How Does Peer Recovery Coaches Help the Treatment Process?

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How Does Peer Recovery Coaches Help the Treatment Process?

Surrendering to addiction treatment can be overwhelming for a majority of individuals facing challenges with addiction. Staying committed to their individualized treatment plan takes pure dedication to accomplish personal goals related to their substance dependence. Although the first stages can seem very challenging for some individuals, early recovery or treatment can be a very vulnerable stage in an individual’s lifetime. One must make major sacrifices in their life to officially move forward and stay dedicated to their recovery goals to achieve long-term sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Some individuals require much-needed direction and personal guidance at the kick-off after treatment has been completed. This is where peer recovery coaches can come in handy. 

What Are Peer Recovery Coaches?

As stated by the Medicaid Managed Specialty Supports and Services Program (MMSSSP), for those who need aftercare services or additional support, a peer recovery coach can help. They may provide the assistance needed to comfortably move through their outpatient treatment process or recovery phase after successfully completing their addiction treatment program. 

A recovery coach is a form of peer support that works hard to help facilitate long-term recovery. Many have been through addiction themselves and can offer first-hand experience and wise advice to individuals who are currently in active addiction or early recovery. Having a shared background and similar life experience can help individuals easily confide and better trust their peer recovery coach assigned to them.

What Are Peer Recovery Coaches’ Roles and Responsibilities?

Intense cravings and triggers can be very problematic at the beginning of treatment. They can be especially an issue for some individuals even in early recovery as they are placed back into their typical environment. As stated in the aforementioned MMSSSP program, a peer recovery coach may be assisted by a peer recovery associate by engaging in different peer support events.

Peer recovery coaches may provide an individual with community resources for guidance. They serve as a friendly mentor to help an individual overcome environmental and personal problems related to their addiction. Not everybody has a healthy environment to go back to during outpatient treatment or after treatment in general. Therefore, a recovery coach can provide the direction and resources needed to help promote a safe and content recovery phase. 

A recovery coach can also help individuals make new healthy connections to open up exciting opportunities for an easier walk through recovery. This can be especially helpful as addiction recovery can be a lonely stage due to the process of starting over. A peer recovery coach gives an individual some kind direction. This gives that person the ability to develop their recovery plans in moving forward. 

How Do Peer Recovery Coaches Aid the Overall Treatment Process?

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a peer recovery coach walks alongside an individual who is seeking a healthy recovery from misusing drugs and or alcohol. A peer recovery coach works to aid an individual through every step of the way in their addiction recovery process. This can be especially helpful for individuals who are facing problems with co-occurring mental health conditions related to their addiction. 

A peer recovery coach may provide individuals with emotional, informational, instrumental (employment and housing opportunities), and excess connections to additional community support. Several benefits can come from spending time with a peer recovery coach. The benefits of working with a peer recovery coach may include: 

  • Improved relationship with treatment providers
  • Increased treatment retention
  • Improved access to social support systems
  • Increased satisfaction with recovery
  • Decreased emergency utilization
  • Reduced relapse rates
  • Increased feelings of self-worth
  • Greater housing stability
  • Reduced substance use
  • Decreased criminal activity


Moving Forward With a Peer Recovery Coach

It may feel like a difficult choice to move forward with a peer recovery coach. This can be especially so if men may have feelings of pure stubbornness. Reasons may be due to narcissism, fears of judgment from friends and family (coming off as weak), or simply just do not want additional help gaining long-term sobriety. 

Although a few of these factors come into play when deciding to surrender to a helping hand, according to recent studies, many individuals have provided strong testimonies proving that working with a peer recovery coach can be a highly effective choice made. It can be a very positive experience for some individuals facing challenges with substance use disorder (SUD) or addiction alone. Having someone to lean on outside of treatment can be very comforting during such a sensitive phase in one’s life. Learning and using sober living skills with a recovery coach can also be helpful.

Overall, working with a recovery coach can provide a positive impact on an individual’s life as a whole. Working with a recovery coach can decrease the chance of a tragic overdose. Everyone deserves a chance to heal and recover from trauma and addiction. Accepting a helping hand can make a serious difference in one’s experience moving forward.