BECOMING INVOLVED IN THE CREATION OF THE CERTIFIED PEER RECOVERY SPECIALIST PROGRAM HAS CHANGED ME IN WAYS THAT ARE HARD TO ARTICULATE
- How I understand addiction and recovery
- How I understand myself
- How I walk through the world
- I see myself in the people I help
- I let them teach me about addiction and recovery
- I don’t have the answers – they do – my job is to help them
- Give birth to their own recovery (Socratic Midwifery) Talking Cure
- Their truths come out when you stop talking and start listening
I AM NOT AGAINST DRUG USE - I HELP PEOPLE WITH ADDICTIONS - BIG DIFFERENCE
When I wrote the curriculum for CPRS I purposively found diverse voices from all over the world; Native Voices, England/Australia/Africa. Material that did not focus exclusively on addiction. Recovery as containing a multitude of skills and knowledge.
When done right, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist is doing things for people that no one else will or can….open up a space for people to be able to tell the truth without fear of consequences.
The most frustrating stigma of working in the recovery field are the compliments.
"You work with "those people" - God bless you, someone has to I guess... "
What advice would you give yourself in early recovery? You only have to live one day at a time – the experience of living is one day at a time, spiritual experience (Buddha)
What alternative activities, hobbies, or interests have supported your recovery?
Music, Reading, Yoga, Riding my motorcycle, Being close to water – Natural Beauty
What do you think the solution to the opioid epidemic is?
Harm Reduction Philosophy
“Nothing about us without us”
Listening to the people who are currently using without demanding they stop.
De-criminalization/Ending the War On Drugs
Public Health Crisis
- Not a moral one
- Accept that people will use, treat them with dignity and help keep them safe (safe injection sites, needle exchange, NARCAN, fentanyl test strips)
I THINK WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT SOMEONE WITH A SUBSTANCE USE PROBLEM ARE A WHOLE LOT MORE THAN THEIR PROBLEM
THERE ARE NO "NORMIES" - THERE IS NO NORMAL
ADDICTION IS ADDICTION - THE SUBSTANCE IS NOT THE ISSUE.
THE ONLY DIFFERENCE (WITH OPIOIDS) IS THE STRONG LIKELIHOOD OF DYING
PEOPLE CAN AND DO RECOVER - ALL THE TIME, SO CAN YOU
MAT IS NOT A CRUTCH OR A FAILURE - KEEP YOU ALIVE
What helps you to stay in recovery?
- Working with others
- My home – my partner
- Getting to practice it everyday
- Learning I am more than my thoughts and feelings
What helped make your decision to be in recovery?
- Being a father
- Drinking stopped working
- The first people I met in 12 step
- I began to like myself and want to be myself, rather than wanting to be someone else
- I found hope