Delco’s Certified Recovery Specialist Program Helps Those Struggling with Addiction


Delaware County Councilman Dave White joined members of the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist team, showing off their “Not One More” bracelets in recognition of Overdose Awareness Day. From left: Joel Shafer-Harris, Anthony Fluellen, Linda Moore-Singleton, and Bernadette Banta.

Delaware County Councilman Dave White recognized Aug. 31 as International Overdose Awareness Day by spotlighting the county’s Certified Recovery Specialist program that attempts to connect people struggling with addiction to treatment.

“The tragedy of overdose is far too frequent in today’s world, but what we need to stress is that overdose is preventable,” White said. “In Delaware County, we are very proactive in the fight against heroin and prescription drug abuse. As part of our efforts, we want to let people know about our Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) program. We want people struggling with addiction – or their families – to reach out, connect with a Certified Recovery Specialist, and get into treatment.

“You don’t have to wait until you’ve experienced an overdose, or been revived by Narcan. We want to help before that happens.”

In April, the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health launched the CRS program that connects overdose survivors with treatment. The program is funded through a state grant.

“Reviving an overdose victim with Narcan is critical, but it’s only one step,” White said. “The next step is to connect that person with treatment and breaking the cycle of addiction. That’s the only way to save lives.”

The Certified Recovery Specialists work with emergency rooms, police, crisis centers, physicians, and families to reach people who recently survived an overdose. They offer treatment referrals, support services, and information on insurance and treatment options. The program is free.

Since the program started in April, the specialists have engaged and reached more than 350 people, including overdose survivors.

White was joined at the meeting by Recovery Specialist team members Linda Moore-Singleton, Anthony Fluellen, Joel Shafer-Harris, and Bernadette Banta.

Brochures detailing how the program works are available from the Office of Behavioral Health. For information, call 610-713-2384.

“People often feel helpless and hopeless in the face of addiction,” White said. “But these Certified Recovery Specialists, or CRSs, are one lifeline that people can use to connect people with treatment.

“We want all of our stakeholders, from the crisis centers to the police, to know about this program. We want families to know this help is available. We want doctors and hospitals to make referrals.”

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