Peer Recovery focuses on providing an environment where people from the community, who are living in recovery, work with people who are currently receiving treatment for a substance abuse disorder. These Community-based Peer Recovery Specialists serve as a resource and support system for others who are currently in treatment and who are living in recovery. They also provide support and/or assistance to people affected by others addiction/substance use disorders.
What is Peer Recovery?
Peer Recovery coaching is a peer-based addiction and dependency recovery support service. It is non-clinical and nonprofessional and can be implemented concurrently with professional clinical services. Peer interventions have shown to improve engagement and retention of people seeking service and are effective in reducing incidents of return to use. Research also shows that long-term treatment and/or recovery outcomes are improved by assertive linkages to community-based recovery supports such as Recovery Coaching and Mentoring. When those with lived experience walk side by side with counselors, therapists, nurses, doctors and the judicial system the outcomes can be dramatically improved.
Peer Recovery Specialist
A Peer Recovery Specialist, or coach, is a person who is in recovery themselves. They have experienced first-hand the pain and suffering that addiction and/or substance abuse caused in their own lives and the lives close to them. As a result of personal experiences they understand many of the feelings, challenges, fears, and problems one may face as a result of Substance Use Disorder. In recovery they have found new ways to live and have developed tools to deal with the challenges of life, drug and alcohol free. They share their stories and experiences with peers and offer suggestions and perspectives which may be helpful to those embarking on their own journey of recovery. They meet people where they are; without judgement, without any punitive or coercive tactics, without applying pressure to model their pathway of recovery after their own.
Peer Recovery Support Services can be delivered anytime during the recovery process:
● During contemplation phase
● Prior to treatment
● During residential or outpatient treatment
● Post treatment
● In later recovery stages
Examples of peer recovery support services include:
● Peer mentoring or coaching – developing a one-on-one relationship in which a peer leader with recovery experience encourages, motivates, and supports a peer in recovery
● Peer recovery resource connecting – connecting the peer with professional services and resources available in the community
● Recovery group facilitation – facilitating or leading recovery orientated group activities, including support groups and educational activities
● Building community – helping peers make new friends and build healthy social networks, through events and pro-social activities
Five Core Components of Recovery (Recovery Allies):
1. The discovery of values and beliefs — or what is important to you
2. Connection with a person, or group of people
3. Habits, rituals and traditions
4. Giving back
5. Passion for something