This week we are very pleased to be announcing the combination of Fedcap with the New Hampshire-based peer recovery center—Granite Pathways. This is a particularly exciting alliance as the work of Granite Pathways and Fedcap is closely aligned in approach to mental illness and substance use disorder treatment and recovery through peer-led practice. The marriage of our two organizations will have a huge impact on recovery efforts in New Hampshire, especially because this approach to meeting the needs of the mentally ill and those struggling with addiction works.
I am sure you are aware of the statistics: New Hampshire has topped headlines as the highest percentage of drug-related deaths per capita in the United States. Over 300 deaths were attributed to opiods in 2015 with at least 80 more suspected to be opiod related—an unprecedented leap from prior years’ statistics. Drug-related deaths topped highway deaths in New Hampshire for the year. The combination of Fedcap and Granite Pathways offers the opportunity for immediate and sustained impact in New Hampshire.
Addressing mental health issues and substance use disorders is complicated—we know that. There is no one-size-fits-all approach but evidence clearly suggests that peer-led strategies, structure, systems, processes, and policies are a solid foundation upon which recovery can be achieved. Research shows that a peer-led recovery environment decreases morbidity rates, improves self-efficacy, lowers incidences of depression, heightens self-esteem, and overall, improves quality of life. Th
e need for social support is the critical element—human connection—makes the difference. Working alongside someone who has experienced the challenges of recovery means that the support is credible and sustaining.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines peer-led recovery efforts in four domains: emotional, informational, affiliational, and instrumental. Each of these four domains offers both technical and social support. The emotional domain is clearly the driver of support as it reflects empathy, caring, and a real connection between and among peers. The informational domain includes learning—vocational skills and practical life-skills knowledge sharing. The affiliational domain seeks to deepen socialization opportunities inside and outside the recovery home. The instrumental domain offers support in a practical way—through problem solving issues such as transportation and child care.
Peer led centers provide hope for those struggling with addiction and mental illness recovery. Please join me in celebrating the alliance between Fedcap and Granite Pathways.
I welcome your comments and feedback about your experiences and thoughts on peer-led treatment options.