After a non-fatal opioid overdose, a patient’s first step toward recovery is more of a leap – equally colossal and terrifying. In Staten Island hospital emergency rooms, such patients have an empathetic hand to hold as they make that jump.

Available 24 hours a day, peers who have been through the chemical dependency recovery process themselves offer friendship and share their experiences, spanning the gap between emergency treatment and life-changing extended recovery services.

Employed by hospitals and local treatment programs, the peers have been through a training program and have completed up to 500 hours with patients to gain certification. They offer insights from their own experiences that can’t be gained elsewhere.

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