Eight Most Recent Articles

MARI pre-arrest diversion graduates first individuals

Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) celebrated the first successful program completion with five individuals at a ceremony Friday March 16, 2018.  The MARI program is focused on jump starting treatment for opiate offenders.  Participants and family members specifically identified the peer recovery coach component of this program as contributing to their personal success in completion.  Madison Police Chief Koval spoke regarding his strong support for programs that provide a pathway to treatment and recovery rather than incarceration. Program coordinator Joseph Balles commented on the close cooperation between community partners Madison Police Dept, Dane County Human Services, Madison Health Dept, Safe Communities, UW Family Medicine and Connections Counseling.  More at Madison Police Department blog here.

Recovering from Gambling Addiction

MADISON, Wis. - NCAA tournament play is underway, and even though sports gambling isn't legal, millions of Americans routinely bet money on college basketball games this time of year...   It can be extraordinarily difficult for people like Brian, a Madison-native, who's currently in treatment at Connections Counseling in town. Brian battled substance abuse and gambling addictions for 25 years. He is now more than a year sober, but says every day is still a struggle.  Full story from WISC TV3 here.

Opioid deferred prosecution program seeing success

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison police are seeing a good response to a new program that aims to treat, not punish, drug addicts who commit crimes. Police started the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative (MARI) on September 1. It allows people who would otherwise be arrested for low-level drug-related crimes to avoid being charged, if they promise to get treatment for at least six months. Officer Dan Swanson says the department started the program with grant funding, in an effort to save lives. "We're seeing heroin overdoses and deaths from overdoses just skyrocket statistically. What we're doing currently isn't enough," Swanson told 27 News. So far this year, there have already been 200 heroin-related overdoses in Madison. Police say 20 of those people died, which is an increase of 350 percent over last year. In the first two months, officers have referred nearly 30 people to MARI. Almost half have started treatment through Connections Counseling in Madison. Full story and WKOW video here.

Connections hosts EMDR training April 2018

Connections Counseling will host EMDR training by The Personal Transformation Institute in April 6-8 and May 4-6, 2018 in Madison WI.  Participants have access to a member’s section of the web site where they can view all 6 days of training as well as EMDR demonstration videos for a full year after the training.  This series will offer:
  • A Seamless progress toward EMDRIA Certification
  • Advanced training toward becoming an Approved Consultant and even a PTI trainer.
  • Support through Email and Social Media
  • Access to training videos and documents
  • Training fee 1499.00/1399.00 early registration
  • Group discounts for 4 or more
  • Fee includes all 6 days of training and the required 10 hours of consultation.
This is both part 1 and part 2 of the basic training. Location is Connections Corner, 659 N Whitney Way, Madison WI 53705 (corner of Whitney Way and University Ave)  

StraightForward: The truth about addiction

The Truth About Addiction is a 2017 documentary by WisconsinEye featuring in-depth interviews with young Wisconsinites including several Connections mentors fighting to recover their lives and futures from addictions that, in most cases, involved opioids. WisconsinEye produced the documentary to be used in middle and high schools in Wisconsin, with related curriculum and discussion guides.

Recovery Foundation covered by News3

Channel3000 / Neil Heinen:  MADISON, Wis. - We continue our weeklong promotion of October events with your reminder that next Monday, Oct. 9, is the annual Recovery Foundation Voices for Recovery Luncheon. Recovery from alcohol and drug addiction is hard. We do a lot of talking about drug and alcohol problems and we devote a lot of resources — if not enough — to treatment. But the actual, everyday work of recover requires personal commitment and lots of support. And that's the work the Recovery Foundation does. The Recovery Foundation provides financial assistance for outpatient Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse treatment, public outreach, education and advocacy.  Its work is research-based, supporter by passionate volunteers, and it works. With partner Connections Counseling, Recovery Foundation is co-sponsoring next week's luncheon, The Power of Mentorship, Together We Recover. It's a big deal. The crowd is diverse and influential in the field, and the stories are powerful and inspirational. You can register at

MARI arrest diversion program active

Wisconsin State Journal, 9 Oct 2017:  A program in Madison to keep heroin addicts out of jail, and instead find them help, has started to take on its first participants.
The initiative lets Madison police officers refer people committing crimes related to substance abuse to an addiction treatment clinic. The clinic then assesses the person’s needs and determines what type of care could work for them. Early last month, officers began steering participants to the program.
Known as the Madison Addiction Recovery Initiative, the program provides assistance in navigating a sometimes difficult process of getting into treatment. It is funded by a $700,000 federal grant and expected to last three years.  More...

Recovery Coach Academy Training offered Sept 7-10

Connections Counseling is bringing the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) model to Dane County as part of a recovery-oriented system of care for individuals and families dealing with substance use disorders.  The training includes core competencies for recovery coaches with additional training on ethics, boundaries, medication assisted-treatment gambling and more.   The training will be offered September 7-10, 2017 at Connections Counseling "Corner" Community Center 5001 University Ave.  Full details in Recovery Coach Training Flyer Further information 608.233.2100 x-17 or