The Role of Peer Recovery Coaches within a Harm Reduction Framework

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Center For Optimal Living

370 Lexington Avenue


New York, NY 10017

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Event description


Who are recovery coaches and what do they do? Can recovery coaches operate within a harm reduction paradigm or do they only coach toward abstinence? Join us for a presentation that outlines basic components of who recovery coaches are, what they do and the peer recovery philosophy that grounds their work, followed by drawing parallels between peer recovery philosophy and the philosophy of harm reduction.

The presentation will include concrete examples of how peer recovery coaches are currently working within the context of a harm reduction framework. We will end the workshop with a Q+A session with the presenters.

*Please note this event is only being held in-person and will not be recorded or live streamed.

Learning Objectives/Intentions:

At the completion of this presentation, participants should be able to:

1. Understand who Recovery Coaches are (also known as Peer Recovery Specialists) and what they do.

2. Articulate the basic components of a Peer Recovery Philosophy from which recovery coaches operate.

3. Draw Parallels between Peer Recovery Philosophy & The Philosophy of Harm Reduction

4. Identify how a Peer Recovery Philosophy operates within the context of a harm reduction framework.

Intended audience:

  • Clinicians (esp. social workers/CASACs) to get exposure to harm reduction and peer support and importance of that in overall recovery movement

  • Owners of treatment programs who aren’t currently using coaches

  • Members of public interested in doing peer work to showcase what peer work is and that there is theoretical foundation to it and its not an abstinence-only approach


  • Welcome and introductions (15 minutes)

  • Discussion and comments by Patrick Roff and Meghan Hetfield (2 hours)

  • Interactive Q+A (30 minutes)

  • Closing comments (15 minutes)

Speaker Bios:

Patrick Roff
MA, LCADC, CPRS is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy. Patrick is Co-Founder of the Center for Addiction Recovery Education and Success (CARES), a peer operated recovery center in Rockaway, NJ. He is currently working as an Alcohol and Drug Counselor at Excel Treatment Center in Dover, NJ. Patrick is the author of the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) curriculum that leads to state certification in New Jersey and teaches the CPRS curriculum at the County College of Morris.

Meghan Hetfield CARC, CRPA is a Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC), Certified Recovery Peer Advocate (CRPA) and a FOR-NY Best Practices Trainer. She supervised a multi-county Hospital Based Recovery Coach pilot program responding to opioid overdose in the Emergency Rooms of four New York State Hospitals. Currently, she is a consultant for Our Wellness Collective and a Recovery Coach at a low-threshold/harm-reduction MAT program in a rural Family Planning clinic. She is also a founding board member of SAMADHI, a peer-led mindfulness-based Recovery Community Center in Kingston, NY.

Event Co-Sponsored By:

Continuing Education Information:

Optimal Living Psychological Services, PC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0534. This training has been approved to provide 3 hours of continuing education.

To obtain CE credits, you will need to pay $20 on-site and a certificate will be emailed to you upon completion of survey at end of event.

(Please note that OASAS will cross-honor social work CE credits for CASACs and CASAC-Ts.)

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Center For Optimal Living

370 Lexington Avenue


New York, NY 10017

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