Recovery coaches play key role in coming back from addiction

Healthy Acadia's recovery coaches are playing a key role in helping people beat addiction all...
Healthy Acadia's recovery coaches are playing a key role in helping people beat addiction all throughout Eastern Maine.
Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 5:34 PM EST
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ELLSWORTH, Maine (WABI) - The recent decision to allow substance abuse recovery coaches back into the Hancock County Jail has put a new focus on what recovery coaches do.

A recovery coach doesn’t plot the specific course for the person on the road to substance abuse recovery. But they do help navigate that road in whatever way is necessary.

“Recovery coaches meet people where they’re at,” said Paige Johnston, Program Director for Maine Recovery Core. “The recovery coach doesn’t really have a goal for the ‘recover-ee’ other than to support them in their recovery journey. They assist them in getting to where they want to be.”

That means helping people move to the next step in life, whether that involves their profession or education, or their physical and mental health. Lately, the spotlight has been on the coaches’ role for residents battling addiction at county jails.

“It’s a great resource,” said Teri Woodruff, Co-Director of the Maine Alliance for Recovery. “Coaching coach helps them come up with a plan upon release. Do they have housing, do they have transportation? Whatever that particular person needs is what the coach is going to be working on with them.”

But the need for recovery coaching isn’t limited to those facilities.

“We have coaches that are certainly helping in a variety of law enforcement settings, but we also have people in hospitals, and in care clinics, non-profit organizations, in recovery centers,” Johnston said. “We really run the gamut of different settings, and the goal is always to help them with the next step.”

“We’ve had quite a few success stories,” said Woodruff. “We’ve had multiple folks who’ve worked with a coach, and now they have stable housing, they have a job. They may have been reunited with their children.”

Johnston added that, “Recovery is not always linear. Sometimes it circles back, but if you can continue to keep that person engaged and help them keep looking forward, and helping people keep hope, that’s been really rewarding for a lot of our coaches, to be part of that process.”

For more information on recovery coaching, visit

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