New York City is launching an opioid recovery program that dispatches “recovery coaches” to emergency rooms to counsel overdose survivors on how to avoid a second brush with death.
NEW YORK — Five months into his job at a 24-hour walk-in behavioral health center here on Staten Island, Tarik Arafat has a new assignment. In three weeks, he’ll be on call for a nearby hospital to counsel people who have just been revived from an opioid overdose.
In recovery from drug addiction himself, Arafat, 25, said he understands why someone in a brightly lit emergency room who uses drugs would be more comfortable talking to him than to a medical professional. “My job is to open myself up and be like a toolbox for them,” he said.