She said, “We know that substance use disorders are chronic illnesses and like any other chronic illness require longer term support to maintain recovery.”
Hartman said, “Their work involves helping each individual to strengthen their recovery in the four major dimensions.” Those areas are health; a stable, safe place to live; meaningful daily activities, such as a job or school; and community relationships and social networks that provide support, friendship and love.
“As an individual in recovery from a substance use disorder myself, I know that when I began my recovery 37 years ago I sure could have used a PRSS (peer recovery support specialist) by my side,” said Hartman.
Pyle said there is a lot of evidence to support that having a recovery coach reduces use of acute services, such as emergency rooms and detox centers. It reduces overall costs and the strain on health care programs, she said.
Once approved, this program will become the first of its type at an Illinois community college, said Pyle.
Rick Pearce, Heartland’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, said, “This Peer Recovery Support Specialist program of study is another example of how Heartland is looking to meet the workforce needs of our community with short-term certification programs.”