As the Opioid Crisis continues to ravage our country, more and more individuals are in need of treatment for substance use disorder (SUD). Addiction has saturated every community and demographic throughout the US, however there are still barriers to receiving effective treatment for this disease. One hospital in Philadelphia, Penn Presbyterian, has turned to an unconventional way of getting more SUD patients into treatment: ‘certified recovery specialists.’
These are licensed medical professionals, who once battled through the horrors of addiction, and won. Nevertheless, these peer-support personnel understand the long journey to overcoming SUD, which for some often takes decades. Their unique perspective as a peer hurdles a common barrier to treatment, the stigma of addiction. At Presbyterian the recovery specialists work in the ER, and because they have firsthand experience they appeal to those hospitalized from drug use to seek medically necessary treatment.
Recovery specialists have a unique lens to addiction medicine and understand that not everyone is ready and willing to make a change. Often times the best course is to educate about harm reduction and treatment options for when that moment of readiness comes. This is why we’ve created the ‘Get Help Now Foundation’ which seeks to develop and fund peer supporter certification, wages, and health insurance for those seeking to make a difference in their community.
To read the full article about Penn Presbyterian click on the following link: https://www.inquirer.com/health/opioid-addiction/penn-presbyterian-treatment-peer-specialist-addiction-20191129.html