LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - The addiction recovery process can be a daunting one, but a local group hopes it's about to get easier.
The Peer Addiction Recovery Coach training is getting a group of about 30 people prepared to help others through their path to recovery. The program is run through the Indiana Counselor's Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, also known as ICAADA.
These coaches are important to the recovery process because they act as a guide and a motivator.
"Addiction is bigger than all of us and it's growing,” said Amy Osborne. She is going through the training and is a recovering addict.
Indiana is ranked 18th for states with a drug use and addiction problem according to Wallet Hub, a research firm.
One way Hoosiers are looking to combat this is through training Peer Addiction Recovery Coaches. Jason Padgett is a coach with Home With Hope Residence. He said he is excited about the interest he sees.
"We have so many people here in Lafayette who are ready to move towards peer based recovery support services being an integrated part of our system of care," he said.
And it’s not just people in Lafayette who are making the effort. Representatives from the Carmel and Westfield fire departments are going through the training to help those in Hamilton County.
“This is the ground work we are doing, we are taking other classes right now and this is giving us a lot of information,” said Bruce Frost, MIH coordinator for Carmel Fire Department.
He said he hopes other jurisdictions take the time to be trained as well.
“A lot of people are getting educated, not only that are addicts but non-addicts,” said Osborne. “And I like the vast variety of all the people that are coming together for the greater good.”
It's not just opioid addiction they are discussing, it’s heroin, alcohol, and other substances too.
“This is a very eye opening process for most people especially for those who are in recovery because they realize that there are multiple pathways to recovery that may be different from the one they took and that they are all valid,” said Padgett.
Nathan Rush has been teaching these courses across the state for the past decade.
"At first we were only doing them once a year, and then it was twice a year,” he said. “When we got hit with the opioid epidemic, we've been doing one or two a month.”
He shared why he cares so much about the work he does.
“I love being able to help the hoosiers get the knowledge and have the ways and means to help themselves,” he said.
Shane Kervin is another person going through the training. He is using his time spent in prison and dealing with addiction to motivate him.
"When you have a recovery coach or a peer over you that sees you and works with you day after day who has been there they can literally say, I was angry like that as well and I wanted to go drink and I wanted to go get high but this is what I did,” he said.
During his time in prison, he decided to write a motivational book based on acronyms. He hopes it will inspire others who have been in his position to get their lives back on track.
He is especially passionate about helping others who have dealt with being in prison.
“I want to definitely make a tremendous impact on inmates and have facilities for them but I want to be able to treat anybody,” he said.
Osborne decided to continue her passion for recovery after she lost her friend a month ago.
She's also been clean for almost two years and is raising three kids with her partner, who is also on the path to recovery.
“Now I’m a productive member of society and a lot of addicts look up to me because they can relate,” she said.
Her friend may have lost her battle, but Osborne is looking to fight back for her.
“I base a lot of my lifestyle in recovery and so I would like to expand my career options,” she said. She added that her goals is to make a career out of helping others through their recovery.
"I just want other people to know and society and still suffering addicts that we are not alone and people do recover,” she said.
Padgett has also has big goals for this community.
“I see within the next five years that Tippecanoe county creating a recovery oriented system of care, a chronic care model around both mental health and substance use disorder and being a leader not only in the state but in the midwest,” he said.