NEW PROGRAM CONNECTS THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH SUBSTANCE USE RECOVERY WITH TRAINING FOR CAREERS AS PEER ADVOCATES FOR OTHERS IN RECOVERY

“The city Small Business Services Department is spending $213,200 on a pilot program that will train two classes of advocates to take a state-approved certification exam. There are 21 people in the first class, now going through the three-month training.
Joann Fong, 62, of Manhattan, who has kicked heroin and Xanax habits, said she’s looking forward to coaching patients dealing with similar troubles.
“I remember how acutely painful it was, psychologically and physically, to be under the influence, where drugs were constantly seducing you to return despite the negative consequences,” she said. “I can relate to the emotional despair. I have tried and tested skills to get out of that.”
The advocates will help patients develop recovery plans, show them effective coping skills, and accompany them to court dates or other meetings. The city plans to expand the push if the pilot program is successful.”