MONACA, Pa. — The overdose death rate in Pennsylvania — the fourth-highest in the nation — is so alarming that Gov. Tom Wolf officially declared it a public health disaster, clearing the way for easier access to care and resources.
And of all the resources available to recovering addicts, a simple peer-to-peer program may be one of the most effective. Research has shown that peer recovery support services not only help addicts remain engaged in the recovery process, but also reduce the likelihood of relapse.
This spring, Penn State Beaver Continuing Education will offer a Certified Recovery Specialist Training program as part of its curriculum.
“It’s a way for us to address the opioid crisis and the need for peer-to-peer counselors while providing a valuable training opportunity for those in recovery,” Beaver’s Continuing Education Director Debra Roach said. “The health care industry is starting to recognize that need for peer support.”
Certified Recovery Specialist Training is a 54-hour program that meets education requirements specified by the Pennsylvania Certification Board. To apply for CRS certification, individuals must meet additional board requirements, including: a history of addiction with recovery, a high school diploma or GED, successful completion of a CRS exam, and the signing of an ethical code of conduct.
The CRS program will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays, beginning Feb. 17 and running through April 21. The cost is $995 and includes all necessary materials. Online registration is now open.
The Pennsylvania Certification Board requires candidates to complete the CRS exam application. The cost of the exam is $125, payable directly to the board with the application and requisite documents.
The campus will hold an information session about the program from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 29 in Student Union Building Room 16. No registration is required.
Financial assistance may be available for qualified individuals.
For more information about the CRS program, or any program offered through Penn State Beaver Continuing Education, contact Jill Valentine at [email protected] or 724-773-3765.