Peer Support | Recovery Support Services

Peer recovery support services are designed and delivered by people who, themselves, have experienced both substance abuse disorder and recovery. They know what it’s like to be an addict, to struggle with the daily pressures and stress, to overcome the guilt, sadness, confusion, to try to find a job, rebuild careers, relationships, and self-esteem.

The purpose of peer recovery support services is to provide hope to those in recovery and to help them stay in recovery, thus reducing the likelihood of relapse. With their powerful message of hope, combined with the experience of others 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 need them the most.

Types of Social Support and Recovery Support Services

Backed by considerable research that recovery is enhanced with social support, different types of social support have been identified. Some of them include: emotional, informational, and affiliational support. Community support projects have found these types of support useful in organizing community-based recovery support services.

Individuals in recovery don’t have a single need. They have many needs. They may need assistance in finding a job, thus requiring a job referral service (informational support). But their confidence level may be at all-time lows, so they also need emotional support, perhaps in some type of coaching on interviewing skills, how to dress appropriately, follow-up tips. They may also need help locating child-care in order to find that job or clothes for when they get the job or help with transportation to make it back and forth to work. Each and every situation has very unique needs that are new and stressful for those beginning their journey in recovery.

Benefits of Recovery Support Services

The benefits of recovery support services are both tangible and intangible. They vary from individual to individual. Some people in early recovery attest to the fact that these services helped them remain in recovery, whereas a simple reliance on 12-step meetings or sessions with a counselor did not. To that end, recovery support services fulfill their mission: to help people strengthen and remain in recovery.

Some Other Benefits:

  • Safe place to socialize – Participants in Recovery Support Services know they have a safe place to socialize with others who are also in recovery. This gives them a sense of belonging, of community, and a pressure-free opportunity to interact with others.
  • Sharing personal stories and problem solving – Group support activities often have an educational component as well. During such group interaction, peers have the opportunity to share personal stories as well as solve problems.
  • Learn new skills – Members can be referred to outside experts to demonstrate and teach new skill sets. The range of skills may include credit counseling, how to budget and manage finances, job skills training, how to prevent relapse, and effective conflict resolution.
  • Place to practice new social skills – Recovery support groups offer participants a nonthreatening environment in which to practice some of the new social skills they have learned.
  • Providing service to others – It’s common for participants in recovery groups to want to give back to the community, to help others as they have been helped. After all, the peer group leader is someone who has also been in recovery – and chose to help others. This example inspires many group participants to do likewise. Most often they work as volunteers in providing recovery support services.
  • Services available at different stages of recovery – The adaptability of recovery support services is that they are available at different stages of the recovery process. Such services may precede a person’s entering into treatment, and may facilitate or motivate the individual’s desire to change. Recovery Support Services may accompany treatment, thus providing a connection to the community during treatment. Services may follow treatment, offering better relapse prevention. Many people who do not enter treatment because they cannot afford it or do not wish to can benefit themselves with Recovery Support Services.
  • Leadership development – During participation in recovery support groups, members are also building upon their leadership ability. This gives them a foundation to be able to help others by either directing the service program or by providing support to their peers.
  • Promotion of shared values – Self-direction, empowerment, choice, giving back to others, keeping recovery first, being a leader, participating, being authentic, and including all cultures are shared values that are promoted during peer recovery support services.
  • Always available – Recovery Support Services are one means of providing an invaluable, continuously available support following treatment. This safety net for individuals who have completed treatment helps them in their goal to remain in recovery and begin the necessary steps to achieve their dreams.
3600 San Jeronimo Dr., Anchorage, AK 99508
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