Blake Cohen has a story and struggle with addiction that is all too familiar to many families. As a teenager, he became addicted to opioids and found himself struggling to keep up the act of being ok. After many years of trying to fight the addiction, succumbing to, and wasting away, his family had an intervention that would change his life forever.
“My family decided that they had enough of watching me slowly wither away and on New Year’s Eve 2012, they stepped in to help me. My life was forever changed that day. Today, I am grateful for my past. Struggling and overcoming addiction is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do but it changed my perspective on living,” Blake explains.
After this moment, Blake realized what his true calling was. He was going to help people overcome their addictions as he did. He went to school and earned a degree in psychology and applied it to open his own business helping people get over their addictions.
“My recovery has taught me that if I am patient, if I work hard, and I am willing to ask for help from other people, I can accomplish anything. Since finding recovery, I have earned my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, became a Certified Addictions Professional, written a bestselling book on how substance use disorders affect the family system titled “I love You, More”, owned multiple companies, have gotten married to an incredible woman, and now have gone back to school to earn a Master’s degree in the field of Leadership,” Blake states.
His business, that he started along with his partner Amanda Marino, is called Next Level Associates. When normal treatment is not enough to help get you over your abuse disorder, Next Level Associates can step in to help fill those gaps. The biggest thing for Blake and Amanda is to know that there is a road to recovery out there for people who are suffering or struggling to get over their addiction.
“Our goal with the organization is to help fill the many gaps that are oftentimes left by traditional treatment models or therapeutic interventions. We offer our clients substance use disorder interventions, recovery, family, and life coaching, case management services, public speaking and education services regarding substance use and mental health, sober companion and transport services, and more! Our goal is to help the entire family system reach the next level in their lives while offering support, accountability, guidance, and expertise. We have a large team that can help us address the various individual needs of our unique clients,” Blake comments.
With so many more people left to help, Blake is hoping and his team are working on expanding their ability to help people. They are making more education resources available to their participants to ensure that they have all the tools and resources they need to make a full recovery.
“In 2021, I want to expand our educational initiatives to corporate environments and other places that would typically be considered unusual to discuss mental health and addiction. Over the last year, I’ve become more and more convinced that “breaking stigma” surrounding mental illness is a lot more simple than most people are making it out to be. It’s about education and conversation. Bringing awareness to a social issue (which mental illness currently is) doesn’t require an enormous grand gesture like a fancy black-tie fundraiser or celebrity endorsed commercial. It can be as simple as bringing “real” people together for an intimate conversation that is facilitated by professionals to help educate and promote in-depth discussion. Sometimes the best form of education comes by asking the right questions. I’d like to bring Next Level Recovery Associates Inc into corporations to get these important conversations started by asking the right questions,” Blake details.