METHUEN — Chief Joseph Solomon and Methuen Mayor James P. Jajuga are pleased to announce that Methuen Police Community Engagement Specialist Colleen Welch recently became a Certified Addiction Recovery Coach.
Welch is a Methuen native who serves as a community engagement specialist for the department’s Community Addiction Resource Engagement Services (C.A.R.E.S) initiative. That program is designed to address the opioid addiction epidemic that has affected communities across America, including Methuen.
To earn her certification, Welch completed a rigorous program that prepares her to serve as a direct resource for those struggling with addiction and connect them with recovery options.
The certification is presented by the Massachusetts Board of Substance Abuse Counselor Certification in conjunction with the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.
In order to become a certified coach, Welch was required to perform 500 hours of certified work experience specific to four core domains of the CARC program — advocacy, mentoring/education, recovery/wellness support and ethical responsibility. She also had to take part in 60 hours of education related to those four areas, as well as coursework on ethics, cultural competency, the basics of addiction, mental health and motivational interviewing.
Welch has been working in the addiction recovery field for over 20 years, including a 14-year stint at Hampstead hospital, during which she helped facilitate detox treatments. She’s also served multiple recovery-focused organizations, and herself has been sober since 1987 following alcohol misuse throughout her teenage years.
By earning her certification, Welch will now be better equipped to continue her work for Methuen C.A.R.E.S by connecting those struggling with addiction and families affected by the disease with a variety of recovery services.
“Colleen is an indispensable part of the work we do to support people in our community battling addiction,” Chief Solomon said. “This certification only solidifies her standing within our department as a trusted resource for those seeking help overcoming their substance use disorders.”
Mayor Jajuga added, “This accolade is a testament to the importance the Methuen Police Department places on its addiction recovery work, and I’m proud of Colleen for going above and beyond to expand upon that work.”