For those who have received services and support for mental health and addiction issues, it can feel like the struggle was a huge setback in life. It can be hard to figure out how to get back on track with a career or work that brings us joy. A compounding concern involves the fact that many folks will have to account for or explain the time spent healing and recovering. 


However, more and more organizations understand the importance, healing power, and insight provided by those with lived experience. There are opportunities where lived experience is valued, respected, and sought out!


Be a Volunteer- Being of service is one of the most meaningful and rewarding experiences in life. Furthermore, it will make a tremendous difference in the lives of people you are supporting. Check out local recovery centers, transitional housing facilities, food banks, or mentoring programs in your community. 


Be a Sponsor- Once stability in recovery has been established, many folks choose to be a sponsor. In this position, you can work to mentor and support others who are currently experiencing challenges with addiction and mental health. Being a sponsor asks that one complete the 12-step program before moving into sponsorship.  


Peer (Recovery) Coach- Many recovery centers offer Peer Coach training, where certification is provided after successful completion of the training course. As a Peer Coach, one can meet another person, and, no matter where they are in their recovery, can walk with them on the healing journey. A Peer Coach can provide insight, relate, and share relevant parts of their story. 


Peer Support Specialist/Certified Peer Counselor- Inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities, emergency rooms, non-profits, and homeless shelters often seek out Peer Support Specialists to join the team and provide Peer Support to their clients. When someone is feeling stuck, or is in crisis, connecting with a professional who truly understands and has similar lived experience can make all the difference. To become a Peer Support Specialist, one must complete a weeklong training, typically offered by the local Health Care Department, and pass a test. 

Substance Use Disorder Professional- Substance Use Disorder Professionals have completed an Associate’s in Addiction Studies, and have met the required supervision hours. Many organizations hire folks on as drug addiction counselors-in-training. These places support fledgling counselors by providing on-site supervision hours in the hopes they can be full-time staff in the future.


At Alta Loma Transformational Living, you will meet knowledgeable, compassionate professionals that understand addiction in all its forms.  Alta Loma uses an integrative and holistic approach to treat addiction and mental health issues. No treatment is one-size-fits-all, where you will have a team of experts prepared to create your customized treatment plan.  We offer care for your mind, body, and spirit, so that you can heal from the inside out and look forward to a lifetime of sobriety and wellness. If you are ready to take the first step in your recovery, please call us at 866-457-3843.