Peer Recovery Specialists Help the Fight Against Addiction

During his fourth heroin overdose earlier this year, 29-year-old Dustin French was literally dead on arrival at the hospital. He had hit rock bottom with his addiction and saw no light at the end of the tunnel. Today, Dustin French is over 100 days clean, which he credits to the peer recovery specialist he was paired with in the Emergency room in Rhode Island.

The patient was paired with a peer recovery specialist – a woman who had struggled with addiction herself but is now successfully sober. The woman guided him through his darkest hours and helped him on the right path to sobriety. He says this was critical to his recovery, considering she knew exactly how he felt and could relate to his struggle. Dustin claims “she was there when nobody else was. That program saved my life.”

Sober living homes for men in Boca Raton know that these successful recoveries and stories are influencing policymakers nation-wide to take a new approach to the nations opioid epidemic. Departments are starting to hire peer recovery specialists, whom the patients are paired with as soon as they enter the emergency department. So far, there is at least one peer coach in every hospital emergency department in Rhode Island. Other states such as New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Delaware are also working on their own plans for introducing peer recovery programs. These coaches are beneficial in the recovery process because patients feel they can trust them due to their shared experiences with addiction. After discharge, the coaches stay in contact with the patients – meeting with them regularly and encouraging them to stay on a sober path. Coaches even work to resolve issues such as housing, applications for food stamps and job searches.

Many addicts can’t break from their struggle because they feel misunderstood. Pairing an addict with someone who not only knows how they feel, but also someone who can be a strong role model for their recovery can make all the difference.  At Boca House, a sober living home for men in Boca Raton, you can celebrate your sobriety with those who understand your struggle.

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