The City of Penticton will be funding one-quarter of a program to teach 15 volunteer “recovery coaches,” who will help locals to overcome their addictions.                                (Pixabay)

The City of Penticton will be funding one-quarter of a program to teach 15 volunteer “recovery coaches,” who will help locals to overcome their addictions. (Pixabay)

City funding $5,000 for ‘recovery coach’ training

That will cover a quarter of the costs for 15 coaches to help locals overcome addictions

The city will be moving forward with a $5,000 grant for a program that would provide training for “recovery coaches” for addicts in Penticton.

The program was proposed to council by Smart Recovery regional co-ordinator and meeting facilitator Judy Poole.

“My family, like so many, has been touched by addiction. Perhaps ‘slammed by addiction’ is more appropriate wording,” Poole said. “For a total of eight years, I learned more than I ever wanted to about substance use.”

Related: IH Board to discuss escalating overdose crisis

As B.C.’s fentanyl crisis persists, Poole said the local Smart Recovery friends and family chapter has found some gaps in services for those struggling with addictions.

“Existing services are, for the most part, nine to five. Appointments are hard to get, and if you miss one, you wait weeks for the next appointment,” Poole said. “People that are using substances tend to miss appointments. The process to get into treatment is complicated enough that those of us without addiction and mental health issues would find it difficult, nevermind those with challenges.”

After helping a woman deal with legal issues, enrolling into detox and renewing her methadone, Poole said the local Smart Recovery group found peer support to be particularly successful, with that woman now seven months clean and living in second-stage housing.

That’s when the group stumbled on recovery coaching, Poole said, noting the practice is up-and-coming in the U.S., but “unheard of in Canada.”

Related: IH chair: The drugs are here, we need intelligent approach

Poole said she has taken training from the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery in Hartford, Connecticut, and asked council for $5,000 to help fund training for 15 more recovery coaches in the city and two facilitators to teach the materials locally.

Coaches will work with recovering addicts during treatment, detox and other processes, with hopes of being available in emergency wards, courthouses and jails in the future.

“For those not familiar with a drug and alcohol treatment program, it’s like being in a bubble. They are wonderful places to get clean and start the healing process,” she said, noting few do an “adequate job” of preparing those in recovery for the “real world.”

That’s where the recovery coaches would be of the most assistance, providing peer support through the more challenging aspects of recovery.

The first set of training would cost about $20,000, according to Poole, with training set for the end of the month, and the group has a $5,000 commitment from the Raymond James Canada Foundation.

Related: Concerns growing about Penticton street life

Asked what would happen if the city funded its $5,000 portion, but the group was unable to find the remaining $10,000, Poole noted that she managed to get herself into the training without funding.

In a report to council, staff recommended city hall approve the cash grant, taking funds from the ‘other grants’ portion.

“This whole topic is acute. People are in dire situations, and in fact dying from the consequences,” Coun. Judy Sentes said in council, agreeing that there are gaps identified in the system. “We have wonderful opportunities for people to go through rehab, if you will, but they put them back out onto the street without any support.

“So, I’m keenly sensitive to that gap; it’s now, it’s not tomorrow or next year. It’s now, and so I’m pleased we’ve shown the flexibility to address that.”

Council voted unanimously in favour of the grant.

Related: Drug users say methadone switch contributed to B.C.’s opioid crisis


@dustinrgodfrey

dustin.godfrey@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

Oliver Town Hall (Town of Oliver Facebook).
Call for local artists to design centennial logo for Oliver

The Town of Oliver will be celebrating 100 years in 2021

Vaseux Lake in winter. (Facebook)
Dogs rescued after falling through ice on Vaseux Lake

Good Samaritans saved the trapped dogs

“My grandma always just said…making people smile is the most important thing,” says Nicholas Kruger. (Chehala Leonard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Entrepreneur Nicholas Kruger nominated as Okanagan community changemaker

With humour and knowledge, Nicholas Kruger says it’s important to give back

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Crown prosecutors have stayed attempted murder charges against Kelowna’s Jesse Pez. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Man accused in Kelowna Halloween stabbing has attempted murder charge stayed

The Crown only proceeds with charges when evidence provides ‘a substantial likelihood of conviction’

RCMP released this photo on Jan. 27, 2021 of Terrance Jones, 40, a Caucasian man with a closely shaved head, brown eyes, dirty blonde or brown hair, and a thin mustache and beard. The inside of his right arm is covered in tattoos, including one of a face. (Kamloops RCMP photo)
RCMP want public’s help to locate Shuswap man wanted on charge of attempted murder

Sicamous man was arrested previously on Jan. 11 for allegedly breaching conditions of release

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Vernon’s Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
COVID-19: Two more deaths at Vernon’s Noric House

Total deaths climb to 17 at local long-term care outbreaks

Most Read