My name is Luke Kjolsing, and I am a co-founder of Recovree. I am someone who lives with SUD (Substance Use Disorder). SUD has been a huge part of my life since I was 15 years old, and I would like to talk about how this disease has evolved through my life.
Being Sober AF means waking up in the morning and liking what I see in the mirror. It means living a life that is genuine and real. Being Sober AF means living a life I’m proud of and a life that others are proud of too.
Being Sober AF means I have bad days. But my worst day sober is infinitely better than my best day drunk.
Being Sober AF is more than just a catchy phrase. For me, it’s a lifestyle I’ve come to know and love. A lifestyle I plan on living as long as I’m on this planet.
Peer specialists are trained professionals in the behavioral health field who have personal experience with substance use disorder. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) states that a peer specialist (also known as a certified peer specialist, peer support specialist, recovery coach) is a person who uses his or her lived experience of recovery from mental illness and/or addiction, plus skills learned in formal training, to deliver services in behavioral health settings to promote mind-body recovery and resiliency.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum present $50,000 prize to Recovree at Recovery Reinvented Conference in Fargo, N.D.
Peer support is the fastest growing service for people in recovery, but for those how are new to the field, there are still questions surrounding the service. Who are peer specialists? What does training entail? How do they help those in recovery? We sat down with Chris Falck, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist with Minnesota Recovery Connection, to learn more about peer specialists and the training they receive.
Recovery Coaching is rooted in using the tools one has gained in both addiction and recovery to partner with someone (the recoveree) who is looking to achieve or sustain long-term recovery. Together, the Recovery Coach and the recoveree explore recovery supportive resources and find pathways the recoveree can call their own. Peer Recovery Support Services are not prescriptive and are tailored to the needs of the individual being served.
Working on recovery is no easy task. For peer support specialists, the journey of sobriety is especially difficult. They are inspirations to the clients they serve by being successful in their own recovery. To add to the challenge, the need for support is great – there are never enough specialists or providers to handle the demand in the treatment industry. Yet more, the emotional toll of helping clients through challenges can be punishing.
I sat in an outpatient treatment group nearly thirty years ago discussing the connections between emotions and recovery. The counselor handed out a form laid out in a grid with a list of feelings down the left side and the days of the week across the top. The idea was that we would do a “10th Step Inventory” every night, recording the list of emotions we had experienced that day, both positive and negative. It was our way of keeping track of feelings and connecting our emotions to our daily living. This was the first time I paid attention to feelings and how they connected to my life.
A peer support specialist is a guide to a person in recovery. A peer support specialist uses his/her own lived experiences and training to help discover a path of recovery that will work best for the individuals they are working with. This path will be different for every individual, and it's the peer specialist's job to help the individual find that path.
For people who are new to peer support specialists, there can be a lot of questions about who they are, what they do and how they help people find recovery. Here's a quick overview to help you understand the value of specialists.