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A Pathway From Addiction to Community

Restoring Roots is developing a long-term, affordable therapeutic community offering education, life skills, and job training for individuals with substance use disorder. We are working diligently to create a program that will provide greater opportunities for long-term recovery in Wisconsin.

Addiction in Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 568 people died from prescription opioid overdose in 2016 in Wisconsin. That’s a 600% increase from 2000.

The Washington Post cited that Wisconsin has the highest rate of heavy drinking in the U.S. according to a 2015 study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.1

Despite the desperate need, insurance only pays for two-to-four weeks of residential treatment and Medicaid does not pay for residential care. Statistics show that two-to-four weeks of residential care is not long enough to provide chemical and behavioral changes needed for recovery.

Completing treatment and abstaining from substance use is just one piece of a larger equation for long-term success. The goal of treatment is to help individuals productively function in their family, workplace and/or community and this healing process takes time. Within these short-term treatment programs, relapse rates are estimated to be as high as 40%-60%.2

This gap forces many families to make a difficult choice between the care their loved one needs, and the care they can afford. They spend their savings, retirement, and pension in hopes of a brighter future.

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About Us

We are a recently-formed 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by a group of individuals who have been directly impacted by addictions. Restoring Roots is committed to responding to a frightening gap in services. Many individuals are not successful in outpatient services because their living environment is not supportive of recovery.


Our Philosophy
We believe that everyone, regardless of financial resources, should have access to quality, supportive recovery servicesRestoring Roots aims to serve individuals who: want to be in recovery; are interested in learning life skills; are able to participate in job training; and wish to further their education.

We believe that long-term recovery requires long-term treatment. It’s a process that takes time. Our program can last up to two years, offering an opportunity for individuals to truly transition from a culture of substance-use to a culture of recovery and wholeness.

We believe that the healing process requires community. Our program offers individuals professional and peer support in a supportive learning environment. Residents find improved self-esteem and greater meaning in their lives through therapy, peer mentoring, education, employment training, and mindfulness.

Our Funding
Our goal is to be as financially self-sustaining as possible. We are exploring social enterprises that will serve as job training opportunities and provide income for our programming.

Our Therapeutic Approach
The experience of substance use disorder is unique for each person – so the healing process should be as well. Restoring Roots will use compassionate and person-centered treatment that is trauma-informed, culturally competent, individualized, evidence-based, and holistic.

We believe that Restoring Roots will be a healing space for our residents and improve their physical and mental health. They will learn the necessary skills to build “recovery capital” in order to maintain abstinence from drug and alcohol-use and graduate from Restoring Roots with qualifications and confidence for successful employment and healthy relationships.

Join Us

Together, we can respond with hope and possibility to an urgent crisis in our families, our neighborhoods, our state, and in our country. Together, we can make a difference and create a positive future for many who otherwise would not have the chance to live a healthy, productive life.

Four Ways to Help

Support our cause by making a donation.

Help us identify properties, land, or lots that might be suitable for our long-term housing goals.

Let us know of any relevant grant opportunities or funding resources.

Donate your professional skills to assist in moving this initiative forward.

Our Board of Directors

Sr. Julie Schwab, OP
Julie has a MA in Theology and a MA in Sustainability. Her professional experiences include: Grade School Teacher, Chaplain for individuals with AIDS, Solidarity Accompaniment in Guatemala, Co-Director of a Center for People who were Homeless, and most recently served on the Leadership Team for the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation. Julie is presently a member of the Executive Board for the Recovery Coalition of Dane County (RCDC) and is also serving on the Advisory Board for Edgewood College’s Social Innovation, Sustainability and Leadership (SISL) Program.

Mary C. Flynn
Vice President
Mary is a retired Internal Medicine Physician. She attended Oregon Health Sciences University and completed an Internal Medicine Residency at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland, Oregon. She brings a commitment to developing an additional treatment option for those battling a Substance Use Disorder.

Susanne Herbst
Susanne Herbst retired after 38 years in County Public Service as the Parking Manager at the Dane County Airport. Previous to that, she worked for 25 years in four different Wisconsin counties in service, administration, and supervisory positions. She is treasurer for the Madison Never Alone Nar-Anon support group.

Chris Hanchek
For more than a decade, Chris has been a valued member of the University of Wisconsin Credit Union (UWCU) family. Throughout his tenure, Chris has held positions within the Branch Operations and Treasury departments, affording him the opportunity to help its membership improve their financial well-being at the individual and organizational levels. Chris is currently UWCU’s Investment Analyst and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Personal Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Edgewood College. He credits his dedication to making a difference in the lives of others to his upbringing and his desire to be a positive role-model both in the community and for his son.

Chris Hanchek photo

Marco Torrez
Board Member
Marco is a licensed psychotherapist, substance use disorder specialist in the state of Wisconsin. He earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Marco has extensive training and experience in assessing, diagnosing and treating co-occurring disorders. His focus is primarily in the context of community mental health, specifically working with under-represented/under-served demographics with a trauma-informed care approach. He has more than a decade of experience working in the behavioral health field as a clinician, clinical supervisor, mentor, consultant, program director and faculty. In addition to his clinical experience, Marco holds a faculty position in the Human Services program at Madison College. In his faculty role Marco has co-developed and implemented a faculty mentorship program that works to understand and address many of the barriers students/professionals-in-training face when returning to school with their lived experience of mental health and substance use issues. In both his clinical and faculty roles Marco strives to nurture a sense of belonging, connection and accountability, which he believes contributes to success.

Ritu Bhatnagar, MD, MPH
Advisory Board Member
Dr. Bhatnagar is a psychiatrist specializing in treating addictions who currently serves as medical director for Unity Point-Meriter New Start. She has a special interest in integrative medicine, including mindfulness training, hypnosis and yoga. Dr. Bhatnagar believes in looking at the whole picture in which the person with the addiction is living. Dr. Bhatnagar enjoys a team-based approach, where the patient, physician and therapists all work together for a positive outcome. She graduated from University of Iowa College of Medicine, and did her residency in psychiatry and fellowship at UW-Madison.

In Appreciation

The following individuals and organizations support the work of Restoring Roots in creating an affordable, long-term residential, job training, and education option for individuals with substance use disorder.

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To partner or support us with this project, please contact:
PHONE: (608) 571-7646 | EMAIL:

Restoring Roots – P.O. Box 620233 | Middleton, Wisconsin 53562

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