Peer support can be a powerful tool in the journey toward substance use recovery. “Peer support has been described as facilitating individuals’ recovery from mental illness and offering useful support, hope and encouragement” (The power of identification: peer support in recovery from mental illness, Schon, 2008.) This type of support can be especially helpful for those in recovery, as it can provide a sense of community and belonging, as well as hope and motivation.
One form of peer support is mutual aid groups, which are self-help groups that provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals to share their experiences and support one another in their recovery journey. Examples of mutual aid groups include Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). These groups follow a specific set of principles and offer a structured program like Lantana that includes meetings, sponsors, and a set of steps to follow.
Peer support can also take the form of one-on-one relationships, where individuals in recovery offer support and guidance to their peers. This can be especially helpful for those who may not feel comfortable in a group setting or who prefer more individualized support. Additionally, evidence suggests that a peer-supported community program focused on self-determination can have a significant positive impact on recovery from substance addictions and homelessness.
When it comes to recovery for a recovering addict, interacting with a like-minded tribe or learning from diverse groups both have their benefits. One-on-one coaching offers personalized programs suitable for those with anxiety or personal reasons for avoiding group settings, while group coaching provides different perspectives, collective energy, and growth through interaction with others. Ideally, group coaching should last at least three months to facilitate significant progress.
The choice between the two coaching methods depends on individual preferences and comfort levels, with accountability being essential in both approaches. Mental and emotional well-being should be considered, and the decision should be based on individual needs to effectively support recovery.
The Benefits of Peer Support in Recovery
There are several benefits to participating in peer support with Lantana during substance use recovery. Some of these include:
- A sense of community: Peer support can provide a sense of belonging and connection to others who have experienced similar challenges. This can be especially important for individuals in recovery, who may feel isolated and disconnected from others.
- Motivation and accountability: Having the support of peers can be a powerful motivator and can help individuals stay on track in their recovery journey. It can also provide a sense of accountability, as individuals may be more likely to follow through with their recovery goals when they know they have others supporting them.
- Practical and emotional support: Peers can offer practical support, such as helping individuals find resources or connect with other support services. They can also provide emotional support, including listening, offering advice, and providing a safe space to share feelings and struggles.
- Role models: Seeing others who have successfully overcome similar challenges can provide hope and inspiration for individuals in recovery. Peers can serve as role models and offer guidance on how to navigate the recovery process.
- Identity transformation: During this period of mental health recovery, identity transformation from patient to peer can take place.
It’s important to note that peer support is not a replacement for professional treatment, but rather, it can be a valuable supplement to other forms of treatment. It’s always a good idea to speak with a healthcare professional or a licensed therapist from Lantana if you are seeking support for substance use recovery.