Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program: Recovery Month

Recovery Month September 2022

As part of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Use Program (COSSUP) Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Collaborative, RTI participated in September’s 2022 Recovery Month by celebrating each individual’s path toward recovery from substance use issues through. As part of the collection of resources released throughout the month of September, RTI hosted a podcast and videos featuring individuals across the criminal-legal system to focus on what Recovery Month means to their work and how they strive to support people in recovery. These conversations joined together voices of individuals and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. Direct access the RTI COSSUP Recovery Month podcasts and videos can be found below.

COSSUP 2022 Recovery Month Podcast

RTI’s Recovery Month 2022 podcast highlighted what supporting people in recovery means to distinctive persons in the community. The series showcased individuals across the criminal-legal system to focus on what Recovery Month means to their work and how they strive to support people in recovery. These conversations joined together voices of individuals and community members across the nation who make recovery in all its forms possible. 

Host: Paige Presler-Jur, Associate Project Director for RTI’s COSSUP TTA Initiative 

Click on the accordion headers below to listen. 

Interview with Jess Nickila

Jess Nickila is a Peer Recovery Specialist and the Program Coordinator for the Substance Use Response Team (SURT) within the Duluth Police Department in Minnesota. The SURT is a Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) modeled program within the Duluth Police Department. The SURT’s primary goal is to get individuals struggling with substance use out of the criminal justice system and into recovery support services. SURT provides outreach to opioid overdose survivors, performs street outreach, accepts family and friend referrals, offers in-reach into local jails, and receives referrals from partner agencies. 

Interview with Detective Eric Adams

Detective Eric Adams is a 20 year veteran of Law Enforcement.  He has been with the Laconia Police Department (New Hampshire) since 2012 and is currently assigned to the Bureau of Criminal Investigations as the Prevention, Enforcement and Treatment Coordinator. In his current role as the Prevention, Enforcement and Treatment Coordinator, Detective Adams works directly with individuals and their families who are struggling with substance use/mental health disorders, as a support network helping to navigate barriers. 

Interview with Judith Bazinet and Andrea Fryer

Judith Bazinet is the Program Manager for Massachusetts Project Navigation, Outreach, Recovery, Treatment, and Hope (NORTH)), and she is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. Judith previously worked for several years as a Clinician in Hingham, Brockton, and Barnstable Drug Courts. She was a member of the Drug Court Certification Team with the Center of Excellence, which certified drug courts throughout Massachusetts.  

Andrea Fryar is the Recovery Support Navigator for Project NORTH located in Springfield Mass. She has over 20 years of experience in the field. Andrea was previously the Residential Supervisor for adolescent age and young adults at the Northeast Center for Youth and Families, Inc. Andrea has worked in the human service field in management positions including at Devereux where she oversaw foster homes and provided case management.  

Interview with JoAnn McLaurin-Carpenter

JoAnn McLaurin-Carpenter is the Assistant Director for the Chesterfield/Colonial Heights Pre Trial/Community Corrections Services (CSS) a human services agency working provide effective community supervision, treatment options, victim services and alternatives to incarceration. JoAnn has worked in the field of community corrections for over 18 years to support individuals as they reenter their community. She works to uphold the mission of the CSS to enhance public safety through supervision and services while creating opportunities for positive change. 

Video Messages

The Unique Journey of Mothers in Recovery 

Approximately 70% of women entering treatment for substance use have children. Although children can play a pivotal role in the recovery process for mothers, there are also select barriers to recovery that come with being a mother. This video details the story of one mother, Justin Phillips, and how she has seen motherhood impact women’s recovery, and how stigma, gender roles, and independence play a role.

How Comprehensive Recovery Housing Supports the Whole Person 

While mothers in recovery face a unique set of barriers and facilitators to recovery, they are not always considered in recovery housing. This video highlights the common experiences of a mother in recovery, and then illustrates what that journey can look like with comprehensive recovery housing, such as the housing offered by once such group in Indianapolis.   

Justin Phillips is a mother in recovery for substance use. She has spent her career in the nonprofit and public sector working to educate parents about the prevention of childhood injuries. After the loss of her son to an overdose, Justin formed Overdose Lifeline, Inc. in 2014. Overdose Lifeline, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities affected by substance use disorder. Justin understands that substance use disorder is a disease, and actively works to fight the stigma that comes with it. 

COSSUP Podcast

We also invite you to listen to the 2021 Just Science podcast series, titled Illicit Substance Use Response. This season of balances discussions of data and technology with personal calls to action for understanding illicit stimulant and polydrug use, identifying drug trends, the importance of addressing stigma, supporting alternative family structures, and much more. Access it here or follow Just Science on your podcast platform of choice including Apple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudSpotify, & Google Podcasts!


Episode 159 | Just Polysubstance Use and the Importance of Data Trends

In episode ten, Just Science interviews Josh Yohannan, a forensic chemist and expert in emerging drug... read more

Episode 158 | Just Addressing the Stigma of Substance Abuse Disorder

In episode nine, Just Science interviews Clarence Jordan, the Vice President of Wellness... read more

Episode 157 | Just the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System

In episode eight, Just Science interviews DeMia Pressley from the DEA’s Diversion Control... read more

Episode 156 | Just Building Policy From The Ground Up

In episode seven, Just Science interviews Dr. Alex Kral, an infectious disease epidemiologist... read more

Episode 155 | Just Alternative Crisis Response: One Community’s Experience

In episode six, Just Science interviews Tim Black of the... read more

Episode 154 | Just Partnerships To Enhance Overdose Fatality Review

Episode Overview In episode five, Just Science interviews Dr. Mallory O’Brien, Assistant Professor... read more

Episode 153 | Just the Story of the Healthy Grandfamilies Project

Episode Overview In episode four, Just Science sat down with Bonnie Dunn,... read more

Episode 152 | Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Episode Overview In episode three, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr... read more

Episode 151 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 2

Episode Overview This week, we continue the conversation with Dr. Zibbell as... read more

Episode 150 | Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants: Part 1

Episode Overview In the first half of this two-part episode, Just Science sat down with Dr.... read more

For additional resources and guidance for your community’s overall strategy to support individuals in recovery and those that want to address their substance use, please check out