Q&A with Co-Founder of Next Level Recovery, Amanda Marino
Amanda Marino is a Certified Intervention Professional (CIP), Certified Recovery and Life Coach, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Alternative Medicine. She is one of the co-founders of Next Level Recovery Associates alongside her partner, Blake Cohen. Utilizing their expertise, experience and passion, Amanda and her team strive to fill gaps that are currently present in the pre and post treatment process.
Amanda has over a decade of professional substance use disorder and mental health treatment. In 2015, her passion for helping women in recovery led her to creating Women Empowering Women in Recovery: a non-profit organization that helped raise scholarship money to send women in recovery for higher education. In 2018, she became the co-host of the Overcoming Adversity Podcast with her business partner, Blake Cohen, in which they interview people from all over the world who have overcome life’s major twists and turns and came out on the other side of it. Marino’s work and reputation have led her to be featured in a plethora of media features, public speaking engagements, webinars, and other forms of public engagement in which she consistently advocates for those affected by substance use disorders.
Amanda’s personal experience and work have molded her into the woman she is today. Aside from her tireless work with her organization,Next Level Recovery Associates Inc, Amanda is also an attentive and proud mother of three children and devoted wife. Amanda credits much of her life’s perspective to her long-term recovery from SUD, trauma, abuse, and body dysmorphia. Amanda is now living a purposeful life and has found her mission here on earth. Amanda’s hope is to help support her clients in their journey of finding their own healthy perspective in life, strengthen relationships with the ones they love, and identify the passions that light fires within them so they can create a life so good that they won’t want to numb themselves anymore. She sees the road to recovery as a journey of self-discovery and self-realization. She is compassionate, empathic, and supportive in engaging clients and assisting them. Her story not only resonates with her clients but also motivates them to make a change.
Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice? and when did you stop using? A. I became clean, sober and stable on February 12, 2007. I switched my addictions over the years from age 14-22. Alcohol, cocaine and pain pills brought me to my knees.
Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, disease, a choice or a wicked twist of fate? A. I’m sure addiction is a disease. Those who choose to use recreationally are able to pick it up and leave it. Those of us who have Substance Use Disorder, lose out choice when we pick up a drink or a drug.
Q. Do you log on to ZOOM 12-step meetings? How often? Do you share? A. I do! They have saved me this year. I’ve been able to be really consistent with my meetings. I attend at least three a week on zoom. In Florida, we have open meetings again, so I’m mixing zoom and in-person.
Q. Have you added anything to your Tool-kit to help keep you sober during the pandemic? A. Zoom meetings, therapy, consistent meditation, consistent spiritual work and growth. I’ve really taken my recovery to the next level after hitting an emotional bottom.
Q. Where did you grow up? A. Fort Lauderdale, FL
Q. From what school or teacher did you learn the most? A. Elementary school I learned the most, I was focused and really enjoyed school then.
Q. If you had an extra million dollars, which charity would you donate it to? A. Sexual abuse non-profits
Q. Do you have any children? A. Yes! I have a 15-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter. I have a step-son who is 25.
Q. Have you started any new projects because of the quarantine? A. A new company! Yes, we launched on March 1, 2020. We have been able to make a powerful impact in our first year, even with all of the obstacles.
Q. If you ever retire would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, mountaintop or penthouse? A. Mountain top on the ocean that has a penthouse overlooking a river LOL
Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort? A. I am yet to go, the little huts in the islands that are over the ocean, in Fiji.
Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve? A. Can’t stand fake or beating around the bush. Be real and don’t waste my time if you aren’t.
Q. Who has had the biggest influence on you throughout your life? A. Claire, my godmother and my mom.
Q. What books are you reading now? A. Just finished untamed by Glennon Doyle, it changed my life!
Q. What book(s) have you read more than once? A. Untamed, Four Agreements, The Secret, A New Earth
Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast? A. Podcast: A New Earth
Q. Are you bingeing on any TV series? If so which ones? A. Shameless, Fresh Prince of Bel Air – again.
Q. Which film have you watched the most? A. A Bronx Tale and Adam Sandler movies
Q. Who is your favorite sober celebrity? A. Russel Brand
Q. What/Who is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist? A. 2 PAC
Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play? A. A Chorus Line
Q. What is your FAVORITE City? A. New York, hands down
Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given? A. Patience is a virtue. Be true to yourself.
Q. What is the best piece of advice YOU’VE given? A. Be you!
Q. What is the greatest risk you have ever taken? A. So many … Getting sober, facing trauma, leaving a solid job to open my own company.
Q. What is your biggest regret? A. None
Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? A. Being a mom.
Q. Do you believe in God or a Higher Power? A. Yes!
Q. What is your FAVORITE weekly news bulletin? A. I love all of the stories and content that you put out, I’m a huge fan & avid follower.