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Recognizing the Value of Peer Recovery Support October 1, 2010

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

The journey to recovery requires great fortitude and a supportive network. As we celebrate National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month, we also express our appreciation for the family members, mutual aid groups, peer support programs, health professionals, and community leaders that provide compassion, care, and hope. Across America, we must spread the word that substance abuse is preventable, that addiction is treatable, and that recovery is possible.
—Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation, National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration partners with other federal agencies, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and communities across the country to sponsor National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month). This month’s observance provides important recognition of the societal benefits of addiction treatment, lauds the contributions of treatment providers, and promotes the message that recovery is possible. Recovery Month is also an opportunity to highlight the critical role that peer recovery support services play in helping individuals reach and sustain recovery from substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Increasingly, peer recovery support services are being offered in conjunction with professional treatment services and mutual aid as part of a continuum of care for individuals with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders. Peer recovery support services can be particularly important for justice-involved individuals as they return from incarceration to the community, engage in treatment, and identify community-based pro-social supports. Specific outreach to justice-involved individuals is often conducted by peer recovery support organizations. For example, the Dallas-based Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA) provides support groups and coaching sessions, including those for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders at a local correctional facility and for individuals returning to the community from jail. States have also begun to recognize their role in supporting peer services and have developed several strategies to support their development. As of May 2008, thirty states had developed criteria for training and deploying “peer specialists” and at least thirteen states have initiated a Medicaid waiver option that provides reimbursement for peer-delivered mental health services.

As communities develop reentry programming it is important to include peer recovery support services and identify local or state organizations that may offer them. The following questions and answers are excerpts from a paper with detailed discussions of the subject published by the Faces & Voices of Recovery, Peer Recovery Support Services: Recovery Management in Healthcare Background, and provide a brief introduction to peer recovery support services.

How are peer recovery support services different from other services?

When can an individual benefit from Peer Recovery Support Services?

Where can Peer Recovery Support Services be delivered?



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