Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway©

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"I was able to shift my conception of recovery and viable pathways to include and celebrate harm reduction." Participant, August 2019 training, Kalamazoo, MI 

Authors: Jim Wuelfing & Dean LeMire​

Owners: The LeMire Group LLC & Jim Wuelfing

Length: 18 training hours incl. 3 hrs asynchronous

CEU approved in: NC, TN, WV, NH, NY, TX, MD, PA

Info & Pricing Packet : download here


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Training of Trainers, Austin, TX

August, 2019 

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About This Training

Tens of thousands of people are trained as peer recovery coaches; many now work in a rapidly growing and changing Peer Recovery Support Services field across a wide variety of service settings. Several of the key tenets in peer recovery coaching are: ‘Meet people where they are at’; ‘You are in recovery when you say you are’; and ‘There are many pathways to recovery’. Still, harm reduction as a pathway to and of recovery from addiction remains widely misunderstood. Abstinence-based pathways have for decades dominated the helping services of addiction recovery. Recovery coaches may struggle with coaching a harm reduction pathway for many reasons, including: Lack of understanding about harm reduction; personal, institutional, and cultural bias; and/or lack of exposure to people achieving recovery outcomes through harm-reduction-based means.


Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway© comes just in time for a new phase in recovery coaching development alongside a swelling harm reduction movement across North America. A handful of leaders in both the peer recovery supports and harm reduction movements collaborated to bring this curriculum to its current form. RCHRP utilizes adult learning theory concepts and modalities to address knowledge, attitudes, practices, access to resources, and coaching skills. As this training explores sensitive topics, its design and delivery are highly trauma-informed. Each class becomes a safe place for self-examination and practice from the outset.


Participants will be able to...

  • Define harm reduction as a practice and as a social movement

  • Examine one’s beliefs and values around a harm reduction pathway of recovery

  • Compare and contrast principles of harm reduction and recovery coaching

  • Define and locate opportunities for improving a Recovery-Oriented System of Care that serves People Who Use Drugs

  • Discuss advocacy and practices around social justice issues as part of harm reduction

  • Practice newly acquired knowledge and skills supporting a harm reduction pathway of recovery

  • Develop a personal action plan for further development of harm reduction recovery coaching skills


Completion of a recognized 30-46-hour recovery coaching fundamentals training, such as CCAR Recovery Coach Academy, is strongly suggested.


Active or prospective peer specialists; Recovery Community Organization personnel; recovery housing service providers; substance use disorder treatment providers; medical and psychiatric services providers; peers and family members in recovery.


Jim Wuelfing is owner and principle associate of the New England Center, dedicated to exceptional training, facilitation and consulting services for nearly 40 years. In the recovery supports arena he has been a major contributor in the design and delivery of several curricula including the CCAR Recovery Coach Academy and CCAR Ethical Considerations for Recovery Coaches, as well as SOS Developing Excellence in Recovery Coaching and Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway. He has aided in the formation of several statewide recovery community organizations and has served on the board of the Massachusetts Organization of Addiction Recovery. Jim also has a decades long experience working on social justice issues focusing on racial inequities and understanding the dynamics of power and privilege. He co-wrote with Arthur Woodard, Jr. the nationally well-received training Racism of the Well-Intended.

Dean LeMire is owner and principal associate of The LeMire Group LLC, a recovery services consulting and training agency based in Dover, NH. In his various roles across the substance use disorder continuum of care, Dean has facilitated expansion of improved, person-centered, and community-based service delivery. In New Hampshire Dean was instrumental in forming a statewide network of Recovery Community Organizations, as well as a statewide network of harm reduction service programs as a founding board member of the New Hampshire Harm Reduction Coalition and as co-founder of Hand Up Health Services, a county-wide syringe services program. While living in Texas recently Dean served as President of RecoveryATX, a Recovery Community Organization, as co-founder of the Texas Harm Reduction Alliance, and Operations of THRA's direct services program Austin Overdose Prevention Services (Austin-OPS). He is now Recovery Services Director at RecoveryLink. Dean has trained peer recovery support specialists since 2016 and co-developed Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway© with Jim Wuelfing in 2019.

Michael Galipeau holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Rhode Island College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Michael served as the program evaluations expert on recovery residence from 2017-2019 under contract with the SSA in Rhode Island. In March of 2018, Michael worked as a consultant on the development of a training initiative for the American Pharmacists’ Association to develop training procedures and protocol to begin offering over the counter harm reduction services, and to develop workforce readiness for this new scope of practice. This initiative was ultimately highly successful and led to the release of numerous public statements from major pharmaceutical companies, including CVS and Walgreens, who were incorporating new behavioral health screening and substance use awareness into the workforce training protocol.

Michael served on the Governor’s Task Force for Overdose Prevention, Harm Reduction workgroup from 2017-2019. By 2018, Michael was the author of new legislation that was signed into law on July 1st, HB8132. This legislation made Rhode Island the first state in the country to recognize broad legal protections for drug testing supplies, covering their distribution and possession, as well as drug checking services, with broad criminal and civil protections, creating an entirely new sector of public health programming. Michael wrote about this work, which was later published in the Harm Reduction Journal, and presented on this topic at the 2019 International Harm Reduction Conference, titled ‘The Intersectionality of Harm Reduction, Recovery, and Drug Policy.’ Following the release of this publication Michael became one of the contributing authors of a national training for recovery coaches called Recovery Coaching a Harm Reduction Pathway©.

Michael Galipeau is currently serving as the Recovery Advocate for the Department of Behavioral and Community Health in Dutchess County, NY.   Michael is also a national consultant with the Urban Survivors Union.

Kevin McLaughlin is a person in long term recovery.  For him this means almost 15 years without drugs or alcohol. Kevin has seven years’ experience in training and presenting and he has facilitated over sixty 5-Day CCAR Recovery Coach Academies.  In addition to training, he has five years of experience in prompting system change through Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care educational presentations.  As an individual in recovery, he loves to empower peers to play integral roles in systems change as well. Kevin was Executive Director of Recovery Allies of West Michigan, a Recovery Community Organization, for four years.  He has also represented the recovery community within several groups including the Kent County Substance Use Disorder Advisory Council, the Behavioral Health Advisory Council, and the Lakeshore Regional Entity Advisory Council. In 2017 Kevin started Art Of Coaching Inc to provide training, education, consultation and coaching.  Through this medium he is able to meld his love for training with his experience from five years in the non-profit sector, and ten years’ experience with private coaching.



William White, Michael Galipeau, Tom Hill, Jenna Neasbitt, Kevin Irwin, Hannah Rose, Joseph Hogan-Sanchez, Devin Reaves, Kevin McLaughlin, Christie Mokry, Michelle Reilly


Upcoming Trainings

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Training of Trainers

Sept 28, Oct 5, Oct 12

6p-9:15p EST / 3p-6:15p PST via Zoom

Facilitators: Jim Wuelfing & Dean LeMire

(Participants must have completed the 18-hr RCHRP training)

Register here

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Read about RCHRP in Filtermag

that we remembered to take pictures at


some  past trainings

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October, 2020

RCHRP graduates

Rochester, NH 

June, 2019

RCHRP graduates

Austin, TX 

August, 2019

RCHRP graduates

Nashua, NH 

June, 2019

RCHRP graduates