Lantana Recovery
A modern, community-based approach to addiction treatment for Men and Women in Charleston, SC

What Does a Peer-Based Approach to Treatment Mean?

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While there are many reasons that recovery communities like 12-Step programs have been so successful over the last 88 years or so, one of the primary ones is that it is people who have been through “it” helping people who are going through “it.” The “it” represents the overarching journey from active addiction to intervention/treatment to long-term recovery. This is also the reason that a peer-based approach to treatment can be so successful. It is the continuous cycle of the recovery.

What Does “Connection” in Recovery Mean?

“Connection” in recovery is crucial. Now, this type of connection is much more than simply “coming together.” In recovery, connection has to do with a deep bond that only people who have been through active addiction can relate to, and the differences that people may have outside of that experience do not matter. This is explained in the primary text of 12-Step recovery known as the “Big Book.”

The “Big Book” states, “We are like the passengers of a great liner the moment after rescue from shipwreck when camaraderie, joyousness, and democracy pervade the vessel from steerage to Captain’s table. Unlike the feelings of the ship’s passengers, however, our joy in escape from disaster does not subside as we go our separate ways. The feeling of having shared in a common peril is one element in the powerful cement which binds us.” This type of connection or bond is also one of the cornerstones of the peer-based approach to treatment.

What Does a Peer-Based Approach to Treatment Mean?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers a concise definition of what a peer-based approach is. SAMHSA explains, “Peer support workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process and help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse.”

A peer-based approach also helps to bridge the gap between the treatment center and the outside recovery world. For example, peer support workers can introduce people to other members of a recovery community. They can also either act as “sponsors” (similar to a mentor) or play the role of “temporary” sponsors to individuals who are new to that type of recovery. A peer-based approach is also one of the best ways to keep someone accountable for their recovery. This is an essential benefit, and it is not the only one.

A Peer-Based Approach: What Are the Benefits?

Besides keeping one accountable to their recovery plan, a peer-based approach to recovery also has a myriad of other benefits. Some of these benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a go-between when it comes to connecting to family members and other loved ones in recovery
  • Making sure that someone does not get themselves in a situation where they are surrounded by alcohol or substances
  • Getting help in determining if one is engaging in a toxic relationship
  • Connecting people to resources in recovery, such as specific literature or recovery groups
  • Making sure that an individual is taking their medication if they have a dual diagnosis or are utilizing a form of harm reduction
  • Helping keep a solid schedule that keeps recovery at the forefront
  • Offering support when someone feels tempted to drink or use
  • Making sure that an individual has a strong sober network in case they are not available at certain times

Another major benefit of a peer-based approach to recovery is that it can help individuals rebuild trust in their recovery. This includes learning to trust other people, which is often lost when someone experiences the trauma of active addiction. It also includes helping one rebuild trust with those loved ones that they may have wronged while they were still actively using and/or drinking. When one can learn to trust in others and show others that they can be trusted, it shows that they have come a long way in their recovery. A peer-based approach can help them get there.

Staying Connected With Lantana Recovery

Here at Lantana Recovery, we don’t believe in sudden short-term “fixes.” We believe in successful long-term recovery, and we know that a peer-based approach is one of the best ways to achieve this. How do we know? Many of us have been through it ourselves and come out successful on the other side. This is a We program, never a Me program.

The iconic American poet Walt Whitman once wrote, “The gift is to the giver, and comes back most to him – it cannot fail.” This is one of the magical paradoxes of recovery, “We must give it away to keep it,” and here at Lantana Recovery, we are grateful to be a part of that exchange.

Having recovery peers who make themselves available when times get tough can be vital for long-term recovery success. These recovery peers include recovery coaches, sponsors, sponsees, and sober living companions. One of the reasons that these relationships can be so crucial is that they offer a level of shared experience and shared support that helps individuals avoid a relapse. If you feel like you or someone you love is struggling with issues of mental health, addiction, or co-occurring disorders, we can help you achieve long-term recovery. For more information about the benefits of recovery peers like sponsors and recovery professionals like therapists, please reach out to Lantana Recovery today at (866) 997-2870.

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Charleston South Carolina

Charleston South Carolina

Located on the historic peninsula of Charleston, South Carolina, Lantana Recovery takes a modern approach to Substance Use Disorder treatment, offering intensive clinical care while also immersing our clients in local Charleston culture.