A defining characteristic of peer recovery specialists is the ability to share their lived experiences of addiction and recovery with people suffering from active substance use disorders. Disclosing one’s recovery journey — an advantage unavailable to most behavioral healthcare providers — allows peer professionals to form deep bonds of trust with people living in active addiction. Peer specialists help clients feel heard and valued without feeling judged, and they help them access treatment and other recovery-supportive resources when possible.
The lived experiences of Daniel Adams, a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist at the Chris Atwood Foundation, exemplify the incredible power of human intention, determination, and fellowship and the overwhelming positivity of recovery. During this interview with New Paradigm Recovery CEO Joey Zabel, Mr. Adams shares the poignant details of his journey, one that proves the axioms “it is never too late to change” and “recovery is possible.”
Mr. Adams thrives today despite having survived adolescent onset of substance use disorder, the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic, economic adversity and housing insecurity, family system alienation, incarceration, and numerous unsuccessful treatment attempts. Despite being challenged in every domain of the social determinants of health, Adams’s unflagging determination to uphold a promise made to a dying friend in prison was the force that ultimately propelled him to begin 16 years of uninterrupted sobriety and dedicate his extraordinary life and energy to helping others.