Meet Our Peers
For Recovery Month 2020, we want to introduce you to some of our fantastic peer recovery specialists, who use their lived experience to help others find their own unique path to recovery from substance use disorder.
Look for a new peer to be featured every week in September.
My name is Jermaine Thornton –
I am a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS) with the Carroll County Health Department and Adult Drug Treatment Courts. In the 2 1/2 years that I have been a CPRS I have learned that Recovery looks different for everyone that I work with and it’s not always what I think is the best for the individual. I do my best to help the individual determine what recovery looks like for them and how to maintain long term recovery. I was in active addiction for over 20 years and my lived experience helps me understand and know how hard it is to make the change, but I always let them know that recovery is a daily journey. November will be 5 years clean and sober, I am so blessed that my journey has lead me to be a CPRS in this county because I grew up in Carroll County and I can be that Hope and light at the end of the tunnel.
When I was in the depths of my addiction, I thought no one understood me or could relate. Little did I know, there was an entire population of people who had experienced some of the same things I had been though. Car accidents, legal trouble, broken relationships, and emotional pain are just a few examples of what people in recovery experienced that I could identify with.
Once I started my journey of recovery in January of 2016, the fog started to clear, and I was able to make real decisions again. In 2017, I decided to go back to school to finish my undergraduate degree in psychology. I was able to hold a steady job, be there for my family, become a contributing citizen, and truly enjoy my life. One thing was for sure, and that was I absolutely loved helping other people through their hardships.
I started my journey as a Peer Recovery Coach at Carroll Hospital Center in February 2019. Being a Peer is one of the most rewarding positions I have ever had the pleasure of working in. To see people in their lowest, most vulnerable times is a great reminder to me of what it was like at the end of my active addiction. It helps take me back to that moment, relate to each individual on a personal level, and motivate them to climb out of the dark abyss of addiction.
I am blessed to be in a position with wonderful coworkers and supervisors. Every day is another chance I get to help assist someone else to treatment to start their own journey into recovery and that is one of the most humbling feelings of all.