Should I Work With a Peer Recovery Coach?

Certified peer recovery specialists provide one-on-one guidance and support.

One of the primary ways people can sustain their recovery after treatment is with the help of peer support. Peer recovery services are a type of non-clinical assistance to support recovery from substance use disorders. Just like many people use business coaches or life coaches to guide them through various aspects of their lives, many people in recovery also rely on the services of peer recovery coaches to help them stay sober.

If you or a loved one is searching for recovery support services, a certified Peer Recovery Support Program (PRSS) might be just what you need to help you keep moving forward or get back on track after a relapse. First, let’s take a closer look at what recovery coaches are and how they provide support for sober individuals.

Related post: What Is a Peer Recovery Support Specialist?

What is a peer recovery coach?

Peer recovery coaches are people in recovery who provide one-on-one guidance and support to other individuals who are also recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “A peer recovery coach brings the lived experience of recovery, combined with training and supervision, to assist others in initiating and maintaining recovery, helping to enhance the quality of personal and family life in long-term recovery.”1

Peer recovery support specialists (also called recovery coaches) help you create recovery plans and develop a strategy for long-term sobriety, based on your recovery goals, strengths, and needs. Depending on your specific needs and circumstances, the support a recovery coach provides may be emotional, concrete, or informational. In short, a peer recovery support coach supplies you with the necessary tools, resources, and one-on-one support to help ensure that you maintain long-lasting recovery.

How is a peer recovery coach different from a therapist?

If you’re in recovery, you may already meet with a therapist regularly. However, peer recovery coaches and therapists are very different. The following are just a few of the main ways they differ:

  • Focus: Therapists typically help people process and cope with the past. They also help people manage mental health issues, while a peer recovery coach focuses on the present, future, and sobriety.
  • Qualifications/licensure: Therapists have a master’s level education (at minimum), have previous therapy experience, and are licensed by the state, in addition to meeting other specific qualifications. Peer recovery coaches do not legally need a license or certification to provide peer services. Additionally, no higher level of education is required for peer coaches. However, many recovery coaches do get certified to provide care and support to others in recovery.
  • Support structure and setting: Therapists schedule meetings with their clients and each appointment lasts a set amount of time. These appointments may occur once a week or more or less often, but therapists do not communicate with clients in between those appointments. On the other hand, the client relationship with sober coaches is much more casual and recovery support specialists communicate with clients regularly via text or phone in between meetings. Therapists also work out of a private practice and clinical setting, whereas peer recovery coaches meet with clients in their home, at coffee shops, at recovery meetings, or at other locations that are agreed upon.
  • Confidentiality: Therapists are legally bound by confidentiality laws and ethical guidelines. However, recovery coaches may have their own individual confidentiality rules, but they are not bound or governed by any third-party entity.

Should I work with a peer recovery coach?

If you are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, you may want to work with a peer recovery coach. Even people who are enrolled in sober living programs sometimes choose to work with a peer recovery support specialist so they can receive more individualized support after rehab.

A peer recovery coach may be a good fit for you if:

  • You’ve been attending therapy but you also want more continuous support daily.
  • Often, you feel stuck or unmotivated in your sobriety.
  • You feel like you need help to make progress in recovery after rehab.
  • You need hands-on behavioral support to break harmful habits and build new ones.
  • Personal accountability in recovery is something you don’t really have currently.
  • You’ve recently relapsed and you need additional support to get back on track and stay sober.
  • Recently, you transitioned out of residential rehab.
  • Chronic relapse is an issue for you.

Most people in recovery can benefit from the support of a certified peer recovery specialist and it’s never a bad time to seek out additional help if you need it.

Related post: Why Does Personalized Care In Addiction Recovery Matter?

Peer sober support at Eudaimonia Recovery Homes

At Eudaimonia Recovery Homes, we operate several sober living homes in Austin, Houston, and Colorado Springs for men, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals in recovery. In addition to offering sober living Austin and elsewhere, we also provide a certified Peer Recovery Support Program for clients who are stepping down into the next phase of their treatment program. For example, clients who are transitioning out of residential rehab or detox may choose to enroll in our PRSS program to receive personalized peer support as they adjust to a new sober lifestyle.

Clients enrolled in our PRSS program receive the following recovery support services through a certified peer specialist:

  • An initial profile for treatment
  • Weekly support sessions (bi-weekly after 90 days)
  • 24/7 access to live recovery support services
  • Family support services

The staff at Eudaimonia understand that recovery is an ongoing process and you’ll need help along the way. If you’ve already completed detox or rehab, you may need to consider seeking help from a sober living program, IOP, or certified peer recovery support specialist. To learn more about these services, please contact us online or call (512) 580-3131 to speak with an admissions representative.


  1. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/brss_tacs/peers-supporting-recovery-substance-use-disorders-2017.pdf 

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