Updated: Apr 16, 2019
Kelly has been in long-term recovery since January 26 2003. She works in the recovery field as a CPRS and Project Coordinator for the Opiate Overdose Prevention Program at CARES. She is also an Ammon Foundation Empowerment Coach.
Are you looking for support in your recovery? Call Kelly at 973-830-0723
CERTIFIED PEER RECOVERY SPECIALISTS ARE VITAL
Certified Peer Recovery Specialists are vital. We get to meet people where they are at. We support them with whatever pathway they choose to live their best life. We can be right along side them through it all because we have been through it ourselves. Peers are filling the gap in the recovery field and are an integral part of the team.
I love that I am able to have a career in the recovery field. Helping others in a way that I was helped or wish I was helped keeps me grateful for my own recovery.
EMPOWERMENT COACHES WITH THE AMMON FOUNDATION HELP PEOPLE IN RECOVERY THRIVE
Empowerment Coaches with the Ammon Foundation help people in recovery thrive. Each workshop helps participants learn more about taking care of themselves and reaching their goals. People in recovery can apply for scholarships to go back to school, receive recovery coaching and professional mentoring.
Someone very close to my heart just received a scholarship from the Ammon Foundation and I am thrilled for her. I met her at her lowest and to see her rise has been truly inspiring.
I CAN TRAIN PEOPLE ON HOW TO RECOGNIZE AN OVERDOSE
I first heard about the CPRS training through my local Recovery Advocacy meeting. I learned about different programs through out the country that held value in peers lived experience in addiction and recovery. CARES trained me in 2016 and I was lucky enough to hear about a job opening in 2018. Now I get to work as one of the peers on Hope One, in our CARES recovery center, at Morris County Correctional facility and I am the Northern Region Project Coordinator for the Opiate Overdose Prevention Program.
As the Project Coordinator I can train people on how to recognize an overdose, administer Narcan nasal spray, rescue breathing, legal rights and treatment and recovery support information. The conversations during and after Narcan trainings are both heart wrenching and inspiring. All the peers at CARES work together on numerous projects to help the recovery community and I’m grateful to be a part of it.
WE HAVE MORE OPTIONS TO HELP PEOPLE FIND RECOVERY
Some people can be terribly misinformed about addiction and recovery. The more we invite open honest communication the better we will be perceived.
When I started my recovery journey it was not an epidemic. I was called many awful things because of my addiction, none of which I will repeat but all I remember. I lost one friend to an overdose. I was one of a handful of young people seeking treatment.
Now we lose over 100 people a day to an overdose and there are more young people struggling and seeking treatment.
Now we have more options to help people find recovery, more advocates, more people recovering out loud, more treatment and recovery supports for individuals and family members, more legislation. There is still much more work to be done but we are mobilizing and moving forward.
NO ONE DID WHAT I DID AND GOT BETTER
One of the most damaging thoughts I had over and over again when I was struggling was that “no one did what I did and got better” I want people to know that they can get better and they can have a community of people supporting them along the way.
I AM THERE TO HELP
I know I am doing my best to help people during this epidemic. My career with CARES lets me reach out to people in all walks of life. It allows me to get Narcan in the hands of people so they can save a life! It doesn’t get much better than that.
I am personally open about my recovery because I want people to believe recovery is possible and I am there to help.
MY DAUGHTER HELPED ME SEE THAT LIFE WAS WORTH LIVING
I had a little girl in early recovery. I always tell her she was one of the best things that ever happened to me and she saved my life. No one believed I could maintain sobriety and raise a child on my own at such a young age, but I believed in myself. My daughter helped me to see that life was worth living. My children today only know their Mom in recovery.
Recovery has taught me the importance in giving back and taking care of myself.
I FOUND A COMMUNITY OF PEOPLE
I found a community of people that struggled with the same things I did and were actively working on improving their lives. I didn’t feel alone anymore. I learned coping skills and strived to improve my personal wellness and have a life with no room for drugs or alcohol.
My family continued to love me and helped me pick up the pieces when I needed them the most. I would not be where I am today with out that support.
I WAS OVERWHELMED WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF MY ADDICTION
I was overwhelmed with the consequences of my addiction, to myself and my family in early recovery. If I could talk to that version of myself I would say to listen to your family because they only have your best interests at heart and you’re not alone
I HAD TO LEARN TO HAVE FUN IN RECOVERY
I had to learn to have fun in recovery, to try new things and to jump out of my comfort zone.
I found I need time to be alone in nature, to recharge. I need to find ways to expand my mind and point of view.