Reaching the Disengaged 90%

Richard Jones, MA, MBA

We typically spend our time debating the best treatment for addressing substance use disorders.

For example, medication assisted treatment versus abstinence-based approaches. In reality, all services are helpful. When people seek help they get better. Something is always better than nothing. However, the great tragedy is that 90 percent of those in need never access treatmentthis is the real challenge. When we examine the reason for disengagement, an interesting fact is revealed. Access is not the primary reason, lack of money is not the primary reason. The primary reason cited for not getting help is "I did not think I needed help."

This should not be surprising. Denial is common and predictable in relation to substance use disorders. This presentation addresses tried and true ways of using peer recovery to engage those "in denial." The application of assertive outreach strategies, motivational interviewing skills, and innovative methods of connection (including technology) will be discussed. We will use examples from FAVOR Greenville Assertive Community Engagement (ACE) programs as illustrations of specialized peer recovery engagement services.