TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The first Indiana Association of Peer Recovery Support Services chapter in the state is now getting to work.
"It's unlimited, the things that we can do with all this,” said Jason Padgett, who was recently elected the chair of group.
They have been meeting for the past four months as they get organized.
Soon there will be a chapter in every county, but the first is starting right here in Tippecanoe County.
"It was quite an honor for us to be the first chapter,” he said.
The goal of the group is to provide resources and training to those who want to be a recovery peer coach for those battling addiction.
He said Tippecanoe County is already far ahead of many other counties in terms of providing unified support to those battling addiction, and the state recognized this.
"The state said since you guys are already trying to put this together, you know why don't you become part of us? Why don't you become our first pilot organization and therefore you will have the support of the state and we'll all be on the same page,” he said.
Padgett says soon every county across the state will have its own chapter where they can really focus on the needs of their area.
Their goal is to train those currently going through recovery on how to help others through the process.
"They have a starting point to make a living and to work with other people in recovery and that's very empowering for people in recovery," he said.
He added that having those who have gone through recovery help others has proven helpful for those trying to overcome their addiction.
"People who are really struggling with being in active addiction do respond extremely well to people who have been down that path before," he said.
But they want to reach out and encourage anyone who is interested in this to go through the training.
"A recovery community is not just people with lived experience in active addiction, it's also their family members and it's also their very close allies," he said.
Padgett said he was skeptical at first of the peer coach method because he said he doesn’t like to tell people what to do, but rather say, how can I help your recovery today? And by providing necessary resources.
But after going through the training, he saw the benefit and now fully supports peer recovery coaches.
He has a few goals he hope the group can accomplish by this time next year, including having a recovery community up and running.
"To have them (a coach) come out of one organization and walk through that whole system with you is really what it's intended to do,” he said.
Click here to learn more about Indiana Association of Peer Recovery Support Services. Or follow the Tippecanoe County chapter on Twitter at @TippIARPSS.