What Are Peer Recovery Support Services?
Peer recovery support services, delivered by peer recovery coaches, are one form of peer support. A peer recovery coach brings the lived experience of recovery, combined with training and supervision, to assist others in initiating and maintaining recovery, helping to enhance the quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery (White, 2009). Peer recovery support services can support or be an alternative to clinical treatment for substance use disorders.
What Do Peer Recovery Coaches Do?
Peer recovery coaches walk side by side with individuals seeking recovery from substance use disorders. They help people to create their own unique recovery plans and develop their own recovery pathways. Peer recovery support focuses on long-term recovery and is rooted in a culture of hope, health, and wellness.
A recovery coach is not a sponsor, therapist, nurse/physician, or priest/clergy.
Recovery coaches use their lived experience to provide many different types of support, including:
- emotional (empathy and concern)
- informational (connections to information and referrals to community resources that support health and wellness)
- instrumental (concrete supports such as housing or employment)
- affiliational support (connections to recovery community supports, activities, and events)
The unique relationship between the peer recovery coach and the individual in or seeking recovery is grounded in trust and focused on providing the individual with tools, resources, and support to achieve long-term recovery and overall wellness.
Our peer recovery coaches work in a range of settings, including USARA’s various recovery community centers, drug courts, and other criminal justice settings, hospital emergency departments, homeless shelters, and behavioral health and primary care settings.
In addition to providing the range of support encompassed in the peer recovery coach role, they take an active role in outreach and engagement within these settings.
Is Peer Recovery Coaching Effective?
There is growing evidence that peer recovery support services have a positive impact on participants served.