National Peer Credential NAADAC Offer

Peer Recovery Support Credential: Test-Exemption Offer
The National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCC AP) is excited to announce an opportunity for qualified individuals to apply for the Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist national credential based on their already demonstrated competence, skill, training, and experience without testing through December 31, 2018.

Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists are individuals who are in recovery from substance use or co-occurring mental health disorders. Their life experiences and recovery allow them to provide recovery support in such way that others can benefit from their experiences.

Take advantage of this limited time offer by visiting the NAADAC website at This one-time test-exemption offer is available from January 15, 2018 through December 31, 2018.

The NAADAC/NCC AP National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) Code of Ethics outlines basic values and principles of peer recovery support practice. This Code serves as a guide for – responsibility and ethical standards for NCC AP National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialists. Peer Recovery Support Specialists have a responsibility to help persons in recovery achieve their personal recovery goals by promoting self-determination, personal responsibility, and the empowerment inherent in self-directed recovery. Peer Recovery Support Specialists shall maintain high standards of personal conduct, and conduct themselves in a manner that supports their own recovery. Peer Recovery Support Specialists shall serve as advocates for the people they serve. Peer Recovery Support Specialists shall not perform services outside of the boundaries and scope of their expertise, shall be aware of the limits of their training and capabilities, and shall collaborate with other professionals and Recovery Support Specialists to best meet the needs of the person(s) served. Peer Recovery Support Specialists shall preserve an objective and ethical relationship at all times. This credential does not endorse, suggest or intent that a Peer Recovery Support Specialist will serve independently. The Peer Recovery Support Specialist shall only work under supervision.

As a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, I will:

1. Agree to maintain a minimum of two (2) clinical supervision sessions per month totally at least 2 hours of documented clinical supervision.

2. Accurately identify my qualifications, expertise, and certifications to all whom I serve and to the public.

3. Conduct myself in accordance with the NCC AP NCPRSS Code of Ethics.

4. Make public statements or comments that are true and reflect current and accurate information.

5. Remain free from any substances that affect my ability and capacity to perform my duties as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist.

6. Recognize personal issues, behaviors, or conditions that may impact my performance as a NCPRSS.

7. Maintain regular supervision and ongoing support so I have a person with whom I can address challenging personal issues, behaviors, or conditions that may negatively effect my own recovery. I understand that misconduct may result in the suspension of my credentials.

8. Respect and acknowledge the professional efforts and contributions of others and not declare or imply credit as my own. If involved in research, I shall give credit to those who contribute to the research.

9. Maintain required documentation for and in all client records as required by my agency or the Federal requirements making certain that records are documented honestly and stored securely. Agency disposal of records policies shall be adhered to.

10. Protect the privacy and confidentiality of persons served in adherence with Federal Confidentiality, HIPPA laws, local jurisdiction and state laws and regulations. This includes electronic privacy standards (Social Media, Texting, Video Conferencing etc).

11. Use client contact information in accordance with agency policy.

12. Not to create my own private practice.

As a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, I will:

13. Reveal any perceived conflict of interest immediately to my professional supervisor and remove myself from the peer recovery support specialist relationship as required.

14. Disclose any existing or pre-existing professional, social, or business relationships with person(s) served. I shall determine, in consultation with my professional supervisor, whether existing or pre-existing relationships interfere with my ability to provide peer support services person(s) served.

15. Inform clients of costs of services as established by the agency for which I am employed and not charge person served beyond fees established.

16. I will not sponsor individuals with whom I have previously served or currently serve as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist.

As a Peer Recovery Support Specialist, I will:

17. Clearly explain my role and responsibilities to those serve.

18. Terminate the relationship with a person(s) served when services appear no longer of benefit and to respect the rights of the person served to terminate services at his/her request.

19. Request a change in my role as a NCPRSS with a person being served if the person served requests a change.

20. Not engage in sexual activities or personal relationships with persons served in my role as a NCPRSS, or members of the immediate family of person(s) served.

21. Set clear, appropriate, and culturally sensitive boundaries with all persons served.

22. If at any point I feel I am unable to meet any of these requirements, I will immediately cease performance as a Peer Recovery Support Specialist and seek professional assistance.


Telephone Recovery Support

TRS Biz Card

Peer Coach Academy Colorado has acquired a recovery support program initiated by CCAR in 2008 named Telephone Recovery Support- TRS. It is a simple strategy inviting volunteers on both sides of the initiative. Confidentiality and person-centered approaches are at the heart of TRS.

  1. Volunteers are recruited, screened, and briefly trained to provide supportive check-ins to people who are new to living in recovery. They inquire, encourage, support, discuss resources and options, and refer to services when appropriate. They will provide a 1 x weekly call for 12 weeks.
  2. Recoverees request TRS when they are newly entering recovery perhaps after leaving outpatient or residential treatment, or jail, or beginning their recovery journey without supports. They will receive a 1 x weekly call and can determine the best time and day of the week to be contacted. Recoverees can opt out at any time from the service or ask to extend if is having helpful effect.

PCA maintains privacy and uses first names only with volunteers and recoverees. PCA staff manages the personal information of both the volunteers and the recoverees. We maintain communication of personal information prior to calls utilizing  HIPAA-compliant online application  mTx (m Treatment) a locally sourced innovative electronic medical record app. We look forward to continued collaboration with this forward looking program.

PCA and TRS are dedicated to created an outreach arm that can be accessed by both rural and urban locations as well as connecting helpers with people who are asking for help. Give a little love- get a little love.

Recovery Support Following Overdose and Other Medical Emergencies


Missing in the media coverage of the unrelenting legions of drug overdose deaths in the United States is an equally important but less heralded story. What subsequently happens to people who experience a drug overdose but are successfully rescued through emergency medical intervention? What is their fate after they leave the hospital or other emergency care setting? New grassroots recovery community organizations (RCOs) are collaborating with first responders and hospitals to influence such outcomes.

The Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) is one of several hundred recovery advocacy and recovery support organizations (RCOs) rising on the American landscape in the last two decades. One of the first RCOs, CCAR pioneered what have since become standard RCO service fare: recovery-focused professional and public education, legislative advocacy, recovery community centers, recovery celebration walks and conferences, recovery support groups, training for recovery home operators, face-to-face and telephone-based recovery support services, family-focused recovery education and support services, and collaboration with research scientists on the evaluation of the effects of peer support on long-term recovery outcomes. As an example of its reach, CCAR’s Recovery Coach Academy curriculum has been used in the training of more than 20,000 recovery coaches in more than 33 states and in such countries as Sweden, Vietnam, Canada, and Spain.

CCAR began piloting an Emergency Department Recovery Coach (EDRC) Program in March of 2017. Through this program, CCAR-trained recovery coaches are on-call for hospital emergency rooms to offer assistance to patients and their families during an emergency room visit resulting from an adverse drug reaction or other alcohol- or other drug-related medical crisis. An evaluation of EDRC services provided between March and November 2017 within four collaborating hospitals revealed the following. CCAR-trained recovery coaches provided recovery support services to 534 patients/families during the 8-month evaluation period with a relatively even distribution of services provided across the four hospitals. Of those served by the EDRC, the majority were in the ER due to an alcohol- or opioid-related condition; 70% were male; and 5% were seen more than once during the evaluation period. Most importantly, of the 534 people interviewed, 528 were assertively linked to a detoxification program, inpatient or outpatient treatment, or community-based recovery support resources.

A more formal and sustained evaluation of the EDRC program is underway in collaboration with Yale University, and the program is now being expanded to an additional four hospitals. Funding support for the EDRC comes from the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services through support of the federal block grant and a Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

CCAR’s EDRC program has many distinct features worthy of replication and local refinement. Among the more striking of such features are the following.

* The EDRC program is governed by a formal agreement between CCAR and each participating hospital that delineates the roles and responsibilities of each party.

* The EDRC program is currently staffed by one Recovery Coach Manager and 9 full-time Recovery Coaches (RCs).

* Emergency Department Recovery Coaches (EDRCs) are recruited and screened (2 interviews with background and reference checks) based on desired experience, skills, and a good work history, but also for what our EDRC manager, Jennifer Chadukiewicz, calls “a servant’s heart.”

* All EDRCs go through more than 60 hours of training and spend the first weeks shadowing tenured EDRCs. The training includes the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© (30 hours) as well as topical trainings, e.g., Narcan (naloxone administration), medication-assisted recovery, ethical decision-making, crisis intervention, and conflict resolution. Hospital specific training includes such areas as fire/general safety, OSHA, blood borne pathogens, infection control, hazardous materials, and HIPPA regulations.

* EDRC Recovery Coaches are employed by CCAR rather than the hospitals and enter the hospitals as service vendors and “guests” who defer to leadership of ER staff.

* The RCs are paid a livable wage ($20-$25/hr. to start plus benefits, health insurance, etc.) that allows them to work full time and support themselves and their families while affording time away for rest and self-care.

* EDRC coverage is provided from 8 am to 12 midnight, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

* Patients have the option of enrollment in enhanced Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) program (i.e., patients receive daily support calls for the next 10 days and then weekly if desired).

* EDRC’s provide assertive linkage and transportation (when needed) to treatment and recovery support resources.

* The EDRCs spend considerable time with community providers and other stakeholders building collaborative relationships that facilitate this patient referral and service linkage process.

* CCAR provides each hospital emergency department with “prescription pad” style resource handouts that can be attached to discharge paperwork and given to patient friend/family member.

There are critical windows of vulnerability and opportunity within addiction and recovery careers that serve to plunge one deeper into addiction or mark the catalytic beginning of a recovery process. The reversal of a drug overdose or treatment of other drug-related medical crises can constitute a recovery tipping point.

The emergency room is not the only critical point of potential intervention to reduce the risk of drug-related deaths and to promote addiction recovery. For persons with a history of addiction, the days and weeks immediately following release from a correctional facilityrelease from an inpatient or residential detoxification/treatment program without medication support, or cessation of medication-assisted treatment, and even transfer from one medication-assisted treatment provider to another all constitute a zone of heightened risk for re-initiation of risky drug use and death. Altering such risks and tipping the scales toward recovery stabilization, recovery maintenance, and enhanced quality of personal/family life in long-term recovery should be the goals of every community. Recovery community organizations like CCAR are showing us how this can be done.

Phil Valentine Insights

‘Substance Abuse’ – I Kill You

 phil valentine

Phil “Right Click” Valentine Recovery established 12.28.87 reposted from

I long for the day when the term ‘substance abuse’ is permanently dropped from our lexicon. If it’s in your vocabulary, I implore you, I plead with you, I appeal to your decency. kill it. Please don’t utter those two words together ever again.


First, the term ‘substance abuse’ is not technically accurate. Back in the late 80’s, I had given up alcohol on my own, but when offered a snort of cocaine, I had no internal defense. My cocaine addiction soon ran rampant. It’s still frightening to think about 30 years later. And even though I was snorting massive quantities, I never once abused the substance.


At all times, I knew where my cocaine was. I protected it fiercely. I kept it well- groomed, clean and close by. I loved my substance completely and unconditionally.


I never, ever hit it. Not once did I assault it. In fact, I don’t think I ever yelled at it.


Given this context, can you see the absurdity in calling addiction ‘substance abuse’?


Second there is a deeper issue. No one describes it better than my colleague and friend, Bill White.


“Of the words used to describe addiction and recovery, the ‘abuse’ terms are among the most ill-chosen and pernicious. Terms such as alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and substance abuse all spring from religious and moral conceptions of the roots of severe alcohol and other drug problems. They define the locus of the problem in the willful choices of the individual, denying how that power can be compromised, denying the power of the drug, and denying the culpability of those whose financial interests are served by promoting and increasing the frequency and quantity of drug consumption. To refer to people who are addicted as alcohol, drug, or substance abusers misstates the nature of their condition and calls for their social rejection, sequesterization, and punishment.”


To carry Bill’s perspective a bit further.


“It’s easy to abuse the abuser.”


I wish I had come up with this line but that credit goes to Bob Curley who wrote an article for Join Together many years ago titled, “Wrong” Words Used to Define, Defame Addiction and Recovery. It is a powerful piece. Think about where the term abuse is used most commonly – child abuse, domestic abuse and sexual abuse. Don’t they all have a heavy, dark connotation? Does substance abuse fit with these?


Killing ‘substance abuse’ isn’t going to be easy. This harsh undertone exists at the highest of government levels. SAMHSA lives under Health and Human Services.


Know what SAMHSA stands for? Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration. The federal government chose a damaging term (substance abuse) to lead the title of the most powerful recovery agency followed by a much more positive term (mental health). No wonder that people struggling with addiction are vilified and demonized. Just to emphasize this point, under SAMHSA control are CSAT and CSAP, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment and Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.


All is not lost however. We have made some progress in the last few years. The DSM-5, short for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) eliminated the word ‘abuse’ that had appeared in prior editions. It used to be substance use, misuse and abuse as your disease progressed.


We can all become part of the solution. First, if you find these words emanating from your mouth, stop them. Mimic Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Say to yourself, “Substance Abuse – I Kill You.”


The real challenge will surface when you hear someone else using the term. Will you politely, kindly and firmly offer a challenge?

In 2015, I finished a thru-hike of the entire Appalachian Trail, a trek of 2,189.2 miles. It took 189 days and 6 pairs of boots. During all that time alone with my Creator, my purpose in life

became more precisely defined. I am, sim  ly, to coach recovery. Recovery saved me from an

early demise and brought purpose to my tattered life. I have learned that I’m a coach to my very core. I am blessed to put the two together. I started work at the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR) in 1999. I became the Executive Director of this recovery community organization in 2004. I have trained the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© dozens of times and have a hand in modifying, improving and adapting various recovery coach curricula. I’m old enough now to start considering my legacy. This is a way for me to share things I have learned in my recovery, in my role as Executive Director and a trainer. I find that when I speak I present the same messages over and over. It’s time to write them down.



Capitalism—A Path to Addiction Recovery 


The resources (social, physical, human and cultural), which are necessary to begin and maintain recovery from substance use disorder. (Best & Laudet, 2010Cloud &   Granfield, 2008)img_0572

 written by Merlyn Karst

No, this is not a column written for publication by a financial journal. It is, however, intended to address another form of capital investment. It is about the importance of accrual of recovery capital in overcoming addiction to alcohol and other drugs. It is an investment that pays big dividends. To me, accrued recovery capital is retained in heart and mind and is readily available for withdrawal for the benefit of the individual and others. Following is some insight to what that means. Alcoholism, with other drug addictions, has long been recognized as a disease of mind and body. It is now recognized as a mental health issue and a substance use disorder (SUD). SUD is negatively progressive, leading to pain, misery, and death. Recovery is positively progressive, leading to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I note that mental health journals have long supported the recovery approach that emphasizes and supports a person’s potential for recovery. Recovery is seen in this journey as personal. It is one that may involve developing hope, a secure base and sense of empowerment, social inclusion, coping skills, self-supportive relationships and meaning. The growing emphasis and support for trained recovery coaches and peer and recovery support services will assist the individual to pursue and accrue recovery capital. Incidentally, we can’t forget the importance of prevention education, focused on the youth. Through family and community involvement and attention beyond financial needs, contributions will be made to virtual long-term health savings accounts that benefit society as a whole.

In a recent blog, Bill White, pioneer and on-going author in the recovery movement, said: “There is a difference between the prevention of illness and the promotion, achievement, and transcendence of wellness.” He also wrote about a shift to the positives in Recovery Management (RM) and to me it supported this emphasis on accruing recovery capital and enjoying the recovery dividends.  I was reminded of a song that suggested we accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and don’t mess with what may be between.

White further says: “ The RM shift might be cast as ‘recovering from’ to ‘recovering to’ with the potential for a process of discovery that transcends the recovery experience—a journey traversing from, to, and beyond. The prepositions here are important. We should build on what has been learned within relapse prevention research and practice while focusing on what makes us come alive rather than on what we most fear. At its most practical level, RP (Relapse Prevention) [sic] and RM are distinguished by a focus on what is not wanted versus what is desired, e.g., debt counseling versus wealth management, disease management (symptom suppression) versus recovery management (facilitation of healing and wholeness), marriage counseling versus marriage enrichment, a focus on correcting defects of character versus expanding character assets, interests, and social contributions. RP might be thought of as “vulnerability (demon) management”; RM might be thought of as “potential management” (e.g., the cultivation and management of a pleasurable, engaged, meaningful, and contributing life).”

Millions in the nation have enjoyed the gains from investment in the stock market. We would hope it is recognized that pension funds, 401Ks, insurance, and annuity accounts have benefited. Twenty three million plus are experiencing long-term recovery and the benefits of accumulated recovery capital. In general, the social and economic benefits of investment in recovery from addiction and accumulation of recovery capital is almost immeasurable, but it is huge. There are enormous costs involved in natural disasters and a recent report suggests our human disaster that is the opiate crisis may cost over $500 billion. This includes loss of productivity, always a factor for employers who have employees with health issues as a result of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Human capital can grow through attention to supporting those who seek to gain recovery from addiction and related health issues. Growing recovery capital increases their economic and social value to the employer and the community.

 Bill White’s blogs can be found elsewhere on this site. The one mentioned in the above can be found in The Recovery Resource Library. The title: Relapse Prevention, Recovery Management, Recovery Transcendence.


Communities – Blown and Driven- Together


Communities—Blown and Driven—Together

Communities—Blown and Driven—Together

Crisis begets opportunity. Hurricanes blow things apart and people together. Wildfires drive people out, and yet together. Mass shootings scatter people, and then bring them together. Survivors gather in mutual and sustaining support. From history and now today, we hear the words— together we shall… Entities were built on foundations of ritual and fellowship. Those foundations remain for all to build on. A sense of ritual brings order, and fellowship brings understanding, love, and care for fellow beings. In times of crisis, communities and families come together. Together we bring help, hope, healing, love and resiliency. “ What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you—what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind —you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.” -Jeff Bezos

Without taking our hearts and minds away from the present natural disasters, perhaps we can leave room for attention to an unnatural disaster. The opiate epidemic also needs a sense of community and togetherness. New medical technology and growing data resources bring new and innovative approaches. We also have the benefit of history. In Dreamland—The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, author Sam Quinones chronicles the history that brought us to this crisis. It opens the vulnerable heart of individuals in smaller communities and provides stories. Included were stories from Colorado, Ohio, and Kentucky. Those stories have the power to persuade us to give full attention to this crisis. All communities were familiar with crack cocaine, meth, and powder heroin. The game changed when In1996, Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin, time released oxycodone for chronic pain patients—and marketed to doctors as non-addictive. Large quantities of prescription pain meds from pill mills and pain clinics, started by opportunistic doctors, supplied and grew the number of addicts. In one community, a pill-based economy developed. A path to SSI led to a Medicaid card, and pills began to be used as common currency. Then and now, as prescription pills became more expensive, black tar heroin from Mexico was readily available in communities with growing numbers of opiate addicts. It was cheaper, more potent, and sold and delivered like Pizza. You ring, we bring. Small numbers of Mexican-based entrepreneurs supervised “cells” with salaried drivers. They were provided modest housing, older cars, and operated with simple systems and discipline. Though arrests occurred, replacements coming up from Mexico were ready within days. This literally overwhelmed a community’s ability to cope with the growing number of addicts and the resulting deaths from overdose.

If crisis presents opportunity, where does opportunity live? It lives in the community. If it takes a community to raise a child, then it takes a community to face and overcome addiction and save its children. The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery unites and supports the growing network of local, regional and statewide recovery community organizations (RCOs). All will have an important role to play. We have a voice in who will provide leadership in the Office of National Drug Control Policy—ONDCP. That office, along with cities and counties across the country, has formed task forces and collaborations to address the opioid epidemic. Community leaders, who have the historic experience of trial, error, and degrees of success can contribute expertise to other local leaders. These leaders can help build upon these collaborations and scale them nationally. This will improve outcomes in local communities across America that have been impacted by the epidemic. The more community focus there is on the plans and policies, the better. Together we shall…

In Dreamland, Quinones emphasized that overcoming addiction is difficult, and beyond treatment, requires attentive sustainability. The addict cannot do it alone. Also, included by Quinones was the fact that an important element during the mid-1800s opium wars in China was the use of mentors who had overcome addiction and could relate to and support those struggling with their addiction. Along with all the data, science, and resources required, we need the long-term benefit of peer support and peer support services. It will be essential in any plan for success.

Merlyn Karst
Founding member of Faces and Voices of Recovery
and Advocates for Recovery-Colorado
America Honors Recovery Award recipient—2008
Recovery Ambassador

2018 PCA Biz Roll Outs


Here is a line up of the roll outs scheduled for 2018! PCA could not be more excited. This will take patience, time, energy, and most of all community involvement. We encourage volunteers to participate on many many levels and in  many counties. But with the continuing rise of overdosed deaths, maybe this is the right (and best) response for Colorado.


Peer Coach Academy Colorado is embarking on adding new services to our playbook. In addition to the peer trainings we have entered into an agreement with an local organization in supporting their clients seeking recovery. We also hope to create a template that can be duplicated by other counties in Colorado with this effort hoping it can enable them locally to provide recovery support services, create a revenue stream, and develop and maximize a volunteer workforce and create an internal support network.

CCAR has been providing Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) calls to CT residents that are in recovery from alcohol or other addictions since 2005. TRS is an innovative, peer-to-peer support service. Trained volunteers that are, in many cases, in recovery themselves, make weekly calls to “check in” and see how people are doing. Recoverees are offered support; encouragement and information about resources that may help them maintain their recovery.

The beauty is in the simplicity. TRS helps people stay in recovery. Sometimes just a phone call can make someone feel wanted, cared about and included. Dare, we say “loved”. When making the call, the volunteer will feel rewarded when they have spoken with someone. They share in joys and sorrows, triumphs and setbacks. They have the satisfaction of giving back, of making a difference. It’s a classic win-win scenario.

The impact on our state has been immeasurable. We know that our calls help people maintain their recovery and get them back on track if a relapse occurs. When someone tells us they have relapsed, we don’t kick them out of the program; we keep calling them, checking in with them, seeing if they want help. When someone is down, that’s when he or she needs the most support. CCAR is often the only encouraging voice heard at a critical junction on the road of their recovery.



CCAR Volunteer

Again, PCA Colorado borrows from the playbook of CCAR. Why not utilize strategies that have proven to work. CCAR is a volunteer agency; promoting recovery through volunteering in our communities. Volunteers maintain their own recovery by giving back and supporting  peer support services. Individuals early in recovery are strengthened by volunteer peers who provide support, resources, and encouragement to individuals who are just beginning their road to recovery.

CCAR has developed a Volunteer Management System that offers volunteers a standardized orientation, scheduling, and training process as well as various volunteer position descriptions that contain professional responsibilities volunteers can apply to personal career advancement.

The heart of CCAR’s Volunteer Management System is their volunteer trainings. Volunteers participate in a variety of trainings designed to build skills specific to the volunteer’s task, recovery interests and needs, including volunteer orientation training. Trainings incorporate transformational language and elements to enhance volunteer’s self-esteem, strengthen their recovery, and build their recovery capital. CCAR’s mandatory training series for volunteers teaches communication skills, team building and focuses on incorporating recovery into a volunteer’s life. After completed required trainings, volunteers will have a clear understanding of CCAR’s recovery center values and ethics, the policies and procedures, the nuts and bolts of advocacy and recovery service. This orientation is compulsory for all CCAR volunteers.

Volunteers are recruited from all walks of life and bring with them a recovery, cultural, economic, and educational perspective that adds diversity to the team. CCAR volunteers are college students and interns, individuals in early or long-term recovery, retired professionals, unemployed recoverees, allies, and individuals providing community service hours or probation requirements.


The Volunteer Program of CCAR supports the CCAR mission in organizing the recovery community and its ability to care. To provide a variety of effective peer-to-peer recovery support services that addresses the needs of the recovery community.


  • We engage in a participatory process.
  • We listen to our membership and attempt to incorporate their suggestions.
  • We promote the primacy of individual recovery.
  • We continue to identify, nurture and develop leadership from within the recovering community.
  • We ensure cultural diversity and inclusion.
  • We look for opportunities for individuals to use their gifts and develop their strengths.

Each of the Colorado County Recovery Community Centers (RCC) has their own volunteer coordinator that can speak to the needs of their individual center. To inquire about volunteer opportunities at the center nearest you, please email




Peer Professional Accreditation Track

PCA is committed to supporting individuals who are pursuing a career in peer support services. We are committed to 3 separate pathways of accreditation. Our basic educational track that is recommended for entry level coaches consists of these trainings:

A) CCAR Recovery Coach Academy Core Coach training……………..   32 hours

B) CCAR Ethical Considerations for Coaches …………………………………  12 hours

C) Professionalism for Recovery Coaches …………………………………….   12 hours

D) Medication Supported Recovery       …………………………………………..   6 hours              ( introduces barriers re: Suboxone/Methadone)

Total hours 64- qualifies for each of the following accreditations:


  1. CCAR’s Recovery Coach Professional Designation. We think the CART Recovery Coach Professional designation is a better way. CART  and PCA believe in the science. The science will be learned through 60 hours of CART-approved training. CART/PCA will also ask for a resume and/or a written history of addiction recovery experience.  However, CART/PCA feel there is more an organization can do to accurately assess an individual’s skill. We are bringing back a live interview process to see if the candidate has the “art”. During the interview, a panel of peers will assess whether or not the candidate is actively listening, asking good questions, managing their personal biases and treating people as resources. CART/PCA believe these skills are the essence of recovery coaching which we define as the “art”. To earn the Recovery Coach Professional designation, the applicant must pass this rigorous, live interview process. There is no written test.
  2. Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS)The CCAR trainings are approved by NAADAC and can be applied to their certification. Peer Recovery Support Specialists are individuals who are in recovery from substance use or co-occurring mental health disorders.  Their life experiences and recovery allow them to provide recovery support in such way that others can benefit from their experiences. The purpose of the experiential-based Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist Credential is to standardize the knowledge and competency of peer support to individuals with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.  The NAADAC/NCC AP Peer Recovery Support Specialist Code of Ethics outlines basic values and principles of peer recovery support practice.
    • Position yourself for career opportunities and reimbursement potential.
    • NAADAC’s NCPRSS Certification is endorsed by Optum as a reimbursed credential.
    • Distinguish yourself as a recovering person that evidences competency and knowledge in recovery support services.
    • The NCPRSS credential reflects a commitment of the highest ethical standards for Peer Recovery Support Specialists.
  3. The Colorado Peer and Family Specialist (CPFS) certification is intended as a professional credential for individuals with “lived experience” in behavioral health.“Lived experience” means:
    • The applicant has a personal history of drug or alcohol addiction and is engaged in recovery and/or
    • The applicant has a personal diagnosis (experience) of a mental health condition and is engaged in recovery, or
    • The applicant has personally provided care to a child, youth or adolescent with a drug or alcohol addiction or mental health condition
    √ Recognition that peers are key for delivery of behavior health services
    √ Ability for peers to achieve and maintain a professional credential
    √ Opportunity for skill and career development
    √ Ensures employed peers meet certain standards for experience and training
    √ Potential implications for Medicaid
    √ Ensures competency standards for the profession
    √ Requires adherence to an ethical code


 Training of Trainers

Peer Coach Academy Colorado is now able to train trainers of the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy and other curriculum for Colorado and elsewhere. We are poised to network several counties in Colorado with local trainers to support increasing recovery support in those counties and create an additional revenue stream for self sustaining that support.

The RCA Training of Trainer program is required of anyone looking to train the CCAR RCA Curriculum. To attend the (minimum) Two-day RCA Training of Trainer (TOT) Program, you must have already attended the RCA 32 hour program. All participants of the TOT Program should have prior training/facilitation experience as this is not set up to provide instruction on how to train, but how to train our curriculum.

For information about networking your organization with the Colorado PCA ROSC (Recovery Oriented System of Care) network, please email

PEP- Parents Empowering Parents

This is an organic support group for parents of adult children enmeshed in the judicial system. Parents understand the frustration, the hopelessness, the helplessness, and the stigma that come with the illness of dependence better than most providers can.  PCA will be supporting this relatively new support mechanism and look to expand the benefits it offers. Families are most often the last on list of being helped in drug endangered situation and the last to seek out help. We hope to start to end the shame that parents feel when their loved ones are affected.