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MO-PROS executive member Colton Baker recently had the opportunity to testify before the Missouri Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment.
Representing both MO-PROS and the ARCHway Institute, Baker advocated for a more holistic approach to substance use and mental health treatment and shared his own personal recovery experience. For Colton, medication-assisted treatment—specifically, Vivitrol—and housing were critical to his recovery.
Missourians with substance use disorders must have access to evidence-based treatment and resources, including peer support specialists. Peers use their lived experiences to navigate the treatment system, with the ultimate goal of achieving long-term recovery. Missouri has an opportunity to utilize peer support specialists more broadly and effectively through a variety of settings: formal treatment services, outreach programs like the EPICC project and even transitional housing organizations.
During his testimony, Baker also advocated for informed consent regarding treatment planning and recovery support services and highlighted the need to destigmatize conversations around mental health and substance use.
The ARCHway Institute has been a leader in developing a more empowered, effective peer movement, utilizing peers on the frontlines to assist individuals and families seeking access to quality treatment and recovery support services in the state. MO-PROS is continuing to work closely with ARCHway and others to expand these efforts and support the role of peers in the recovery process.