Long-term residential drug rehab offers much advantage over a 28 day drug rehab program because long term drug treatment not only allows the brain to heal from the damage of drugs, it offers a safe environment with positive reinforcement of recovery tools. But long term rehab can also provide opportunity for professional training and career building.
The Boston Globe recently reported that “recovery coaching” is a “profession poised to take off nationwide amid the pressing need for more effective substance abuse treatment.” Due to the current opioid epidemic, for the first time in our nation’s history, a struggle with addiction has become an actual a job requirement within the healthcare industry. Recovery coaches at Mass General Hospital earn $50,000 to $60,000 annually.
Men living in recovery neighborhoods – rather than in acute care institutional settings or short term 28 day drug rehab – have the opportunity to attend Recovery Coach Academies or training sessions, earning certificates and building a foundation for further training that can lead to productive careers.
Sometimes called a “peer recovery coach,” “peer engagement specialist,” “personal recovery coach,” or “peer specialist,” people in recovery from addiction who receive such training or certification are embedded and supervised in Emergency Departments across the country. Kaiser Health News explains that when a patient is admitted for overdose or complications due to active addiction, recovery coaches establish a rapport with the patient, built on trust and identification. Peer coaches help patients negotiate treatment options and then stay in touch after discharge, offering encouragement and support free of stigma or judgment.
In New York State, the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services considers the work of a peer recovery specialist “crucial to a person’s start on the path to recovery” and in preventing “relapse and a potential overdose recurrence.”
At the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, peer specialists
can model for patients — and for doctors and nurses — what recovery looks like on a daily basis. They can talk about how hard it can be to put down the bottle or the pipe, but they can also talking about how freeing it is to live a sober life.
In Western Massachusetts, recovery coaches are encouraged to be creative, according to Justin Mehl of Behavioral Health Network.
Recovery coaches are free to explore lots of different options that have been found to be helpful. That includes traditional services like AA and NA, but also they can encourage exercise, take a look at spiritual paths, and really out of the box thinking.
In New Hampshire, men living in one particular recovery neighborhood and engaged in long-term addiction care can earn their recovery coach certificates as a first credential towards becoming a Certified Recovery Support Worker, credentialed by the New Hampshire Board of Licensing for Alcohol and Other Drug Use Professionals. A CRSW license in New Hampshire requires 46 hours of specific training and 500 hours of paid or volunteer work experience involving direct service to clients – hours that can be accumulated by helping others in conjunction with a candidate’s own time in long-term recovery care.
Long-term residential addiction recovery care is an investment on so many levels. It can offer men safety, community, time to heal, skills building, and an introduction to an exciting new career in the field of addiction services.