Anchor Recovery Community Center

Peer recovery specialists in Rhode Island provide harm reduction and treatment services to high-risk populations in emergency departments and communities

In response to the opioid crisis in Rhode Island, Anchor Recovery Community Center, a community-based peer recovery program, developed programs deploying certified Peer Recovery Specialists to emergency departments (AnchorED) and communities with high rates of accidental opioid overdoses (AnchorMORE) via mobile outreach. This highlights the vital role that recovery community centers and peer support specialists, sometimes referred to as recovery coaches, can play. 

The recovery specialists in AnchorED engage overdose survivors and provide harm reduction and treatment services, including training in naloxone administration and contact with peers after leaving the ED to support recovery. Specialists in AnchorMORE distribute naloxone kits and provide service referrals to high-risk individuals in the community.

Anchor Recovery Community Center also provides weekly telephone support to increase engagement among its participants and collaborates with local fire stations to offer a pathway to treatment, a replication of the Safe Station model in New Hampshire. 

Distributed 854 naloxone kits in high-risk communities and provided 1,311 service referrals.

Continuum of Care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Early Intervention
Overdose prevention
Post-overdose response
Recovery coaching
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

A peer-reviewed evaluation documented the impact of this peer recovery program on engaging overdose survivors and providing treatment and harm-reduction services:

“From July 2016–June 2017, AnchorED had 1329 contacts with patients visiting an emergency department for reported substance misuse cases or suspected overdose. Among the contacts, 88.7% received naloxone training and 86.8% agreed to continued outreach with a Peer Recovery Specialist after their ED discharge. Of those receiving peer recovery services from the Anchor Recovery Community Center, 44.7% (n = 1055/2362) were referred from an AnchorED contact. From July 2016–June 2017, AnchorMORE distributed 854 naloxone kits in high-risk communities and provided 1311 service referrals (Waye et al., 2019).