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Part 1: "What's Peers Got to Do With It?"


Organizations and health care systems rely more on peers to help facilitate treatment options for persons suffering from substance use disorders. Peer perspective gives an institution or organization an understanding of the persons in active use because of lived experience and insight into the recovery process. The epidemic of opioids and the increase of illicit substances affecting communities have increased the need for alternative methods to serve the population of persons suffering from substance use disorders. This two-part webinar series will unpack the benefit of lived experiences using prevention to reach communities in active use. The two-part webinar series will also examine the need to expand the peer perspective in more settings, techniques used to engage with populations with substance use disorders, the benefit of relatability to the community, and the peer's contribution to the organization's service.


Peers have insight and awareness of another's active use because of their firsthand experiences of the recovery process. The epidemic of opioids and the increase of illicit substances affecting communities have increased the need for alternative methods to serve the population of persons suffering from substance use disorders. This webinar will explore the benefits of using peers to reach communities in active use. It will also facilitate ways agencies, institutions, and organizations can capitalize on the skills and knowledge of peers and how these settings can best utilize them.


At the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Define the purpose and role of peers and discuss ways peers are influential in serving the community.
  2. Determine how peers' contributions in various settings can be instrumental in combating the opioid epidemic.
  3. Explore how peers' perspectives help develop prevention methods for communities affected by substance use.
  4. Discuss prevention opportunities for agencies and organizations to maximize and expand the workforce of peers.


Demetrie Garner headshotDemetrie Garner, CPRS, as a Peer Recovery Specialist, has been presented with the unique opportunity of working in the largest Emergency Department in the state of Maryland. This has given him the vantage point to encounter minority disparities. A lack of health communication targeted to African-Americans and other minorities help further this disparity. As a Peer Recovery Specialist, the visible cracks of systemic inadequacies in health care and its access garners attention and policy changes in patients with substance use disorders. Having the experience in active addiction abusing opiates, cocaine, and alcohol for 26 years with countless relapses fostered the experience needed to help others in active addiction. Finding recovery over the last 2 and 1/2 years while working in the recovery field has given Demetrie a unique perspective in recidivism and retention throughout the process of recovery. With the help of the God of his understanding (Jesus Christ), Narcotics Anonymous, and healthy relationships, the pathway of a daily reprieve from active addiction is now possible. Continuous work through pastoral licensed counseling has unlocked the acceptance of childhood molestation and recovery from trauma. After 21 years since Demetrie decided to drop out of high school in the 11th grade, education seemed to become more important to obtain. If he wants to help individuals who look like himself and suffer from trauma and active addiction, then higher education has to be pursued. While at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County, currently a sophomore, Demetrie‚Äôs interest in studies is in the social science of public health. Future involvement with research is being pursued with patients that have wait times in emergency rooms with substance use disorders. Previous research this past semester has examined minorities  hesitancy to receive Covid vaccinations. Demetrie is currently a Pre-McNair Scholar with ambitions to attend UMBC School of Public Policy M.P.P Program Spring of 2022.


Lisa Connors headshotLisa Connors, LCPC, NCC, MAC, ABD, is an Associate Pastor at In His Image International Ministry, Inc. She is a Licensed Bachelor Social Worker, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, Board-Certified Coach, Master Addiction Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and Certified Grief Counseling Specialist. Ms. Connors is Certified in Thanatology [the study of death, dying, and bereavement]. She has been in the human services/social work/counseling fields for 30 years and has worked in a variety of settings providing services to the despondent and downtrodden. Ms. Connors works tirelessly to help others reach their fullest potential in life, supporting and empowering those who have been oppressed, stigmatized, marginalized, and victimized. Her greatest passion is working with, serving, and providing training related to individuals affected by HIV/AIDS, substance use and mental health disorders, violence/abuse/trauma, grief and loss, racial and social injustices. Ms. Connors is a mental health therapist providing services to individuals who have co-occurring issues. In addition to her pastoral and clinical work, Ms. Connors is a college professor. She has taught at the University of Maryland and is currently teaching at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Like many women of color, Ms. Connors has experienced various forms of oppression. Ms. Connors earned her Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Professional Counseling degrees, respectively, and is a Doctoral Candidate completing her Ph.D. in Psychology.



In order to be eligible for the 1.25 contact hours/certificate of attendance, you must join the live webinar in the Zoom platform.

Certificates must be requested within one week of the event and will be processed within 30 days.

If you are having issues accessing the room/application at the time of the event: Please email [email protected] at the start of the webinar so that we can assist you.



If you are in need of any special accommodations, please notify the Central East PTTC Webinar Team three weeks in advance of the event, or as soon as possible, by emailing [email protected].

This series is brought to you in collaboration with the Central East PTTC.

Central East ATTC logo blue background     Central East PTTC logo green background


Starts: Dec. 13, 2022 2:30 pm
Ends: Dec. 13, 2022 3:30 pm
Registration Deadline
December 13, 2022
Event Type
Webinar/Virtual Training
Hosted by
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