By STEVE FREKER
MALDEN — A local substance abuse recovery organization will train 30 recovery coaches to directly and intensively work with recovering addicts.
Malden Overcoming Addiction (MOA) President Paul Hammersley broke the news via YouTube and said anyone interested in learning about the program can attend an informational meeting Tuesday, March 7 from 5-6 p.m. at the regional Salvation Army Headquarters, 213 Main St., Malden.
Formed 18 months ago, MOA supports individuals and families affected by substance abuse and addiction. MOA also educates the public on addiction and how to address it in ways that have already drawn statewide and national attention.
“Some communities in the area have several recovery coaches, but no one and no community has undertaken an initiative like this, to train 30 people to this crucial need,” Hammersley said. He said a private grant of $4,500 will cover the cost of the training, which will be performed by the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s (CCAR) Recovery Coach Academy.
Hammersley said the Recovery Coach differs from a recovering addict’s “sponsor” — someone who usually is “on call” and can spend a limited amount of time with the addict “usually when it has already escalated into a crisis situation.”
Recovery coaches, Hammersley said, “are available on a more continuing, regular basis … usually once a week or more, to lend an ear, lend a hand and be someone that the recovering person can lean on.”
Recovery Coach training is an intensive, five-day, eight- to nine-hour-a-day course, leading to certification by the CCAR Academy. Plans call for training to take place in Malden in April. Hammersley said MOA is expecting “a full house” at the March 7 informational meeting. He said right now five people are recovery coaches in Malden and at least a dozen have committed to the April training if they are accepted to the program.
The timetable following the March 7 meeting is for applications to be filed March 19 followed by interviews March 21 and March 23. Training sessions will be at Malden High School Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, and April 14 and 15. All training sessions are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“No one else has trained this many. It’s a big number and a big dream of ours and we’d like it to arise in other communities as well,” Hammersley said. “We’re expecting a great response and hoping it opens a lot of eyes.”