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ST. LOUIS—With the addiction epidemic continuing to take a toll on communities across Missouri, peer support specialists from across the state have come together to form a new coalition focused on helping more Missourians reach long-term recovery: MO-PROS (Providing Resources, Opportunities and Service for Missourians in Recovery).
MO-PROS will be working to elevate and enhance the role of peer support specialists through more effective trainings and greater education around what peers do and the value they provide their clients and the treatment community overall.
“Peer support specialists provide a unique and all-important perspective within the care team, using their own personal recovery experiences to help others,” said Emily Jung, cofounder of MO-PROS. “The members of our coalition have firsthand experience navigating what can be a confusing and complicated treatment system. We understand the barriers to treatment that are out there, and we’re committed to advocating on behalf of Missourians so they can receive the comprehensive, patient-centered care they need and deserve.”
MO-PROS will regularly bring peers together to share experiences and troubleshoot and discuss best practices.
“We know from our own personal experiences that having a voice and choice in the treatment and recovery process is critical to finding long-term success,” said Jordan Hampton, member of MO-PROS. “Sadly, people living with substance use disorders aren’t always able to advocate for themselves—MO-PROS is here to help bridge the gap.”
According to the latest CDC report, over 1,000 Missourians died from drug overdoses in 2018. Peer-based recovery has been linked to improved relationships with treatment providers, increased treatment retention, better access to social supports, decreased criminal justice involvement and emergency service utilization, greater housing stability and reduced substance use.
“While everyone’s journey to recovery looks different, we believe that peer support specialists have an important role to play in helping Missourians access the resources, opportunities and services they need to return to healthy, meaningful lives,” said Jung.
For more information about MO-PROS or how to get involved, visit www.mo-pros.org.