Peer Recovery Support Specialists are people who are in recovery from substance use or co-occurring mental health disorders. Their life experiences and recovery allow them to provide recovery support so that others can benefit from their experiences. They are professionally trained in substance use disorder treatment and recovery. They can facilitate timely access to substance use assessment and treatment, foster engagement during and after completion of treatment, and support child welfare caseworkers and court professionals to better understand the treatment and recovery processes.
Peer Recovery Support Specialists were successful in their recovery process and now help others navigate the challenging road ahead. They do this through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment. Peer support services can widen the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a sustained recovery process.
What is Peer Recovery?
Peer recovery specialists know how it feels to struggle with the daily influence and pressures to deal with guilt, sadness, confusion, careers, relationships, and self-esteem. Peer recovery coaches walk side by side with people that want recovery from substance use disorders. They encourage people to flourish in their recovery paths and will guide them to create their recovery plans. The purpose of peer recovery support services is to give hope to those in recovery and help them stay in recovery, thus reducing the likelihood of relapse. With their powerful expectation, merged with the experience of the peers who have been successful in their recovery efforts, these services extend the clinical reach of treatment and go directly into the lives of people who most need them.
How to Become a Peer Recovery Specialist?
Working to support others through the recovery process is an incredibly rewarding experience. Not only do you get to help and support others, but the process allows you to continuously develop, manage, and practice your coping skills and tools. Most mental health and substance use treatment programs provide an aftercare support system to allow former patients and clients to be involved in their peers’ support and guidance.
To become a peer recovery specialist, you will be required to participate in a training program. It is not enough to have life experience with substance use or mental health challenges. Peer recovery specialists must be trained and certified in most states before working with patients. Training will typically be provided in:
- History of the peer movement
- Applying lived experiences to core skills
- Knowledge and beliefs of peer-to-peer support
- Recovery principles
- Intervention skills
- Ethical practices
- Collaboration with multidisciplinary teams
- Trauma and crisis recovery tools
- Boundaries and responsibilities
Training programs will also include role-playing, quizzes, and competency checks to ensure that peer recovery specialists can effectively apply their experiences to real-life circumstances.
Explore and Learn More About Recovery at Treatment Connection
Treatment Connection is an online portal that connects those who suffer from substance use and mental health disorders with the appropriate treatment options and programs. Finding the right type of care is critical to maintaining lifelong recovery. With the help of a peer recovery specialist, you or a loved one can be sure to continue to receive the support needed to live the life you want long after a program has ended.
To find a treatment program best suited for you and your needs, visit www.treatmentconnection.com/assessment.