30 pm US/Eastern

Check your timezone

In the WFS Online Zoom Room

Log in to, click on Meetings, then Go to Zoom Room.

Must be registered site member to attend – site membership is always free.

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Conference Planning Kickoff

Have some great ideas for next year’s conference events? We will be kicking off the planning process for both our usual in-person Annual Weekend Conference *and* a fall Virtual Conference in 2022, so we will need more help, ideas, and organization than ever before! Please be a part of this exciting process that provides hope and support to hundreds of women around the globe.

Conference Planning Kickoff
Join in on the fun!
Sept. 11, 2021
12 pm US/Eastern
Passcode 109561

Check for your Time Zone at

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New Platform for WFS Online

Women for Sobriety, Inc., is excited to announce that our WFS Online community will be moving to a new, more user-friendly and feature-rich platform in the coming months.

Many of you know that WFS Online was migrated from a forum-based platform to a mixed platform (forum and feed) about two years ago. Since then, we have learned so much about the needs of our online community and identified many opportunities for improvement.

We know what an important lifeline the WFS Online community is to so many women, so we have been hard at work identifying and vetting a more sustainable and intuitive option. We are thrilled to report that we have found a fully-managed solution that we believe will meet our needs now and far into the future!

Some exciting things about the new platform include:

  • Easier navigation & search functionality – find what you want, when you need it
  • More content on the Home Page that will improve the experience for new and existing users
  • Improved activity feed capabilities
  • More functional calendaring system for our many online meetings
  • Better Group functionality – both for our ongoing Connections groups and for coordinating the activities of our many volunteer groups
  • Interactive video library
  • And more

One of the best things about the new platform is that it is fully managed by the vendor, meaning that WFS staff and volunteers will need to spend less time on worrying about the technical stuff and more time on what’s truly important – building community and supporting women as they overcome addiction!

Please keep an eye out for more information as it becomes available. If you are interested in being involved in the configuration and testing of the new platform, please email [email protected] to volunteer.

Adrienne and the WFS Website Team

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Women for Sobriety Strategic Plan

Release the past – plan for tomorrow – live for today!

The WFS Board of Directors is happy to release our new Strategic Plan, including our new, modernized Vision, Mission, and Values statements. We hope that you will join us as we continue to develop the New Life Program and reach even more women in the future!




WFS envisions a world where individuals live mindful lives and take responsibility for their thoughts and actions Through the New Life Program, WFS supports women seeking a sober life in recovery from problematic substance use


Compassion: WFS promotes empathy and caring for self and others.

Connection: WFS creates safe spaces where women support the expression of thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Empowerment: WFS encourages and celebrates women and their right to be their own unique individuals.

Love: WFS commits to authentic relationships defined by mutual value and worth.

Respect: WFS acts with integrity, honoring every woman’s experiences and ideas.


What about the old Mission Statement?

Let us know what we should do with the 2011 version of the Mission Statement by taking this brief survey.

Image of a phoenix rising with the words "I'm Possible!


Learn more about the strategic planning process and how we are putting it into practice at the Celebrate the Possibilities event on Saturday night at the WFS Virtual Conference 2021!

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Remembering A WFS Sister – Pat St G

On April 20, 2021 after a short illness at age 90, Patricia St. Germain from RI left this earth for her heavenly home. Pat was a long time member, joining WFS in 1987. After two years of sobriety in 1989 she became a certified facilitator.  In 1992 she joined the Board of Directors. In 2011 she resigned from the board and in 2017 resigned as certified facilitator. She served 19 years on the board and led her group for 28 years. Pat attended many conferences, was an active contributor to Sobering Thoughts and organized many fundraisers for WFS. She dedicated over 30 years to the WFS organization helping women in recovery. We lost a beautiful 4C woman.

Several 4C Sisters share their memories of Pat and her service to WFS:

I met Pat in 1990 at the WFS Conference in PA.  She was so welcoming, had a great sense of humor and was a huge supporter of WFS.  She and I joined the WFS Board the same year in 1992. She retired from the Board in 2011 and it was quite a loss.  She had a lot of creative ideas and was always willing to help in so many ways.  I loved seeing her at the conference.  One year in the fall, a group of us took a weekend trip to Rhode Island.  What a blast.  We laughed, shared encouraging words and felt pure enthusiasm in being together.

I have so many fond memories of her kindness and thoughtfulness.  When I moved to AL, she decided each year that she attended conference to give me $20 gas
money.  She was so sweet in the way she wanted to help me without my ever asking.  It was just her own special way of giving back.  I loved her humor.  One year at the WFS Conference she was part of a group who decided to do a unique type of auction, all dressed in costumes and masks.  It was hilarious and raised a decent amount of money for WFS.

So much kindness, caring and love shown through Pat in her actions, her words.  I will always be grateful for her devotion to WFS and how much of a difference she made in my life and so very many others.  She was indeed that one in a million woman who brought joy and especially hope to the lives she touched.  I will miss her deeply.

I met Pat at the WFS conference in 1996. From that first moment we bonded. I would have the honor of sharing many conferences with her. What I remember the most and will carry with me is her love, encouragement, support and humor. She was one of the women I really looked forward to seeing every year. I enjoyed our time attending Saturday afternoon mass together. That became a tradition for us at conference.

One of my fond memories of Pat is when one year a group of 4C women went to dinner before opening ceremony and Pat’s humor was in full swing. She acted like she couldn’t read the menu and had one of the women actually read the menu to her. We all were laughing so hard I feared we would be kicked out of the restaurant. At the end of that weekend when Pat and I were saying “see you next time” (as we never said good bye) she made the comment to me, “Who would have thought we could have so much fun sober?”
Lisa L (lilbear)
Cinti, OH

Pat I am going to miss you so much. What you taught me, shared with me on the recovery journey has left an impression on me. Though I am sad and hurting I too have the belief that you are now resting comfortably in Heaven. Until we met again sister, We are Capable, Competent, Caring and Compassionate. Always willing to help another. Bonded together in overcoming our addiction.

My first memory of Pat St. Germain was at my first conference.  I had gone by myself; no one from the group I was attending was able to go.  Pat came up to me and introduced herself to me and welcomed me with open arms. From that moment on I felt so comfortable and not alone. Pat was so friendly and the word grace is what I think, when I think of her. I shall miss her as will so many other women.

P.S. Yes Pat sobriety is fun.

A giant in the WFS community has passed and Heaven is one Angel richer. I was both shocked and saddened to hear that Pat St. Germain has passed away. Pat was a woman who couldn’t be defined by just calling her a “daughter”, a “mother” or a “woman in recovery”. Pat transcended all of those monikers and none of them scratched the surface of who Pat was and how valuable she was to WFS. When I think of Pat, my immediate image is of her smiling face. What a smile that lady had. I consider myself both blessed and lucky to have served with her on the WFS Board of Directors. It was there that I was able to witness first hand her passion for WFS. Pat loved WFS and wanted each and every woman to experience the joys of recovery.

Every June, at the annual WFS gathering in Quakertown, I looked forward to the meeting of the Board of Directors. It was Pat’s smile that was a constant. Her energy and love for each and every one there in Quakertown was infectious. She was the role model for doing whatever was necessary to benefit WFS. While I didn’t now Pat as well as many in the organization, I found a soul sister in her approach and dedication towards the cause. I remember one year the conference was ending and I saw a bunch of suitcases sitting beside a couch in the lobby. It was Pat’s luggage. She was so busy making sure that she said “thank you” and “farewell” to every woman that she could find. She was so busy connecting to the women…..she forgot her luggage. Her dedication was incredible.

Rest in peace, Pat. You were a role model, a teacher, a cheerleader and a friend to everyone who you met. You probably never knew how many lives you affected and how many people looked up to you. You embodied the best of WFS and in that, made me want to be better. In both my sobriety and my life. I am in my 21 st year of sobriety and I owe much of that to you and the members of WFS. You, my dear, shall truly be missed. Our loss is certainly Heaven’s gain.
Renee F

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What I’ve Learned from Eight Months of (WE)covery

It has been 8 months since WFS started its diversity, equity, and inclusion (D.E.I.) group and wow have I learned a lot! I decided to start the group after some serious reflection following my How Intersectional is Your Feminism? blog post. I felt a real sense of urgency that day and I knew I didn’t want to lose that momentum. I have learned in my recovery that the best way to keep myself accountable is to get others involved, so I decided to start a group (#12).

Through much thought, consideration, and discussion, I decided to start a hybrid group that would be part support group, part organizational development group, with WFS Vice President Veena Iyer. We would introduce D.E.I.-related topics and women would have a chance to discuss them and reflect on how they affect us personally for most of the meeting (#8). Then in the last 10-15 minutes, we would “zoom out” and see how we could apply the topic to WFS as a whole, using the information to help us reach – and speak to the needs of – a more diverse group of women (#12). After our first meeting or two, we even had a name: (WE)covery: Exploring Equity.

I have learned that I have a lot to unlearn.

We have explored some pretty difficult topics, such as how being a “white ally” can be tricky and why there is such a disconnect about how people of color and white folks think about race. We have learned about white fragility and the pervasive roots of white supremacy in our culture. We’ve talked about how the drug war has unfairly targeted people of color and created a new basis for legal discrimination and how racial bias creates health disparities as early as birth. It seems that for every topic we cover, five more potential topics emerge!

I have learned that it is about me.

It has been comfortable – well, maybe not always comfortable – to learn about the historic foundations and systems of oppression in our culture. I could look objectively at these systems which predated me and were certainly outside of my immediate control, reassuring myself that I was raised not to see color and to treat everyone equally. I was, as author Layla Saad says, “one of the good ones.” How silly that I thought that I could grow up in a society with these pervasive systems of oppression and escape without any personal biases! But having developed implicit bias doesn’t make me “bad,” it makes me human.

(WE)covery has challenged me to go deeper, to really dig in and see how these things have affected my experience of the world. It has challenged me to step out of complacency and into action, identifying ways to do whatever I can to fight oppression, however small (#13). In going deeper and learning more, I’ve also discovered that while the disadvantages are always greater for the marginalized groups, being in dominant groups has downfalls, too. By embracing the fierce individualism that comes with whiteness, we also go through a dehumanization process and lose connection to our communities. My mom really (accidentally) hit the nail on the proverbial head when I was a kid and asked her about our heritage. Her response: “We’re just good ol’ American mutts, Adrienne.”

I have learned that this work is messy.

Really messy! Boy, have we had some blowouts, and I have definitely encountered some serious learning curve. This is such a challenging topic for so many, and the drop-in format brings an extra layer of complexity that we didn’t anticipate well. As with life, we have had to make course corrections, posting more introductory content in our (WE)covery forum and creating a separate Zoom link so people couldn’t accidentally stumble into the middle of a charged conversation. We’ve also had some really good process-related topics such as calling in vs calling out and how to have better political conversations which have helped us developed our discussion skills.

And of course, I am beyond grateful for our co-facilitator, Veena, who helps me debrief and supports me when I feel challenged by the AFGOs (Another Fabulous Growth Opportunity).

I have learned that it goes deeper than outreach.

Of course, the simplest answer to the question of how to make our program more diverse is to increase outreach, and to do more targeted outreach to underrepresented populations and include things like a variety of skin tones and personality types on marketing materials. But we’re gaining insight into the fact that it needs to go deeper than that. The phrase “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (D.E.I.) lends a lot of information here. Improving outreach can get you to diversity, which is really about getting a wide range of people showing up. That’s the first step. Then comes inclusion. When these diverse folks show up, they are greeted, welcomed, and included in the group. A great second step. And the deeper goal is the third step, equity, which is make sure that everyone is feeling fully seen, celebrated, and their needs are being addressed as fully as possible.

Now, our core program – the 13 Acceptance Statements, Levels of Recovery, and other WFS tools – appears that it should work equally well for everyone, and the consensus in the appears to be that this is true. And we have started to identify some way that our services and literature might be enhanced to address the needs of a more diverse group of women more fully. For example, it has come up a few times that addiction is even more heavily stigmatized in a lot of Asian cultures than it is in the US, especially for women. It is a complete cultural taboo to even mention it, much less seek support from friends and family. So in parts of our literature that talk about building a support network, we may want to simply acknowledge that this may be more difficult in such cultures and give additional strategies for those women. So the idea is not to change the core program itself, but to enhance the tools offered to meet a wider set of needs.

What the WFS organization is doing.

The WFS Board of Directors has made a strong commitment to ensuring that the New Life Program is accessible to and celebratory of all women. As most of you know, we have been engaged in developing a strategic plan since last summer, and the finalized plan is scheduled to be shared later this month. The board took careful steps to ensure that D.E.I. objectives are woven throughout the plan. They also put their money where their mouth is, dedicating a portion of this year’s budget to providing much-requested training to our volunteer leaders and group facilitators on this topic. The live, interactive Zoom training will be the first of its kind for WFS and will serve as a pilot for future empowerment opportunities.

Honoring our legacy.

I like to think that if Jean Kirkpatrick were still around today, she would be embracing this work to ensure that her life-saving New Life Program remains relevant, helpful, and empowering to all women in recovery from problematic substance use. I believe that the internal work I do to challenge my subconscious biases is a part of my spiritual growth in recovery (Statement 8). And I know that I am so proud to work for an organization that shows such a commitment to operate within its core values – to reach all women with competence and compassion!

Much Love,
Adrienne Miller
Women for Sobriety, Inc.


You are invite to join us!

(WE)covery: Exploring Equity

Edit 5/26/21: (WE)covery has a new, simplified schedule!
Join us every Monday at 6:30 pm US/Eastern
1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, 12:00-1:30 pm US/Eastern
2nd & 4th Thursdays, 3:00-4:30 pm US/Eastern
Must be logged in to WFS Online to join – registration is always free!

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2021 Conference Logo Challenge

It’s that time of year again!

The WFS Conference Management Team invites you to participate in this year’s Conference Logo Challenge! We are seeking an image that represents our slogan and can lay the foundation for our conference marketing and materials theme this year.

Our conference theme this year is:



Design Considerations:

  • Logo may include the actual words of the slogan, but it is not required.
  • Image should be compatible with overall WFS branding/style.
  • Logo must be professional quality and print-ready.
  • The WFS “W” logo may be included in the image.
  • Many women like to be able to use their tote bag and other conference loot after the event, but still wish to maintain their privacy as a woman in recovery. Please do not include the words recovery, sobriety, etc., in the image.

Technical Requirements:

  • Minimum 300 dpi.
  • Minimum 1080 pixels square.
  • Maximum file size 1 MB.
  • PNG files preferred. Vector file if available only for selected logo.
  • Any third-person artwork used, including images, clipart, fonts, etc., should be royalty-free and acceptable for commercial reuse without attribution; reasonable licensing fees (target <$100) may be paid by the organization if design is selected.

Some Royalty-Free Resources:

Submissions Must Include:

  • Full-color PNG of image.
  • Single-color PNG of image – this will be used for screen-printing projects and may not include gradations of the color; best format is black and white (not grayscale).
  • Link where WFS can confirm or obtain reuse rights and directly download any third-party files used (excluding most Microsoft fonts).


Submission Deadline:

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Email submissions to: [email protected]


Selection Process: Logos will be evaluated based on a number of factors, including consistency with design considerations and technical requirements, relation to other organizational initiatives, usability in print and other mediums, etc. Depending on quality, suitability, and number of submissions, two or more logos may be opened for a poll of WFS participants. Final selection of official logo rests with the Conference Management Team.

Save the Date!

The 2021 Virtual Conference event will be held online

June 11-13, 2021

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New WFS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Group

Our new diversity, equity, and inclusion group starts August 2nd! In order to offer a variety of times so that as many women as possible can attend, the schedule will be:

  • 1st & 3rd Sunday of each month, Noon – 1:00 pm US/Eastern
  • 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month, 3:00 – 4:00 pm US/Eastern

At our first meeting, we will review the results from the initial survey, pick out a name for the group (top contenders include “WEcovery” and “It’s a New D.E.I.”), collaborate on creating a group agreement and framework, and determine next steps. The group will have two major goals:

  • Provide a forum for us to gain support and insight as we deconstruct our personal biases, and
  • Create a space where we can reflect on how we can make WFS as an organization more inclusive, welcoming, and celebratory of all women in recovery.

This is an open group available to all WFS participants on a drop-in basis. The group will be facilitated by VKI and Adrienne.


First Meeting:

Sunday, August 2nd

Noon-1:00 pm US/Eastern

WFS Online Zoom Room


We hope to see you there!