Methods Related to Recovery Core Activities:
Understanding that recovery-oriented care and recovery support systems have been demonstrated to help people with substance use disorders manage their conditions successfully, Barbour County’s Bright Futures consortium has turned to the expertise of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) for the basis of its recovery activities methodology. With the backing of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the local partnership subscribes to the concept that “hope, the belief that recovery challenges and conditions can be overcome, is the foundation of recovery.” Further, the group has constructed its strategies in this area with the knowledge that “recovery is a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life and strive to reach their full potential.”
Acknowledging that the recovery methodology within the county and the region is an area that needs to be strengthened, the Bright Futures Barbour County project fulfillment of recovery core activities will include the following four methods, each aligned of which is aligned with SAMHSA’s philosophy of Peer Recovery Support Services:
Recovery-oriented care and recovery support systems are a critical, but often the weaker leg in the substance use disorder (SUD) tripod of prevention, treatment and recovery. Designed to help people with SUD manage their conditions successfully, SAMHSA defines recovery as a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.
There are four major dimensions that support recovery: (SAMHSA, 2019)
Overcoming or managing one’s disease(s) or symptoms and making informed, healthy choices that support physical and emotional well-being.
Having a stable and safe place to live.
Conducting meaningful daily activities and having the independence, income, and resources to participate in society.
Having relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship, love and hope.
Planned methods for fulfilling the Bright Futures consortium’s treatment core activities include the following strategies:
1. Enable individuals, families and caregivers to find, access and navigate evidence-based and/or best practices for affordable treatment and recovery support services for SUD, including home and community-based services and social supports such as transportation, housing, childcare, legal aid, employment assistance and case management.
The consortium recognizes that, despite the best efforts of organizations and individuals within the community, a clear and cohesive informational system for SUD treatment and recovery services represents a partially met challenge at best, the consortium has devised plans to strengthen the coalition among the caring organizations and agencies that are dedicated to reaching out to those in need. Avenues of support include social services within clients’ homes and neighborhoods, transportation to meetings and appointments, childcare, legal advice, help in job hunting and connectivity with governmental agencies that are ready and available to assist. While most of these services exist within Barbour County and the surrounding area, the problem is bonding the need to the solution.
2. Develop recovery communities, recovery coaches, and recovery community organizations to expand the availability of and access to recovery support services.
Bright Futures subscribes to the philosophy of Peer Recovery Support Service activities, which are part of the recovery community services program designed to help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Because they are designed and delivered by peers who have been successful in the recovery process, they embody a powerful message of hope, as well as a wealth of experiential knowledge. The services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking to achieve or sustain recovery.
Research has shown that recovery is facilitated by social support (McLellan et al., 1998), and four types of social support have been identified in the literature (Cobb, 1976; Salzer, 2002).
These four support components include:
Demonstration of empathy, caring, or concern to bolster a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
Sharing knowledge and information and/or providing life or vocational skills training.
Providing concrete assistance to help others accomplish tasks.
Facilitating contacts with other people to promote learning of social and recreational skills, creating community, and acquiring a sense of belonging.
RCSP projects have found these four types of social support useful in organizing the community-based peer-to-peer services that are provided to recovering people. All four will be integral parts of the strategies employed during the Recovery portion of the Bright Futures project. (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, “What are Peer Recovery Support Services?” HHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4454. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009).
The primary goal of the Bright Futures recovery process is support for a group of local recovery-minded organizations and individuals as they work together to expand peer support services available to citizens in recovery. The driving catalyst for this work will be a necessary provision of the training and support for a network of Peer Recovery coaches who will then serve as the backbone of the effort. Upon receipt of grant funding, the Partnership of African American Church (PAAC), based in Charleston, West Virginia is ready to begin a three-year technical assistance support service program to provide the training services required by the consortium.
Once trained as a group, the peer recovery coaches will ensure mutual support and accountability for one another and make sure that connections happen with those with SUD in need of services. Upon receipt of the grant award, a peer recovery ride-sharing program will be organized and the recovery coach network will quickly become available to provide critical transportation services to meetings and back again within the Barbour County area.
A minimum of thirty individuals will be trained as recovery coaches during the three years of the grant; e.g., three cohorts of ten coaches and six of the leading trainees will receive additional education as recovery coach trainers in years two and three of the grant. Over the term of the grant, it will be of primary importance that a minimum of three Barbour County recovery leaders complete WVCERT board requirements for recovery coaching certification. At that point, they will remain in a position to continuously improve the numbers and quality of trained Peer
Recovery coaches and service providers throughout the Bright Futures area. Recovery coaches will then be available to meet on a one on one basis with members of the community seeking to gain tools to aid in their recovery. Sessions will include the 12 steps of Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-Centered recovery program. Each coach will be equipped with and certified in the administration of Narcan. The goal is to provide office hours in which individuals have a safe place to receive help and experience healing through tools and accountability.
Recovery Organizations in Barbour County:
Barbour County Health Department
Belington Community Health Association