POINT PLEASANT — Mason County residents facing addiction will have several certified recovery coaches to call upon for help after a training is conducted next month in Point Pleasant.
Stacy Adams, the county’s drug court counselor, said the five-day training is scheduled for Feb. 22-26 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Meeting House on Jackson Avenue, the former St. Paul United Methodist Church.
A recovery coach provides peer support and acts somewhat as a “sponsor” to those facing addiction, Adams said. They are helpful in finding resources for treatment, family support and education, as well as supporting any positive changes the addicted person incurs.
While most of the class is already filled, Adams said a minister is particularly being sought to participate in the training. She said other participants range from a person in early recovery, to a person who has been sober for 12 years, to a local teacher. Adams added if anyone in the community is interested in the training, there could possibly be one or two additional openings.
The training will be taught by representatives of the Genesis Program of Westbrook Health Services in Parkersburg. Adams said while she has not yet seen the training materials, there is a workbook that addresses interpersonal relationship issues. Describing the program as “very intense,” she said participants will learn about addiction and “work on themselves while learning ways to help others.” Adams said certification as a recovery coach could even possibly open job opportunities.
Mason County Drug Court has had great success since its inception, Adams stated. She said society is accustomed to punishing those addicted to various substances instead of helping them. Drug court, however, can be sentenced in place of jail time, with participants undergoing intense counseling and training, as well as meetings with the judge, counselors and probation officers. By participating in drug court, a person gives back to the community in various ways, including going into schools, such as the alternative school in Mason County, and speaking to the students regarding addiction.
Right now, Adams said, there are about 10 people in drug court. She added another benefit of the program is the fact that it doesn’t hinder people from getting a job once it has been completed, as opposed to someone who has a criminal record.
For more information about recovery coach training or drug court, Adams can be contacted at Mason County Day Report at 304-857-0029.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.