Autumn Gagnon

Holyoke, Massachusetts is geographically located on what is known as the “heroin highway.” While the whole country faces the opioid crisis, Holyoke and its predominately Hispanic population especially struggles with this epidemic. As there is great overlap between those who present before the court and those with a substance use disorder, we aimed to mitigate this problem by intervening at the time of their court appearance to provide immediate recovery and treatment services.

In order to best serve this population, a large aspect of the internship was research-oriented. The court had recently adapted the program to involve peer recovery coaches (PRC), and therefore we conducted a literature review in the first half of the semester in order to understand other programs experiences in using PRCs. Additionally, we conducted qualitative interviews in the second half of the semester with individuals at the court to gain their perspectives regarding the program.