Certified Peer Recovery Specialist

The Addiction Professionals Certification Board for the State of NJ has announced the creation of a new statewide “Peer” credential for the addictions field, the Certified Peer Recovery Specialist or CPRS. Following in the footsteps of twenty-one other states with similar credentials, the CERT Board has taken the lead in the Garden State providing the field with a peer certification acknowledging the critical role of peers in a recovery oriented system of care and so enabling the creation of a trained and certified peer workforce. New Jersey is currently dealing with an unprecedented opiate addiction and overdose epidemic which the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services is addressing through its Opioid Overdose Recovery Program, or OORP Grant. As a pilot project operating in five locations throughout the state, the OORP grant deploys trained “Peer Specialists” to the hospital emergency rooms anytime someone is saved from an opioid overdose with Naloxone. The Peer Specialists meet with the patients in the ER with the goal of getting them into treatment and hopefully long term recovery.

The new CPRS credential will be IC & RC compliant and those peers interested in multi-state reciprocity may sit for the IC & RC exam upon completion of the training and required hours. Training for the CPRS is available exclusively through the Center for Addiction Recovery, Education and Success (CARES) in Rockaway, NJ. The first training cohort is being formed now and classes will start June 21, 2016. To register for the training click here. Those peers who have been trained in the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s RCA curriculum by September 1st 2016 will be grandfathered for the new certification through June of 2017 and must complete an additional sixteen (16) hours of Ethics Training, also available through CARES. For more information on the new CPRS certification, go to the Addiction Professionals Certification Board’s website.