People going through addiction recovery deal with feelings of shame, guilt, and unworthiness that no one else can understand unless they’ve gone through a similar situation. However, if someone comes to them at their level, they can automatically pull some of that shame away. This is where peer specialists can help people through addiction treatment and recovery. 

Today’s guest is Kabir Singh, the CEO and Founder of Fresh Start Recovery Center and the Chief Operating Officer for Amatus Health. He talks about his journey through recovery and how he’s also helping others get the treatment they need and find healing in the process, all with human connection at its core.

Kabir began gravitating towards substance abuse at an early age, not realizing he was in need of help that went unnoticed. Struggling at school, he always felt he wasn’t good enough and that he couldn’t measure up. He thought resorting to substance abuse was the only thing he was capable of doing. After getting a DUI three times throughout his life, he finally entered into the halls of recovery at 34 years old. He learned about his disease, about his addicted mind, and what drove and fueled his addiction. 

In 2013, he became one of the first certified peer recovery specialists in the state of Maryland. In this episode, he talks about his role as a peer specialist, who can become one, how to be certified, how they’re different from counselors and therapists, and the value they provide to people struggling with substance abuse disorder.

Ultimately, it’s by bringing humaneness to our connection that people heal. When we find ourselves in extreme pain, we don’t know if we still have anything to give. Healing is all about reminding each other of our value and that we all have something to offer the world. 

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Kabir’s road to addiction and recovery
  • How he became a CPRS
  • What peer recovery specialists do 
  • The advantages of a peer group
  • Why peer intervention is very helpful in helping people heal
  • The need for self-care as a peer specialist

Key Quotes:

[11:23] – “There are multiple pathways to recovery, and that’s what the peer movement is about.”

[11:44] – “My heart was always in the right place. But my thinking was not.”

[17:08] – “I entered into the halls of recovery, learned about the disease… I learned about my addicted mind, what drove and fueled the addiction.”

[22:55] – “You do not have to be a person in recovery, and you can be what’s considered an ally to recovery.”

[24:59] – “We’re all on the same level in the group.”

[25:36] – “When you have a therapist and a client, there is this kind of hierarchical, unspoken structure there.”

[28:26] – “You already feel so much shame, you’re already in the hospital, and this person comes to you at your level, automatically pulls some of that shame away.”

[30:26] – ” What a better way to reach folks than to bring down all those walls of inequality and level out the playing field.”

[33:42] – “More often than not, we are in recovery. And it’s very important that we as peers, and I as a peer, do the work I need to do on myself outside so that I don’t mix up the two.”

[35:56] – “The greatest sign of strength is asking for help.”

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Supporting Resources:

Fresh Start Recovery Center

Amatus Health

Connecticut Community of Addiction Recovery