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How Spectrum’s Peer Recovery Centers Have Adapted to COVID-19

One of the most important tools for addiction recovery are support group sessions, where people can come together to work through their problems with others in similar situations. Many individuals in recovery rely on peer recovery centers for ongoing support and help in maintaining their recovery. Even after being forced to temporarily close their physical doors due to COVID-19, Everyday Miracles in downtown Worcester is doing everything possible to support clients and keep its community together.

At Everyday Miracles, peer recovery coaches provide support for members in every aspect of their lives. This includes providing access to computers and other resources, assisting with job searches and resume building, holding educational programs and free social events, and providing opportunities for daily interaction. We want to help members stay on their feet following treatment, and we do that by helping them build a network of support. For many people in recovery right now, it is that loss of tangible community during quarantine and self-isolation that is the most challenging. Everyday Miracles’ staff recognizes that addiction doesn’t stop for a pandemic, and that a lot of their members depend on their peer recovery community. That is why they have started hosting online meetings.

“We’re doing the best we can,” said Program Director Michael Earielo. “Peer recovery is a huge part of a lot of people’s recovery and taking that social environment away from them is dangerous.”

This is true. Isolation can be particularly challenging, even harmful, for people in recovery. It is important for people in recovery to have regular contact with friends or family who can help recognize the signs of a possible relapse, and offer strength, support, and connection. While it may not be the ideal solution, hosting virtual recovery meetings is helping members maintain those connections. Just being able to see their friends from the center, even if not in person, makes a huge difference.

In addition to virtual recovery meetings, Everyday Miracles is hosting online book clubs, providing support over the phone, and helping people who need to reenter treatment get into the appropriate program. Previously, some members only had access to computers at the peer recovery center, but Spectrum’s New Beginnings Peer Recovery Center in Lawrence was able to donate a phone and computer to the local homeless shelter so that their members would have the same access to counselors and meetings.

“Host agencies can make you or break you,” Michael Earielo said. “Spectrum Health Systems has really had our back with providing whatever we need.”

“We’re very vital,” he went on to say of peer recovery centers. “We make a difference in communities – we give back. There should be a recovery center in every town in the country, in my opinion.”

Peer recovery centers like Everyday Miracles make their communities stronger by lifting up members and providing support. Even during times like these when there are so many challenges involved, it is still possible to find new ways to connect with people. If you’re feeling lonely or overwhelmed, use the technology you have – internet, telephone – and reach out to friends, family, or agencies like Spectrum Health Systems who can help you find access to the right group or treatment program. And remember, we’re all in this together!

Spectrum Health Systems hosts three peer recovery centers in Worcester, Lawrence and Marlborough. If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, Spectrum Health Systems is open and available to help. Please call 1-877-MyRehab and speak to our staff before arrival. Start your recovery journey today!

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