On Tuesday, March 12, our class was joined by two Certified Recovery Specialists, Pat Dooley and Chelsea Crocker. Before Tuesday I had never heard of CRSs, so I found their presentation very informative and interesting. Crocker and Dooley described their roles as peer-to-peer and said that they help people navigate their recovery resources and prioritize their needs. Crocker said that the role is about encouraging clients to become accountable for their actions without stigmatizing or shaming them. She said that they can help people find housing, track down lingering fines or warrants and help them take appropriate steps to deal with them, build resumes and find work, and nearly all other things related to their recovery that might overwhelm them or hinder their progress.

I appreciated how candid they were about the experiences that lead them to find this new passion in life and how excited they were to talk about the work that they do. As Crocker mentioned, there is now a wealth of resources available to those with SUDs that did not exist even just a decade ago, and I think that Crocker and Dooley are living examples of that. I only hope that the people who most need their services are aware that they exist, but based on the average case loads described by Crocker and Dooley it sounds as though they are reaching as many people in need as they possibly can.