Welcome! We are Glad you are Here.
Thank you for taking time to read the first ever “Changing Peer-Ceptions” blog post. My name is Jess Morris, a certified community health worker, recovery coach, and a person in long-term remission from opioid use disorder (OUD). I have the privilege of being the Mobile MAT Outreach Worker at Perception Programs, Inc (PPI) for their brand-new Mobile Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Van. The non-negotiable qualification for the job? Lived experience. I could not have imagined that almost 10 years ago (walking into detox), I would end up with a career in which I got to use my experience to provide hope, support & empowerment for individuals with SUD. My work as an Outreach Worker feels like it was created just for me! I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to do the work I love, with the most amazing people. Work that has never felt like work. What a gift.
I hope this blog will increase the community’s awareness around substance use, reduce substance use-related stigma, and reduce the number of overdose deaths. By providing community education on medication-assisted treatment (MAT), promoting harm reduction practices, and highlighting the benefits of utilizing peer support services, we can increase access to evidence-based and effective treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD, and reduce the stigma associated with substance use & MAT services. Using my professional and lived experience will provide individuals with the knowledge to change negative perceptions associated with substance use disorder (SUD). Creating a safe space where anyone can ask for help without facing judgment, guilt, fear, or shame, no doubt will save lives.
Opioid Overdose Crisis
The Mobile MAT program is an innovative approach created to help combat the devastating & ever-increasing opioid overdose crisis that has been ravishing our community (and many others), for years. The opioid overdose crisis has impacted Connecticut more significantly than most other states. Connecticut is in the top 10 states which have the highest overdose death rate in the United States, according to Trend CT, an Online News Article (Tran, n.d.).
Why Mobile MAT Services?
MAT stands for medication-assisted treatment. There are a few different medications approved by the FDA which are used to treat opioid use disorder (OUD), they include, Suboxone, Methadone, and Vivitrol. The Mobile MAT van uses telehealth to provide easy access to Suboxone MAT treatment. There are several barriers that impact individuals capacity to access MAT. Individuals living in rural communities have limited options in choosing a MAT provider because most treatment programs tend to be in urban areas. They also have longer drive times and fewer public transportation options for accessing MAT services, according to the Center for Rural Health (2021). Understanding the importance of reducing all treatment barriers, we (PPI) implemented the use of telehealth MAT services to remove the many barriers many individuals face while accessing treatment, especially those living in rural areas.
If you or someone you know may benefit from any of the services offered on the Mobile MAT Van, please contact Jess @ 860-336-9412. We can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, our website, or by calling any of our three offices.