Nashua partners with Revive Recovery CenterBy KIMBERLY HOUGHTON
Union Leader Correspondent
May 17. 2018 9:19PM
NASHUA — The city is partnering with Revive Recovery Center in an effort to provide more peer recovery coaches for people struggling with substance misuse in the Nashua region.
“We need to expand this network,” Mayor Jim Donchess said of the existing peer recovery coaches and similar tools necessary to combat the opioid epidemic.
This week, the aldermanic finance committee approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and Revive Recovery Center, a nonprofit organization at 263 Main St.
“In efforts to further combat this epidemic, the city is seeking to provide supervision support to employees and volunteers of Revive who are certified recovery support workers or are working toward becoming a certified recovery support worker,” states the one-year memorandum of understanding.
Throughout the past two years, there has been an increase in the number of overdoses and overdose deaths in the Gate City, according to Bobbie Bagley, director of the Division of Public Health and Community Services in Nashua.
The city already employs a licensed alcohol and drug counselor who will now work with the volunteer recovery coaches to help those individuals provide critical services to Nashua residents in need, explained Bagley.
“He is like a saint, really. He is out there all the time working with people who need help,” Donchess said of Al Matkowsky, the city’s licensed recovery professional.
Donchess said that Matkowsky’s knowledge and expertise in the field will help educate the volunteers and help them adequately perform the services of a recovery coach.
No funding is associated with the memorandum of understanding because the city already employs Matkowsky, according to officials.
Under the agreement, the city’s master licensed alcohol drug counselor will provide supervision to peer recovery coaches training at no cost to Revive. The coordination of support is aimed to help decrease substance misuse in the region, states the memorandum of understanding.
Both parties agree that the fundamental goal of the contract is for all peer recovery coaches to use their training to become certified recovery support workers.
“The cost of hospital and previous human life due to substance use disorder-related health crisis has skyrocketed to epidemic proportions nationally …,” states the agreement, adding New Hampshire has had hundreds of opioid deaths since 2016.
Since one of the current challenges for patients is securing access to treatment and ongoing recovery support, city officials believe this partnership with Revive Recovery will help provide more recovery coaches and therefore fill a critical need in Nashua, and help those struggling see the potential for hope, recovery and success.
Earlier this year, the city started a pilot program of peer-to-peer recovery coaching with Jessica Parnell and Revive Recovery. Donchess said earlier that peer-to-peer coaching improves success rates for people who are in recovery, but still in the grips of the serious brain disease of addiction, which lasts long after sobriety is achieved.