Participating in a recovery program that utilizes a peer-based approach can help you reach and maintain your sobriety. They connect you with others who understand your situation and can empathize with your experiences. Your peers provide a type of support you can’t find anywhere else. This is one of the reasons we at Spero Recovery implement a peer-based approach to our recovery programs.
What Is a Peer-Based Approach?
A peer-based approach uses peer support workers or “alumni” who have successfully completed the program to help others through it. Peer support workers help keep you motivated and engage in your recovery journey through mutual respect, empathy, and understanding. Alumni services can go beyond treatment into your everyday life to ensure you maintain sobriety and reach your goal of long-term sobriety.
Some services they provide include:
- Being an advocate for you.
- Mentoring you through your recovery journey.
- Helping to build up the recovery community and relationships between participants.
- Leading treatment sessions.
- Sharing life skills and coping techniques they learned that may help you.
Peer support workers have certain characteristics they should have to be effective. These core competencies are:
- Recovery-oriented- empower the people you are helping to continue working on their recovery path.
- People-oriented- willing to do all you can to help meet the needs of the person still in the recovery treatment program.
- Voluntary- you are a helper and advocate of the person you are helping, but you don’t determine their recovery path.
- Relationship-oriented- maintain a healthy and appropriate relationship with the person you are helping.
- Trauma-informed– provide a safe place for them to come to and rebuild their self-confidence and sense of control.
Benefits of Using Peers in Recovery
The benefits of using peers in the recovery process are boundless. Some of the ways using alumni or peer support workers can help your recovery include:
- Providing unbiased and empathetic support during a vulnerable time for you.
- Being an understanding party for you to confide in.
- Giving you the motivation to continue your recovery journey.
- Showing you that it is possible to be successful in the program and thrive in your sober life.
- Helping you build relationships and connect with your recovery community.
- Sharing resources, skills, and techniques to help you reach long-term sobriety.
- Allowing you to learn from their experiences and failures so you don’t have to repeat them.
- Asking questions to someone that has completed the program and shares similar experiences with you.
- Getting a better perspective on what your sober life could look like.
- Holding you accountable for your actions and sobriety maintenance.
Why Should You Participate in a Peer-Based Approach?
Other than all of the benefits listed above, participating in a peer-based approach gives you the upper hand in your recovery. It increases your support network, giving you more people to lean on and reach out to when you need help. This isn’t just during treatment but carries when you enter sober living or back into society. The bonds you create in a peer-based recovery program follow you and help keep you on your recovery journey.
Alumni that help you through your recovery can become a big part of your life. They can help keep you motivated and accountable once you leave treatment. You can also connect to resources outside of treatment through them, like meetings and recovery community groups.
This network of peers and support can mean the difference between success and failure during your recovery journey. It has been shown that participation in peer-based approach recovery programs can significantly decrease the likelihood of relapse. You will gain a better chance at maintaining your upward trajectory of progress and reaching long-term sobriety.
Spero Recovery’s Use of a Peer-Based Approach
We offer affordable and effective residential recovery treatment. Our costs are kept below the national average through grants and donations. This makes us the perfect match for under and uninsured individuals seeking help. The recovery programs are separate for men and women and utilize a peer-based approach.
Alumni of our programs are brought in to help lead treatment sessions. This allows them to connect with others on their recovery journey, share their experiences, and give back to their community. Our alumni will help you through different sessions, including experiential treatment times.
This time is dedicated to trying new activities to help in the recovery process. Activities can include participating in sand volleyball, cooking classes, woodworking, nature hikes, and rock climbing. This treatment aims to help you find new hobbies, connect with yourself and your community, and learn new skills you can use in your new sober life.
Once you have completed the program and acclimated to your new sober life, you can come back to help others. You can feel the sense of purpose and rewarding feeling that comes with giving back to your recovery program. It also helps build self-confidence, skills portfolio, and connection to the community.
Peer support is essential to your recovery. It provides motivation and accountability while showing you that there are others struggling with substance use disorder just like you. You are surrounded by people that are empathetic and understanding, which can make it more comfortable for you to open up and confide in someone. The support you find in and after peer-based recovery can greatly improve your probability of reaching long-term sobriety. If you feel like you are struggling to find the right peer-based approach program for your recovery journey, reach out to Spero Recovery at (303) 351-7888 for more information today. We understand your unique challenges and are here to help.