"What's Peers Got to Do With It?"
Demetrie Garner, CPRS, and Lisa Connors, LCPC, NCC, MAC, ABD
December 15, 2022, 2:00pm-3:30pm EST
In the effort to combat the substance use epidemic, partnerships are vital to changing the tide of the loss of life to active use. We will unpack the benefits of community’s ties and their utilization to benefit peers in their respective roles. As we dive into partnerships, we must ask certain questions. How do we partner together to help individuals with substance use disorders? What will that look like in the community? How do we step out of our silos and embrace the collectiveness of service to individuals with substance use disorders? This webinar explores collaborations between peers, supervisors, agencies, institutions, organizations, and communities, how to develop those collaborations and partnerships, and how to collaborate on serving an individual with a substance use disorder effectively. We will also review some case scenarios.
- Explore partnerships with peers and how barriers can prevent communities from access.
- Describe how communication and relationships are vital components in recovery.
- Determine how to incorporate peers into agencies' and organizations' workflow.
- Identify barriers within partnerships that may delay treatment and prevention outcomes.
Demetrie Garner, CPRS, as a Peer Recovery Specialist, has been presented with the unique opportunity of working in the largest Emergency Department in the state of Maryland. This has given him the vantage point to encounter minority disparities. A lack of health communication targeted to African-Americans and other minorities help further this disparity. As a Peer Recovery Specialist, the visible cracks of systemic inadequacies in health care and its access garners attention and policy changes in patients with substance use disorders. Having the experience in active addiction abusing opiates, cocaine, and alcohol for 26 years with countless relapses fostered the experience needed to help others in active addiction. Finding recovery over the last 2 and 1/2 years while working in the recovery field has given Demetrie a unique perspective in recidivism and retention throughout the process of recovery. With the help of the God of his understanding (Jesus Christ), Narcotics Anonymous, and healthy relationships, the pathway of a daily reprieve from active addiction is now possible. Continuous work through pastoral licensed counseling has unlocked the acceptance of childhood molestation and recovery from trauma. After 21 years since Demetrie decided to drop out of high school in the 11th grade, education seemed to become more important to obtain. If he wants to help individuals who look like himself and suffer from trauma and active addiction, then higher education has to be pursued. While at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, currently a sophomore, Demetrie’s interest in studies is in the social science of public health. Future involvement with research is being pursued with patients that have wait times in emergency rooms with substance use disorders. Previous research this past semester has examined minorities hesitancy to receive Covid vaccinations. Demetrie is currently a Pre-McNair Scholar with ambitions to attend UMBC School of Public Policy M.P.P Program Spring of 2022.
Lisa Connors, LCPC, NCC, MAC, ABD is an Associate Pastor at In His Image International Ministry, Inc. She is a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Coach, Master Addiction Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Certified Grief Counseling Specialist. Ms. Connors is Certified in Thanatology [the study of death, dying, and bereavement]. She has been in the human services/social work/counseling fields for 30 years and has worked in a variety of settings providing services to the despondent and downtrodden. Ms. Connors works tirelessly to help others reach their fullest potential in life, supporting and empowering those who have been oppressed, stigmatized, marginalized, and victimized. Her greatest passion is working with, serving, and providing training related to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use and mental health disorders, violence/abuse/trauma, grief and loss, racial and social injustices. Ms. Connors is a mental health therapist providing services to individuals who have co-occurring issues. In addition to her pastoral and clinical work, Ms. Connors is a college professor. She has taught at the University of Maryland and is currently teaching at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Like many women of color, Ms. Connors has experienced various forms of oppression. Ms. Connors earned her Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degrees, respectively, and is a Doctoral Candidate completing her Ph.D. in Psychology.