BELLEVUE, Wash. — People who are recovering from addiction have individual needs based on their current situation, including access to transportation, food, and housing.
“Recovery is such a personal journey, so every journey is that person’s story,” said Dr. Ruby Takushi of Recovery Café. “That means that where they start, who they’re with, what their goals are is going to differ, so having a way to respond to every person in a different way is really essential.”
Recovery coaches work with individuals to overcome problems they may be currently experiencing. A recovery coach acts as a navigator to resources, including licensed counselors. The goal is that a recovery coach will be with a person before, during, and after treatment.
“One of the arguments that we make a lot to anyone who will listen is that really the lowest hanging fruit and highest potential return on investment in combatting the opioid epidemic and addiction broadly is helping to keep people who are in early recovery in recovery for the long-term,” said Lauren Davis of the Washington Recovery Alliance.
Many people who die of overdoses, are incarcerated or are homeless were once in the recovery process but did not reach long-term recovery. Recovery support services, like Recovery Café, exist to help more people achieve lifelong recovery. Resources include housing, educational and employment opportunities, family education, transportation, childcare and healthcare.
Another program many in the recovery community are looking to bring to the state of Washington is recovery coaches in emergency departments. When patients are in crisis, coaches can meet them in their time of need to provide hope and motivation, act as a conduit to resources and support them in the treatment process.
As a member of the recovery community and a recovery coach, Eva James says overcoming addiction has completely changed her life.
“It means I have a future now where before I never had a future,” James said. “And I’m able to wake up in the morning and do something better than I did yesterday. I can actually make goals today and know that I can accomplish them.”