Peers Supporting Recovery Substance Use Disorders 2017

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Peers Supporting Recovery Substance Use Disorders 2017

Transcript Of Peers Supporting Recovery Substance Use Disorders 2017

Peers Supporting Recovery
from Substance Use Disorders
“Peer support helped me see that I was not hopeless. It gave me my voice back and bolstered my self-worth.”
“When I needed someone to walk beside me, peer support was there.”


Peer recovery support services,1 delivered by peer recovery coaches, are one form of peer support. They involve the process of giving and receiving non-clinical assistance to support long-term recovery from substance use disorders. 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.
Peer-based recovery supports are part of an emerging transformation of systems and services addressing substance use disorders. They are

essential ingredients in developing a recoveryoriented system in which clinical treatment plays an important, but singular, role. Acute care substance use treatment without other recovery supports has often not been sufficient in helping individuals to maintain long-term recovery. Substance use disorders are currently understood to be chronic conditions that require long-term management, like diabetes. Peer-based recovery support provides a range of person-centered and strength-based supports for long-term recovery management. These supports help people in recovery build recovery capital—the internal and external resources necessary to begin and maintain recovery (Best & Laudet, 2010; Cloud & Granfield, 2008).


Peer recovery coaches walk side by side with individuals seeking recovery from substance use disorders. They help people to create their own recovery plans, and develop their own recovery pathways.
Recovery coaches 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)
Recovery plans and other supports are customized, and build on each individual’s strengths, needs, and recovery goals.
1. Peer recovery support services, peer-delivered recovery support, and peer-based recovery support are used interchangeably.

Peer recovery support focuses on long-term recovery and is rooted in a culture of hope, health, and wellness. The focus of long-term peer recovery support goes beyond the reduction or elimination of symptoms to encompass self-actualization, community and civic engagement, and overall wellness.
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.
Peer recovery coaches work in a range of settings, including recovery community centers, recovery residences, drug courts and other criminal justice settings, hospital emergency departments, child welfare agencies, 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.


People who have worked with peer recovery coaches provide strong testimonies of the positive impacts of peer recovery support on their own recovery journeys. The research supports these experiences. While the body of research

is still growing, there is mounting evidence that people receiving peer recovery coaching show reductions in substance use, improvements on a range or recovery outcomes, or both. Two rigorous systematic reviews examined the body

of published research on the effectiveness of peerdelivered recovery supports published between 1995 and 2014. Both concluded that there is a positive impact on participants (Bassuk, Hanson, Greene, Richard, & Laudet, 2016; Reif et al., 2014).

Two rigorous systematic reviews examined the body of published research on the effectiveness of peerdelivered recovery supports published between 1995 and 2014. Both concluded that there is a positive impact on participants (Bassuk, Hanson, Greene, Richard & Laudet, 2016; Reif et al, 2014) …Taken as a whole, the current body of research suggests that people receiving peer recovery support may experience:

Improved relationship with treatment providers
(Sanders et al., 1998; Andreas et al., 2010)

Increased satisfaction with the

overall treatment experience

Increased treatment retention

(Armitage at al., 2010)

(Mangrum, 2008; Deering et al., 2011;

Tracy et al., 2011)

Decreased emergency service
(Kamon & Turner, 2013)

Improved access to social supports
(O’Connell, ND; Boisvert et al., 2008; Andreas et al., 2010)

Reduced re-hospitalization rates
(Min et al., 2007)

Reduced substance use
(Bernstein, et al., 2005; Boyd et al., 2005; Kamon & Turner, 2013; Mangrum, 2008; O’Connell, ND; Rowe, et al., 2007;
Armitage at al., 2010)


Decreased criminal justice involvement
(Rowe, et al., 2007; Mangrum, 2008)

Reduced relapse rates
(Boisvert et al., 2008)

Greater housing stability
(Ja et al., 2009)

Armitage, E. V., Lyons, H., & Moore, T. L. (2010). Recovery Association Project (RAP), Portland, Oregon. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 28(3), 339–357.
Bernstein, E., Bernstein, J., Tassiopoulos, K., Heeren, T., Levenson, S., & Hingson, R. (2005). Brief motivational intervention at a clinic visit reduces cocaine and heroin use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 77(1), 49–59.
Boisvert, R. A., Martin, L. M., Grosek, M., & Claire, A. J. (2008). Effectiveness of a peer-support community in addiction recovery: Participation as intervention. Occupational Therapy International, 15(4), 205–220

Boyd, M. R., Moneyham, L., Murdaugh, C., Phillips, K. D., Tavakoli, A., Jackwon, K., . . . Vyavaharkar, M. (2005). A peer-based substance abuse intervention for HIV+ rural women: A pilot study. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 19(1), 10–7.
Ja, D. Y., Gee, M., Savolainen, J., Wu, S., & Forghani, S. (2009). Peers Reaching Out Supporting Peers to Embrace Recovery (PROPSPER): A final evaluation report. San Francisco, CA: DYJ, Inc., for Walden House, Inc., and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Kamon, J., & Turner, W. (2013). Recovery coaching in recovery centers: What the initial data suggest: A brief report from the Vermont Recovery Network. Montpelier, VT: Evidence-Based Solutions.

Mangrum, L. (2008). Creating access to recovery through drug courts: Final evaluation report for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Austin, TX: University of Texas Addiction Research Institute. Retrieved from 2FATRFinalEvaluationReport-Final.doc
Min, S. Y., Whitecraft, E., Rothbard, A. B., & Salzer, M. S. (2007). Peer support for persons with co-occurring disorders and community tenure: A survival analysis. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 30(3), 207– 213. doi: 10.2975/30.3.2007.207.213

O’Connell, M. J., Flanagan, E. H., Delphin-Rittmon, M. E., & Davidson, L. (2017). Enhancing outcomes for persons with cooccurring disorders through skills training and peer recovery support. Journal of Mental Health, Epub ahead of print. Retrieved from
Rowe, M., Bellamy, C., Baranoski, M., Wieland, M., O’Connell, M. J., Benedict, P., . . . Sells, D. (2007). A peer-support, group intervention to reduce substance use and criminality among persons with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 58(7), 955–961.
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