New Training Program for Addiction Recovery Coaches
Peer recovery support services can create a non-judgmental environment
FARGO, N.D. — Fargo Cass Public Health put on a Recovery Coach Academy, which trains former addicts to become recovery coaches.
“Because of that lived experience, we’ve been down the road, we know obstacles… we never tell people what they need to do. It’s not prescriptive. We help people make their own decisions,” said Kris Kelly of the Minnesota Recovery Connection.
Joe Moran has been clean for almost eight years.
“I have a lot of gratitude for the suffering that I’ve gone through. I wouldn’t change it for the world. Suffering makes us what to be clean,” he said.
He went through a time when surviving meant being high.
“On the streets of Minneapolis for 3 years I slept outside, if I slept at all. I did what whatever I had to do to get high. I used to say I do whatever I have to do to survive, but to survive for me that was getting high,” he said.
Addicts say the hardest part of recovery is dealing with the stigma and judgement from those who they think don’t understand.
“The only reason I can look at someone who’s coming into recovery and not tell them they’re a piece of garbage is because I understand their journey,” Moran said.
He says most addicts don’t fit the stereotypical image people may think of.
“I say right away I’m an addict in recovery. There’s people who hear ‘addict’ and quit listening,” he said.
Former addicts say the most important part of recovery coaching is the understanding that exists between people.
“Recovery is contagious,” Kelly said.
The training covered topics like relationship enhancement, motivational interviewing, and cultural competence.