Nathan Cermelj, BBA
Nathan was born and raised in Arizona. After a fairly worry-free childhood, Nathan found himself trying drugs and alcohol in his mid-teens. After graduating high school, Nathan’s drug and alcohol use spiraled out of control landing him in jail, drug treatment programs and eventually ended up being homeless. Years of continued drug abuse would continue to push him down further until there was literally nothing left.
In 2005, Nathan had come to the end of himself and finally hit rock bottom. He moved to Prescott, Arizona where he started his journey to recovery. He started to immerse himself in the 12 step fellowship, hoping to repair the damage of his past and grow into the person he wanted to be.
Since September 15, 2005, Nathan has been in recovery and life has continued to get better every step of his way. In recovery, Nathan met his now wife Jasmine, earned both his Associates degree and Bachelor’s degree, bought a home and most recently welcomed his son, Remington, into the world.
Nathan has been in the recovery treatment field for the last 4 years. He has worked as a group therapist, client advocate specialist, admissions director and program manager. Nathan’s personal success in recovery gives him the ability to empathize with those entering the Liberty Bay Recovery Center program. His understanding of the disease and where it can take you gives him the ability to help those trying to break the cycle of substance abuse and show them that there is a different way to live and it can be attained by anyone who works for it.
Jasmine Cermelj, RN
Owner/Director of Administrative Operations
Jasmine was born and raised right here in the beautiful state of Maine. A champion state swimmer, a good student and a hard working young woman, Jasmine decided to pick up her first drink in her late teens. After going off to college to pursue her educational pursuits, she had to drop out as her drinking and eating disorders were putting her into emotional distress and daily physical torture.
At the young age of 20, Jasmine began her own journey to recovery by entering a 90-Day program for men and women just like herself. Jasmine dug her heels into the program and started to reap the rewards as she got a job, went back to school and started to make a life for herself. January 4, 2005 was Jasmine’s last drink and since then she has become a registered nurse, bought a home, got married in her home state and most recently had her first child, Remington Bennett Cermelj.
Jasmine started her road to recovery as a restaurant server in a small cafe and in her early years of recovery, worked her way up to Utilization Review Department Manager where she managed dozens of peers and advocated for clients entering into treatment programs across the country. Having her own personal daily recovery program, Jasmine has a great advantage to help young women entering our program discover that they are worthy of a great life too. Jasmine is dedicated to ethical client care and is thrilled to be a part of the recovery process of men and women entering Liberty Bay.
Scott Davis, M.D.
Dr. Davis is an Internist and American Board of Addiction Medicine Specialist. He is also recognized as an Addiction Medicine Fellow by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. For over 20 years, Dr. Davis has treated patients with substance abuse and addiction in all phases of treatment. He completed his medical school training at Boston University in 1991 and then went onto completing internal medicine residency in 1994. Dr. Davis practiced Internal Medicine for 12 years prior to working at Liberty Bay Recovery.
Clinical Director and LADC
Lynn has worked as an addiction counselor and case manager for 22 years in Maine, and in Alaska. As the Clinical Team Leader at Milestone Foundation, Inc. in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, she has developed and implemented a 16-bed long-term residential Therapeutic Community for adult males characterized as late to final stage alcoholics/addict. In 2001 she was the recipient of the State of Alaska Counselor of the Year Award for her founding management of in-house substance abuse programs for men and women in a jail and medium security prison in Kenai and a maximum security prison in Seward. Bolstered by her years of experience, and a strong team of treatment professionals willing to take the leap with her, Lynn’s decision to take advantage of an opportunity to create a therapeutic community in the Cumberland County Jail demonstrated her abiding passion for bringing about real, practical results in people’s lives. Lynn is committed to providing men and women who are searching for recovery the tools needed to do so in a compassionate, balanced approach.
Erin was born and raised in Maine and has lived most of her life in the greater Portland area. She earned her Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of New England in 2000, and she is licensed as an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) and a CCS (Certified Clinical Supervisor). She has worked as a case manager, a therapist, an admissions director and as a clinical supervisor in her career. She has had the honor of witnessing many people in both her personal and professional life struggle with mental health and substance abuse issues and overcome incredible adversity. She believes that recovery and wellness are within reach for everyone, and that it is important to address a person’s whole life in order to help them make meaningful, sustainable change.
Leslie was born and raised in Massachusetts. Throughout her adolescent years she always felt she had to be better, and do better than her peers. This type of behavior, both positively and negatively followed her into her early 20’s. She attended Mitchell College in New London, CT where she was very successful in a decorated soccer career. Unfortunately, this is when Leslie found herself experimenting with drugs to try to fit in. Prescription pain pills and Heroin took over her life in 2010. She was unable to finish college and thus started her countless trips to detox, rehabs, IOP’s, suboxone maintenance clinics, vivitrol shots, broken relationships, depression, and thoughts of suicide. In 2014 Leslie was broken and tired. She was given an opportunity to move to Portland, ME where she dove into the steps and broke away from her selfish behaviors. Leslie has been able to maintain her sobriety since January 28th, 2014. She continues to work a program in the 12 Steps of AA, keeping her sobriety as her first priority. She is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Liberty Bay team, where she gets to work with individuals on a daily basis who come in just as broken and desperate as she once was, and leave Liberty Bay with a new-found outlook on life.
Director of Recovery Support Staff
Theresa was born and raised in Portland, Maine she started using marijuana and alcohol in high school, which quickly escalated to opiates. After a number of serious consequences, which included losing custody of her two boys, Theresa found herself homeless with nothing left.
As her life spiraled out of control, friends and loved ones convinced her to enter an out of state 12-step program. Grudgingly she entered that program. Ultimately, she was able to admit to herself what so many already knew: her life had been out of control and she need to change. With a lot of hard work that included a few set-backs, she learned the power of working the steps, following suggestions of those who came before her and putting her faith in a power greater than herself.
Now, she readily admits she’s an addict and an alcoholic. She has a supportive community of sober people. And she is thrilled to have her life, and her children back. As part of the Support Staff at Liberty Bay, she feels blessed and happy to give back, to be able to share her experiences and offer hope to anyone who wants a new way of life.
Clinical Therapist and LADC
Ron is credentialed as an LADC (Licensed Alcohol/Drug Abuse Counselor). Ron has an extensive 20 year history as a counselor treating individuals with addiction/behavioral related issues. Ron is passionate about the work he does with individuals and has acquired not only counseling experience as a professional but has also established a personal philosophy for “being of service” to the clients he serves. Ron has worked extensively in residential treatment, outpatient as well as in the prison system and Department of Corrections with a number of addiction related modalities. His personal passion lies in interpersonal and high intensity group work in the Therapeutic Community. Ron is also a licensed cosmetologist and is employed part-time barbering at a county jail. He has been a sound technician for over 35 years and continues to be active in this area.
Jeremy was born and raised in Upstate New York. Both an energetic and a solitary person, Jeremy worked hard at keeping his mind busy. When he started college he realized escaping through technology, drugs, and alcohol was easier than facing uncomfortable stress and emotions. When he was referred to a counselor, Jeremy discovered there was a harder, but healthier way to cope with life’s challenges. It was through this work that he learned the value of therapy and discovered a passion for helping others in the same way.
Jeremy started his career working with adults at an inpatient crisis program in Burlington, Vermont. He later graduated from the University of Vermont in 2016 with a degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. During that time, he worked as an Addictions Counselor in Montpelier, VT, serving in schools, as well as the state corrections system. Since moving to Maine, he has worked in Public Health, addressing the systems that contribute to substance use in the community. He believes that bearing witness to recovery is an enormous privilege; one that should be honored. Jeremy is dedicated to sharing this passion with every client he meets.
Briana was born and raised in New Hampshire. She spent some time traveling cross-country and lived in the Bay area of California for a few months, before becoming a Maine resident in early 2017. Briana spent more than nine years working in the restaurant industry and she also attended college for restaurant management. A few years later, she decided the restaurant life wasn’t for her and desired a job that would make a bigger impact. In September of 2017, Briana joined the Liberty Bay team as the administrative lead. She is very grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing team.
Recovery Support Staff and Med Tech
Bryan was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. He had a wonderful childhood, close friends and an even closer family. Around the time Bryan began high school, he began to experiment with drugs and alcohol. Bryan very quickly transitioned from a pot smoker to a full-blown addict, often mixing various types of drugs. By the age of 21, Bryan had just about given up hope of ever living a life of recovery. Then Bryan was introduced to the twelve steps. Since December 6th, 2011, Bryan has been clean and sober. He has earned an associate’s degree in Behavioral Health and Human Services and now has many years of experience helping men achieve sobriety through working and living at sober houses here in our great community of Portland, Maine.
Christopher was born and raised in Massachusetts. He had a great childhood and supportive family. During high school Chris started drifting away from positive influences and got involved in oxycontin, drinking and cocaine. He dropped out of high school and quickly spiraled out of control. He began using IV heroin and cocaine. The next 8 years of his life were riddled with homelessness rehabs and institutions. He ended up finally willing to give recovery a shot in early summer of 2015 and stuck with it. He ended up moving to Portland, Maine to continue his recovery and growth. Today he continues to carry on his message of recovery and help others and is grateful to be able to revolve his job around it at Liberty Bay.
After 15 years of being away from her home state Lara finally decided that it was time to come home to Maine. During her time away from Maine Lara traveled the world and earned her BA in International Studies at UCSD. After graduation Lara was hired by Church World Services to work alongside the United Nations and USCIS where she spent three years in Africa as a Humanitarian Aid Worker specializing in refugee crisis and assisting victims of torture, trauma and persecution. Lara is driven by her passion for working with at risk and underserved populations worldwide. After 3 years in Africa Lara moved to Los Angeles where she studied yoga and completed her 500-hour teacher training certification. Lara continued her work with refugees interning at IRC and working with a local Somali organization while running her own yoga studio in Santa Monica, California. Shortly after volunteering as a yoga teacher on skid row Lara got a job working as a full time Case Manager at Lamp Community helping the chronically homeless find and sustain housing. Throughout her work in Africa and the US Lara worked with populations of people struggling with addictions and suffering from trauma. Lara has combined her experience as a humanitarian with her work as a yoga and meditation teacher and offers classes that cater to each individual’s battle with addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma. Currently in school at UMASS medical Lara is studying to teach Jon Kabat Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction as a tool to help people in recovery. Working at Liberty Bay is truly a dream for Lara as she has the opportunity to offer recovery oriented yoga and meditation in both group and one on one classes catered to the specific needs of each individual.
From an early age, Damien got into substance use and getting in trouble with the law. From the mid-1990’s until June 24th, 2015, Damien continued to hit one rock bottom after another. Damien realized he had to change everything about himself including his thinking and behaviors. After this realization he asked for help, moved into a 12-step structured sober living house and started volunteering. As he continued to stay sober he moved into a self-governed sober house which gave him lots of insight and tools to deal with life in a positive manner. Damien’s family and daughter are back in his life today as a result of his sobriety. Today Damien is working towards a better life by going to school, being active in the community and enjoying a life of purpose. Damien enjoys working at Liberty Bay because of the sense of community and his ability to share hope with the guys. Damien say “It’s like a family here!
Recovery Support Staff/CRMA
Sam was born and raised in a small suburban town in Massachusetts. He was given a normal childhood with all of his basic needs and wants met. As a result of complications due to alcoholism in his family, at the age of 14, Sam moved to York, Maine, where he would meet drugs and alcohol for the first time. Exploring different ways to fit in, smoking pot and stealing liquor became a daily occurrence.
Marijuana and alcohol soon progressed into the use of cocaine, opiates, hallucinogens, and benzodiazepines, creating a deadly life-destroying mixture and crippling drug habits. Formerly a successful student-athlete-musician, Sam gave up all things worthwhile to pursue the next high. His addiction led him to blackouts, overdoses, drunk driving accidents, multiple arrests, suicide attempts, psych-wards, detoxes, treatment centers and traumatized family members. Unable to stop using drugs, he did anything he could to get his next fix, praying that it would end one way or another.
He finally surrendered and found freedom from substances at Liberty Bay. He checked in for the first time in November 2015, and after a summer-long relapse in 2016, he was brought back to his knees. Luckily for him, he knew that Liberty Bay had the tools he needed to learn from his relapse and re-invent himself and his life. He returned to the program for the second time, and was separated from drugs on September 5th, 2016; he has been clean and sober ever since.
Sam is a member of our recovery support staff and a certified residential medication aide. Being a former client himself, he can easily connect and relate to clients in our program and set an example for them. Today, every good thing in Sam’s life is a direct result of his recovery from addiction. He is proud to carry the message of hope to newcomers through his words and actions at Liberty Bay and throughout the Portland Recovery community. Sam is a full-time member of our staff as well as a full-time college student. His life has grown beyond anything he’d ever imagined.
Isabella was brought up in Long Island, New York in a loving, supportive family with three older sisters, and two caring parents. Although she had a normal childhood, Bella began feeling different than her peers when she entered high school. She started to drink and drug to try and fit in but it only made things worse eventually leading her to use self-harming coping mechanisms. Shortly afterward she was admitted into her first treatment center located in Connecticut. She learned to stop using self-harm as a way to cope but did not learn how to stop drinking. As her senior year in high school went on, her addiction got worse and lead her down the path of using cocaine along with heavy alcohol use. She went to more treatment centers trying to find a solution but every time she tried, she would somehow end up back where she started and even worse. Finally, on April 22nd of 2016, Bella decided she was not going to put drugs and alcohol into her body and she was going to find a better solution. She went into treatment across the country in Southern California for three months and when she graduated she decided to learn about the solution that many had found in Portland, Maine. Bella has been sober ever since. She has helped many women along her journey and wants to continue to share her passion for recovery with many more.
Recovery Support Staff
Haley was born and raised in Norridgewock, Maine. She started using marijuana, alcohol and opiates occasionally in high school and very quickly it turned into a habit. She began to use harder substances. Haley struggled in school but eventually got her GED. She had attempted to get sober numerous times in many different ways but always ended up right back where she started. After a long struggle and a lot of help from her family she decided she wanted a better life for herself. She contacted Liberty Bay and checked into the 90-day treatment. She completed the program and went on to the six months of aftercare. With a lot of hard work, help from others, and some setbacks, she has come out on the other side of addiction as a stronger woman. Haley is very grateful to Liberty Bay and says that they not only gave her life back to her, but they gave her a brand new one, which is something she never thought would be possible. Today Haley helps others as she has been helped and serves as an example that a new life and happiness is possible in recovery.
Kate was adopted and raised in Southern Maine. Throughout her childhood and teenage years, she
always had a need to prove herself to her family and peers. She was successful, attended a well-known
boarding school in Massachusetts and continued her education at a private university in Rhode Island.
She excelled in school, won numerous awards and recognition, but the feeling of not being good enough plagued her. This feeling, along with a traumatic experience in college, caused her to seek comfort in alcohol. With the help of a family member in recovery, Kate was led to a rehabilitation center in Portland and eventually a sober house. She continues to actively work the 12 Steps of AA and enjoys working with women in recovery. Kate is incredibly grateful to be working at Liberty Bay to assist helping those in early recovery discover a new way of life.
Diamond had a lot of traumatic experiences growing up and when substances became available to mask those experiences, she took the opportunity. Diamond found alcohol at age nine. Not long after she discovered alcohol, she was breaking every boundary she had set for herself. After years of drinking and using, at 21 years old Diamond was arrested. She knows in her heart that had it not been for that day she would not be here today. While in jail Diamond pleaded with her lawyer to keep her there until they could place her in a rehab. After 18 long months, they were able to find a rehab. Diamond has been clean since September 2, 2011, and her life today is beautiful. She has a lovely family that is continuing to grow. She is in college and pursuing a rewarding career as a labor and delivery nurse.