New substance abuse recovery program uses peer support group

Photo Courtesy: The Bridge via website and Storyblocks Enterprise
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) There's a new program in Fairbanks offering recovery aid to those dealing with substance abuse in the community.

The Bridge began operating in May of 2019. Funding for the program comes from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services as part of the State Opioid Response grants. The program is meant to aid those with, or at risk of, Opioid Use Disorder.

In contrast to a number of other programs in the interior, the Bridge uses the peer support method. According to Peer Support Coordinator, Tundra Greenstreet, that means the staff have often experienced similar events in their lives to those who are receiving support in the program. Greenstreet says peer support is a fairly new concept in Alaska.

"It can be harder sometimes to engage with a clinician or with a social worker, if there's sort of this perceived difference between the worker and the participant," began Greenstreet. "With peer support, there's less of that perceived difference in power structuring. That can really help with that engagement piece, getting them involved, getting them committed and invested in their own recovery, (and) in their own goals in life."

The program also offers an employment support group meant to help those recovering to get a job.

Greenstreet says the Bridge's key focus is making sure those in recovery have the resources they need to be successful.

Those in need of support are welcome to call the Bridge at 374-2905, or visit their office at 400 Cushman Street. Their hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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