Help combat the opioid crisis and support long term recovery
Camden County College is offering a new course to prepare individuals looking to become peer counselors to help those recovering from overdose and addition. Students who successfully complete this course will fulfill their requirements for state certification as a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.
Offered at the Blackwood Campus beginning May 25 through July 11, the 3-credit course will promote competence and skill development in addiction crisis intervention, recovery treatment services and non-clinical settings such as peer-run recovery centers.
The course focuses on the following areas of healthcare provider development: ethics and legal standards related to direct service interventions, multiple recovery pathways and harm reduction methods and wellness-focused outcome goals.
The course was developed in collaboration with the Freeholder Board and Camden County Addiction Awareness Task Force to fill a significant need in the battle against the scourge of opioids and heroin.
“Peer recovery specialists are regular people who are in recovery themselves and want to act as a friend and role model to someone who’s just beginning to seek help,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. liaison to the County Addiction Awareness Task Force. “Peer counselors are a powerful agent for change. They provide strength, hope and inspiration to their peers and show that recovery is possible.”
Recovery specialists who are tantamount to New Jersey’s Opiate Overdose Recovery Program (OORP) are employed at all four of the major health systems located in Camden County. These individuals are the first social service responder to assist someone that has been medically cleared from an overdose. All 21 counties in New Jersey use peers in opiate overdose recovery programs and police-assisted recovery initiatives. The peer movement is a nationwide effort that is continuing to expand.
“Not only does this provide another opportunity for those in recovery who want to help others, but it ensures that an essential resource for recovery is available throughout South Jersey,” Cappelli said. “By offering this course, we can increase the number of peer specialists who are available to respond to overdoses in our area and fill a wide gap that exists when it comes to post-overdose services.”
Camden County College President Donald Borden also talked about the college’s commitment to ending the opioid epidemic and acting as a resource for all of Camden County.
“More than 115 people die every day from an opioid overdose in America. This course is so much more than education, it’s about developing an innovative solution to a problem that is affecting the county, and really the nation as a whole,” Borden said. “At Camden County College, we’re constantly exploring new ways to support our students and the communities they come to us from.”
The basic philosophy of peer counseling is that it is easier to communicate with someone who has lived through and survived some of the same events or experiences. Peer counseling takes place in a one-on-one, confidential setting and creates a special bond of trust between two individuals. This relationship adds an “assist” for individuals with limited resources to navigate a complicated system of care, and it offers an opportunity to achieve a greater level of self-sufficiency as they become a role model for their peers.
For more information, please contact Coordinator of Addiction Counseling LeRoy Stanford Jr., at or firstname.lastname@example.org or (856) 227-7200 ext. 4546.