Chelsea Crocker and Pat Dooley, two certified recovery specialists (CRS), visited our classroom on Tuesday and spoke about the work that they do. They described themselves as conduits for people in recovery. They meet people where they’re at in their recovery and treatment and help them move forward. Their goal is to get them to point of a self-reliance. As two people in recovery themselves, they work from the heart and from experience.

Crocker and Dooley gave us an inside look on the work that certified recovery specialists do and the barriers that a lot of people face coming into recovery. They describe their work as a “strength based program” and encourage honesty with their clients. They help with everything from building a resume, to getting housing, to getting a driver’s license. Crocker made an interesting point that from her experience, people bounced around from different therapists, but a CRS stays with them through the whole process. They have an ongoing relationship.

One thing that they told us that surprised me was the fact that a lot of recovery houses don’t accept patients who use MAT. They pinpoint the main problems in this to the stigma that’s created around addiction and recovery. They also explained that even though they have big caseloads, there are still a lot of people that don’t know about their program. I think the work that Crocker and Dooley are doing is extremely important to have people who have been through the process and understand the barriers themselves and can relate to those who are struggling, and should be more known.