Vlog: Melod Teymorian, Certified Peer Recovery Specialist

New Paradigm Recovery CEO Joey Zabel speaks with Melod Teymorian, certified peer recovery specialist, about the role of peer recovery specialists and clinical outreach professionals

The process of finding and accessing behavioral healthcare treatment can be like navigating a maze to the uninitiated. People find their way into treatment through numerous channels and referents. During this discussion, Teymorian shares his recovery journey and how it led to his becoming a trained peer-recovery specialist. After sharing his background, he shares how he now helps countless others find treatment.

Peer-recovery specialists are people in recovery committed to helping others access care by becoming professionally certified. Certification requires 30 hours of coursework, 90 days of fieldwork, letters of recommendation, and testing. One of the most important aspects of peer-recovery specialists is that they have lived experiences with substance use. This experience sets them apart from other clinical care providers. In addition to their experience, they use motivational interviewing and other approaches to build a strong rapport with people in various stages of change.

In this discussion, Teymorian explains the value of sharing openly about his recovery journey. He also maintains a nonjudgmental approach and acknowledges that people become ready for change at different times. Hospital emergency departments are primary meeting places where Teymorian encounters people in active addiction. There, he evaluates their willingness and ability to engage in treatment, and helps those who wish to take the next steps to find treatment. 

In addition to providing peer-recovery specialist services, Melod is a clinical outreach specialist. He has a comprehensive knowledge of available treatment resources. A major part of Melod’s work is recommending treatment providers that are specialized to the needs of each person and that are accessible to them and their access to recovery resources. Teymorian and other peer-recovery specialists represent a sometimes overlooked but vital channel through which people get the acceptance, support, and specific assistance needed to enter treatment and find recovery. 

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Joey Zabel and Melod Teymorian discuss what it means to be a peer recovery specialist in the Washington, DC area.