The Ultimate Weapon
One Addict Helping Another
What is Peer Recovery?
A Peer Recovery Support Specialist aids in the process of giving and receiving encouragement, while assisting in the overall goal of achieving long-term recovery and building community relationships.
“A Peer Recovery Support Specialist is someone who has personally been through the fire and came out refined,” said Jimmy McGill, Office of Arkansas Drug Director-Recovery Coordinator. “Their addiction or mental health disability – that didn’t define them. That was the trials and tribulations that they went through, and they came out of that fire a better version of themselves. Now they use that lived experience as a tool to help other men and women who are in those same flames, engulfed, to come out a better version of themselves. They give a person in recovery the hope that it takes to inspire a desire to live a lifestyle healthy and free from addiction.”
How can Peer Recovery help a person in early recovery find new social networks?
People, Places, and Things — “A person in early recovery is often faced with the need to abandon friends and/or social networks that promote and help sustain a substance use disorder, but has no alternatives to put in their place that support recovery.” [U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services]
A Peer Recovery Support Specialist demonstrates and coaches the person in recovery how to fill that unhealthy void of old relationships that often lead to self-destructive behavior. In turn, a Peer Recovery Support Specialist provides the person in recovery with guidance on building new community relationships, supportive friendships, new places, and healthy activities that promote long-term wellness and recovery. The Peer Recovery Support Specialist guides a person in recovery toward boosting their moral, promoting positive self-esteem and provides them with the tools to maintain employment.
“They’re no longer defined by their past. Their past has become a pathway for a productive future,” Jimmy McGill, Office of Arkansas Drug Director-Recovery Coordinator.
How does Peer Recovery help a community?
Reflections of change in people involved in a Peer Recovery program includes reduced recidivism lower crime rates in a community and provides the workforce with rehabilitated men and women who might be limited due to a criminal background.