Providing Support and Community for Individuals with Substance Use Disorders
By introducing peers, individuals with a lived substance use history, into inpatient settings, the hope is improved experience for those battling a substance use disorder. The aim of this program is for both the providers and the patients to benefit. The patients have a unique opportunity to connect with a peer, fostering unparalleled empathy through a shared experience. The medical providers have a chance to witness remarkable success stories for individuals who have overcome and recovered from a substance use disorder.
- Reducing Stigma
Substance use disorders are treatable diseases. Peers engage with individuals reinforcing that substance abuse is not a moral failing. Compassion and dedicated attention will be given.
- Non-Judgmental Approach
Peers commit to active listening in order to recognize where the individual is at in terms of their current stage of change. They strive to foster a collaborative relationship that reflects the goals, values, and beliefs of the individual.
- Harm Reduction Focus
Peers offer training in practices that might decrease the severity and frequency of negative consequences associated with continued substance use during recovery. This can include Narcan kit distributions or connecting to services that offer medication-assisted treatment plans or clean-needle exchanges.
- Treatment Continuum
Peers help bridge the individual to different options they might consider for support in their recovery. While the support is offered while individuals are in the hospital or emergency room, the individuals are offered resources to help with continuity of care when the individual might be their most vulnerable.
- Community as Method
There is unique trust established between a peer in recovery and an individual who might be at the beginning stage of their journey. The pairing embraces a social dyad that supports positive change in an individual's behavior and lifestyle. It fosters feedback, reinforcement, and social responsibility that best supports long-term recovery.
NewYork-Presbyterian Recovery Peers
Peers undergo an intensive interview process and training through New York-Presbyterian. The peers are provided weekly supervision by a licensed clinician.
Tyler’s background is in the arts, but after a long detour with substances he found his other calling in helping others. Tyler is a creative, empathic and caring individual who hopes to empower others with their own recovery. He is grateful to have learned along the way that life is worth living and each day an adventure!
Ron is involved with a community based not-for profit support organization, Brother’s in Recovery. After nearly forty years of active substance abuse and at the tender age of 71, he can proudly say that he has over 15 years of continuous sobriety. The journey continues, one day at a time.
Todd has been in recovery since June of 2002. Working in the field of finance for 30 years he has been able to navigate the pressure of work with the importance of recovery. Whether it is a 12- step program or just telling his story Todd is available to chat anytime.
Connect with a Peer
To connect your patient to a peer, or if you are a patient and want to reach out directly to a peer, email PeerRecovery@med.cornell.edu
Include in the email:
- Name of the patient or person who wants to connect to the peer
- Phone number where that person can be reached