The purpose for this course is to expand the understanding of Peer Recovery Support Specialists on concepts and best practices for harm reduction work and grassroots outreach in our community.
The 46-hour peer recovery support specialist training alone does not provide enough education or foundational skills on harm reduction, outreach, and safety. We developed this learning pathway for Peer Recovery Support Specialists to further develop their skills and understanding in these key areas.
Harm reduction is an integral component in the continuum of care for people with substance use disorders. Harm reduction focuses on people who use substances to prevent overdose and infectious disease transmission and increase safety around high-risk behaviors with motivational strategies for positive behavior change. Harm reduction recognizes, for better or worse, that substance use is part of our world. It focuses on minimizing the harm associated with substance use, instead of rejecting or condemning those who use substances. Many people experiencing homelessness are actively using substances and are not connected with service providers. Learning more about homelessness and strategies to engage the most marginalized populations will help you as a peer worker in your efforts to reach out to all in your communities who may need support. Building a network of contacts from providers within your community and working alongside other state and county agencies will allow your harm reduction work to take shape. As always, practicing self-care and maintaining boundaries is critical for peer workers, and supporting people still in active use may be especially challenging to a peer practicing abstinence in their own recovery. This material includes a refresher on self-care practices.
This course should take approximately 18 hours to complete and you can find a Table of Contents and course structure below.
This course is perfect for peer recovery support specialists who may want to work in a syringe service program, outreach work, and community based organizations servicing people experiencing homelessness and chronic substance use. By completing this learning pathway you will earn a certificate of completion to help you stand out to employers as a PRSS with continued specialization in harm reduction and outreach.
This course includes a manual that will be used to answer reflections and questions. This manual is a PDF with fillable fields allow you to follow along. It was created to enhance your experience and does not need to be sent it to be reviewed or graded.