The Wright Center for Community Health and Luzerne County Community College Collaborate on Program for Certified Recovery Specialists

Seventeen students enrolled in the collaborative certified recovery specialist (CRS) credential program at Luzerne County Community College recently completed the educational component to become professionals in the recovery field. The students now are eligible to take the Pennsylvania Certification Board examination to become a state-certified CRS.

The Wright Center for Community Health and Luzerne County Community College worked in partnership on the program to train about 40 CRSs in the regional program with the assistance of grant funding from the Appalachian Regional Commissioner under its own INSPIRE initiative. The initiative is a regional partnership that provides recovery opportunities for growth, education and sustainable success.

Through the grant initiative, the new CRSs will obtain new employment or enhance their current positions and about 50 businesses will be improved through employee education and/or hiring of a CRS.

A CRS credential qualifies peers who are living in recovery with drug and alcohol substance use disorders to help others in their journey through the recovery process. Recovery specialists are able to share similar life experiences by offering insight into their own recovery process. These professionals acknowledge their lived experience as a person in recovery with colleagues, patients and others. Through certification and their unique experiences, CRSs are able to serve as role models, advocates and motivators for others to live a successful life in recovery.

Certified recovery specialists also advocate to reduce stigma, eliminate barriers, increase support systems and build community. Overall, the services aim to substantially improve an individual’s ability to sustain recovery and wellness.