Addiction is an ever-changing disease which affects not only the individual dependent on substances, but also the relationships that individual has. One of the most important components of an individual’s efforts in sobriety and recovery is the people they choose to surround themselves with throughout their journey.
Having the right support and non-judgmental dialogue to communicate the need for help or to celebrate successes with could make the difference between sustained recovery and frequent relapses for any individual struggling with addiction.
Greater Elgin Family Care Center’s Medication Assisted Treatment Program is excited to announce the hiring of a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, Susan Newberry. As a Peer Support Worker, Susan can be the patient’s voice in a system which can be difficult to navigate during any stage of one’s journey. Her role is to meet with patients enrolled in the MAT Program and provide additional support in areas of need.
Susan can also provide recovery coaching and will meet with each MAT patient individually to develop their recovery plan, outline social supports and identify how to manage inevitable triggers and urges to use. She is available to meet with patients at Greater Elgin Family Care Center’s Center for Family Health in Sycamore and Summit Health Center in Elgin, although any GEFCC MAT patients can meet with Susan regardless of the location where they receive MAT services within GEFCC. As a reminder, all patients in GEFCC’s MAT Program can schedule follow up appointments at any of our four Health Centers providing this service.
The Peer Recovery Support Specialist is a brand-new role to our organization and a concept that is new to the field of recovery as well. So, who are Peer Workers? According to SAMHSA, Peer Support Workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process themselves who help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, Peer Support Workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse.
Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process. Peer support workers engage in a wide range of activities, including advocating for people in recovery, sharing resources and building skills, building community and relationships, leading peer-based recovery groups, mentoring and setting goals, developing resources, and educating the public and policymakers. Peer Support Workers can also help break down barriers of experience and understanding, as well as power dynamics that may get in the way of working with other members of the treatment team. The peer support worker’s role is to assist people with finding and following their own recovery paths, without judgment, expectations, rules, or requirements.