Addict 2 Addict's 4 Peer Support Group

Independent Perspective 1695 with Erin Zych on Addict 2 Addict's 4 Peer Support Group.

Host:  Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living. Our guest today is Erin Zych, Recovery Peer Services Coordinator with Independent Living of Niagara County (ILNC). And I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program Erin.

Guest:  Thank you very much Ernie. Glad to be here.

Host:  It's our pleasure. Apologies for a couple of things. I've got a wee bit of a cold, but the show must go on. And Erin is in a new part of the facility and the internet connection is a little iffy, but I think we can get through this. You're here because you're responsible for the peer support group operated by ILNC. If you could briefly tell us the name, what each one does, whom it serves, and the date and time it's found.

Guest:  Yes, I oversee the Addict 2 Addict and Family 2 Family departments here at ILNC. We right now have four different support groups. We have Real Talk Peer Talk that is run on Monday and Thursday on Zoom from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. That's a recovery driven support group with each meeting has a different topic to discuss. We also have our Work Support Group ran on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. to support with all vocational services for peer supports. We have our Smart Recovery groups on Tuesday and Friday from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. That is a smart recovery basis all open and we're currently scheduling our Bridging the Gap which is for our rural areas, and that one is still to be determined right now we're working out the kinks. These support groups are for anyone in active or maintain recovery to come and speak with other peers in the area. We're here for advocacy and support.

Host:  A right. And these are all people who are working to overcome addictions I gather?

Guest:  Yes, and these right now all of these are on Zoom. We're working towards making more of a hybrid aspect now that we're getting a little more open from all the COVID restriction. So that's also work in progress.

Host:  Alright, and for the benefit of people that aren't familiar with that term. Hybrid means a combination of live and online. How does a person who might be interested sign up for these groups or do they just find out when they are and turn up or how's that work?

Guest:  If anyone wishes to be a part of these, they can contact our peer support hotline for Niagara County. That number is 716-398-4333 and all they have to do is ask for the Zoom contact information.

Host:  Great. I'm just wondering, without naming any names, are there any success stories is that you'd like to relate?

Guest:  We have several you know, we're lucky enough to have people come back after even being in and maintain recovery to help support others in active recovery. So, we are proud to say that we have many guided individuals here with our groups.

Host:  Well, that's always good to hear. Is there a possibility in the future of engaging the family members as well as the individuals like they do in Erie County?

Guest:  Yes, we actually have an open family and a family position we're filling right now to help with our rural areas right now, which will then include, hopefully moving forward for Niagara and Lockport areas as well. That's all in the works right now.

Host:  Come to think of it since you're addressing the rural areas in particular, I bet the Zoom aspect will probably be maintained for some time.

Guest:  I agree. You know, we've seen the numbers increase and still being asked to do it. So, we're happy to keep going with it.

Host:  Great. I'm sure people will have some questions. How can they reach you?

Guest:  Again, any questions can go to the hotline, that number is 716-398-4333 or they can contact myself directly. My number is 716-563-0078.

Host:  Erin, thanks for being with us.

Guest:  Of course, thank you for having me.

Host:  Our pleasure. You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today it was Erin Zych, Recovery Peer Services coordinator with ILNC, and I've been your host Ernie Churchwell.