Coulee Council on Addictions is putting recovery coaches into local emergency rooms as part of an ongoing effort to break the cycle of addiction.
The coaches will be available for patients coming into the hospital for an opioid-related emergency.
A $74,000 Emergency Department to Recovery Grant made the recovery coaches possible.
Both Gundersen Health System and Mayo Clinic Health System will have recovery coaches available, and the coaches on standby know the harsh reality of opioid addiction firsthand.
"When we recruited, what we were looking for is people in recovery, so that they can relate to the people that they are serving," said Cheryl Hancock, Executive Director of Coulee Council on Addictions. "Being a peer with them, they're able to talk the same language, share experiences, those sorts of things."
The 15 recovery coaches will finish training this weekend. Hancock expects them to be in local emergency rooms in May.
Depending on how the program is received, Hancock hopes to see the program expand in the future.