Bob Hoyt is the master of do-it-yourself projects. But what many people see as just a hobby, he sees as a staple in his addiction recovery.

“To find a routine and things to look forward to and a goal to work towards and complete and finish, you know, have a goal and finish it and work through all the way to the end as something new, like something I didn't do prior to recovery," says Hoyt, a certified recovery peer advocate.

Hoyt has been in recovery for seven years and now works for Twin County Recovery Services, helping others heal from addiction. He's part of a new initiative between Twin County and Columbia Memorial Health.

What You Need To Know

  • Columbia Memorial Health now has a certified recovery peer advocate stationed inside of their emergency department

  • This cuts down on response time for getting someone mental health services

  • It will also remove some of the existing barriers in asking for help

Before, if a person came into the emergency room looking for recovery help, someone from Twin County would have to come down to the hospital. But now, Hoyt is already there. He is stationed inside of the emergency department as a certified recovery peer advocate.

The program funding was secured through the Capital Behavioral Health Network’s Coordinated Opioid and Stimulant Treatment program.

“Some of our friends, our patients, our folks, come in and it's arguably the worst day of their life to be able to meet with somebody with a substance use disorder. I share a lot of stories related to the topic and the feelings," Hoyt said.

He said cutting down on that response time can save lives.

“We have a small window of time before somebody changes their mind or feels uncomfortable," Hoyt said.

There are many barriers that can get in the way of reaching out for help. The person may not want traditional in-patient treatment, they could be worried about the cost or they simply might not know where to start.

“It's not always common knowledge, right? And where does somebody turn when they're looking for help? You know, they you would think hospital. Correct. You know, so that's, that's part of why this works, why this is a great partnership,” Hoyt said.

Every person is different, so every recovery plan is different.

“So that could be medication assisted treatment. Detox. Rehab. Connecting with outpatient services, mutual support groups that are in the community," Hoyt said.

If someone isn’t ready to commit to treatment, Hoyt provides them information they’ll need for when they are.

The Opioid and Stimulant Treatment program's help hotline is 866-518-4991.