On July 5th, 2016, Safe Harbor launched a new early recovery program called BRIDGE Buddies for Recovery.
When a new resident comes to our case management team with recent drug and alcohol use, we immediately send them for a drug and alcohol assessment from the local Lehigh Valley Intake Unit. There are generally three levels of treatment they recommend, depending on the client’s level of substance abuse.
- Inpatient Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient (IOP)
Most times, the Intake Unit recommends IOP treatment for our clients. This treatment consists of three-hour group and individual sessions, three times a week. Clients are also assigned a drug and alcohol counselor and recovery specialist to further support them. We have seen incredible success in clients that make it to IOP treatment.
The programs acts to address the “gap” period experienced by many of our residents between date of referral to treatment services and the actual date of treatment onset. Residents in early recovery wait an average of 10-14 days before their first session. During that time, they are incredible vulnerable and unsupported in their recovery.
Volunteer BRIDGE Buddies help their resident Buddies connect to the local recovery community by taking them to at least TWO local recovery meetings per week. Buddies also go on at least ONE healthy community activity together each week. Our Buddies have gone to brunch at Blue Sky on 5th, for coffee at Terra Cafe, and even to Heritage Day and the Public Market. These activities are meant to help our residents in early recovery discover positive community in Easton and incorporate it into their lives.
Our program, funded by the Easton Rotary Club, has made six Buddy matches since its launch date. Five of those have been completed successfully and the sixth is currently active.
All of our completed BRIDGE Buddy matches resulted in our resident Buddies reaching their IOP start date without relapse.
Being a BRIDGE Buddy is a 4-5 hour a week commitment for a two-week “active” period, followed by a month or more “break” in between active matches. If you or someone you know might be interested in being a BRIDGE Buddy, please email Sarah Massaro at firstname.lastname@example.org.