Project ASSERT is an effective approach to addiction recovery, using Recovery Coaches and the SBIRT model.
Project ASSERT is an effective approach to addiction recovery, using Recovery Coaches and the SBIRT model. By engaging with patients who struggle with Substance Use Disorders to have a conversation about how they could change their behavior, the Recovery Coaches are able to connect them to recovery resources such as treatment, support groups (like AA, NA, Life Ring), counseling (IOP or others), health insurance, finding a PC, getting a dental appointment, etc.
Project ASSERT stands for “Alcohol & Substance Abuse Services, Education & Referral to Treatment”. Project ASSERT started at Boston Medical Center over 25 years ago and has received high praises from SAMHSA(*) as “best evidence practices”.
A Recovery Coach, is anyone who is interested in promoting Recovery by removing obstacles to recovery and serving as a personal guide and mentor for people seeking or already in recovery. The Recovery Coach is someone who has been clean and sober a minimum of 2 years and has taken a minimum of 80 hours of training.
Since 2014 seven hospitals in mid Michigan (Mid MI Health and Spectrum Health) began using this approach and found 69% followed through on a referral to treatment and 79% followed through on a referral to a mutual aid group such as AA or NA.
McLaren Northern Michigan and Harbor Hall have partnered to bring this program to the ER department in Petoskey. This project is being funded through a grant provided by the Northern Michigan Regional Entity.
Through Project ASSERT the Recovery Coach is known by the patient as a Wellness Advocate. The Wellness Advocate steps in after the Medical Staff determines if there is an issue of misuse of alcohol or drugs. The Wellness Advocate follows the SBIRT model: Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment.
(*)Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services federal agency