Peer Support Groups in Addiction Recovery

Addiction and its underlying related mental health conditions place great pressure on recovering individuals —physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although these pressures are addressed, treated and supported during an inpatient stay at a rehab center, once the individual graduates from a treatment program he or she is vulnerable and still in need of support. That is why one of the key success factors in sustaining recovery is the engagement with Per Support Groups. After treatment, no longer having daily individual and group therapy sessions, a peer support group becomes an anchor where individuals in early recovery can continue to develop the skills necessary for attaining healthier and productive lives.

A peer support group is in many ways a freeing experience, as recovering individuals realize they are not alone and hope and trust develop and grow among its participants.

A sound discharge planning includes the recommendation of attending Peer Support Groups,  and these types of interactions should not be overlooked as well-meaning relatives and friends who have not experienced addiction could provide the level of support found in Recovery Peer Groups.

Below are 3 types of Peer Support Groups for Recovering Individuals:

Mutual Self-Help Groups – Based on the assumption that all participants have something to offer in recovery, those in recovery work in groups to share their stories, provide their personal input, and support each other as they progress in recovery.

Peer Support Specialists – Four special benefits come from Peer Support Specialists:
a) the specialist (an expert in recovery) can offer one-on-one guidance regularly with the addict,
b) other staff members can interact with those in need by being present and keeping an open ear to the addicts’ needs,
c) providing visible role models to follow in their footsteps
d) providing anecdotes of real-life experiences and challenges.

Peer-Run Programs – An organization staffed by those who have experienced recovery first-hand. It especially promotes personal recovery by directly communicating with the recovering addict, and helping them create a positive platform for their future.