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Can Peer Recovery Coaches Keep Patients Engaged in Addiction Recovery?

Reer recovery coach interacting with people in group therapy

The role of peer support and coaches in recovery cannot be underestimated. Peer recovery coaches are crucial in keeping individuals engaged in addiction recovery, especially in group therapy programs. Group therapy is an essential component of many addiction treatment programs. Contact BRC Recovery today at to learn more about our peer recovery coaches and our group therapy program in Texas for addiction treatment.

About Project RECOVER at the Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center (BMC) recently launched a program to improve engagement among patients in recovery from opioid use disorder. Project referral, engagement, case management, and overdose prevention education in recovery (RECOVER) will connect people in outpatient treatment for at least six months with trained peer recovery coaches. There isn’t a lot of existing research on this subject, so the program will serve as a study of the long-term benefits of peer recovery coaches and how they may or may not help patients achieve sustained recovery.

Peer recovery coaches at the BMC have completed training through the Massachusetts Recovery Coach Academy or a similarly rigorous program and are also trained in motivational interviewing and naloxone administration. “Peer recovery coaches are increasingly common across the country, but we’re still seeing disparities in treatment, especially among black and Hispanic patient populations,” Ricardo Cruz, MD, principal investigator of Project RECOVER and a researcher with the Grayken Center for Addiction at BMC, said. “This study will serve residents in our local communities who are disproportionately impacted by the opioid epidemic.”

Project RECOVER will connect individuals with primary care providers specializing in treating and preventing chronic diseases like HIV and hepatitis B, and C. Individuals will also receive referrals to behavioral health specialists who can offer clinical services that help patients confront the underlying issues that contribute to substance use disorder. The project will also provide support for patients’ families and other support system members. Project RECOVER is slated to serve 180 individuals and distribute 360 naloxone kits—the overdose-reversing drug—to individuals and members of their support systems. BMC says individuals and their support systems will receive training and education on overdose and naloxone administration.

The Role of Peer Recovery Coaches in Addiction Treatment

About 90% of patients with a substance use disorder relapse or overdose within a year after discharge from inpatient detoxification, and the risk of relapse is significantly higher for patients who do not immediately transition to long-term treatment or outpatient programs. Additionally, many individuals lack access to long-term care upon completing detox.

We know that the longer a person engages in addiction treatment services, the stronger their chance of maintaining lasting recovery. Recovery coaches will be responsible for keeping their clients involved in recovery by developing individualized wellness recovery plans and coordinating the following:

  • Housing
  • Job training
  • Food security
  • Child care

People who are just beginning their recovery journey benefit from receiving help from other people who have also experienced recovery personally. Peer recovery coaches can connect with their clients on a deeper, more personal level because they have a vast understanding of addiction. They’re also a valuable resource who can help the client navigate the health care system and connect with recovery resources.

The role of peer support and peer coaches in recovery is critical because it provides a sense of belonging, hope, and motivation. Peer support can also help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety that often occur during recovery. In a group therapy setting, recovery coaches are trained to provide empathy, understanding, and respect without judgment or stigma.

Work with a Peer Recovery Coach for Addiction Treatment in Texas at BRC Recovery

At BRC Recovery, we know that peer recovery coaching boosts engagement, and we have an extensive alumni network to support it. Our clients work with a certified peer recovery support specialist who helps them navigate through their first year of sobriety and is a vital resource for family members. For more information about how our coaching services can help you or someone you love, contact our team at .