What Is a Peer Recovery Support Specialist?

Peer Recovery Support Specialists help sober people adjust to a new lifestyle.

Peer support is an essential part of recovery that adds to the quality of addiction treatment programs as well as life after treatment. If you’re in recovery, a Peer Recovery Support Specialist is just one type of professional you may work with during treatment.

Below, we’ll explain more about what a Peer Recovery Support Specialist is, what they do, and how they are qualified to lead you through your sobriety journey.

What Is a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist?

A Peer Recovery Support Specialist is an individual who is in recovery from a substance use disorder or co-occurring mental health disorder. They draw from specialized training and personal experience to provide recovery support to others in recovery.1 Sometimes, a Peer Recovery Support Specialist may also be called a Peer Recovery Coach.

Peer Recovery Support Specialists may work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Recovery centers
  • Sober living homes
  • Drug courts
  • Emergency room departments
  • Child welfare agencies
  • Homeless shelters
  • Behavioral health and primary care settings

What Does a Peer Recovery Coach Do?

Peer Recovery Coaches or Peer Recovery Support Specialists walk alongside sober individuals as they adjust to a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle. Recovery coaches work directly with clients to establish a relationship that is built on trust and mutual respect.

To help individuals achieve long-term sobriety, Peer Recovery Support Specialists provide many different types of non-clinical support, which fosters hope, healing, and overall wellness.

Emotional support – Peer Recovery Support Specialists provide emotional support by offering sincere empathy and concern. Their life experiences with addiction help them connect with individuals who are newly sober and provide validation and understanding.

Concrete support – Peer Recovery Support Specialists can also help people in recovery locate sober housing, employment, volunteer opportunities, and local recovery support groups. These resources help newly sober individuals establish a stable life after addiction treatment.

Informational support – Peer Recovery Support Specialists can provide referrals to community resources that support health and wellness as well as other pertinent information that newly sober individuals might need.

Outreach support– Peer Recovery Support Specialists have many valuable connections to community support groups, recovery events, and related activities that can enhance a person’s recovery experience.

Peer recovery coaches also work one-on-one with clients and their families to develop a recovery plan for each individual. These plans are tailored to each person, taking their ongoing treatment needs, financial circumstances, and lifestyle into consideration.

Overall, peer recovery support services encompass a whole-person approach to recovery. They provide valuable tools and resources that help people thrive in recovery.

What Qualifications Does a Peer Recovery Support Specialist Have?

Peer Recovery Support Specialists have very specific qualifications, training, and life experiences that equip them to work with people in recovery. As such, they are uniquely qualified to support newly sober individuals and guide them through that life transition.

The National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) provides a certification program for people who want to become certified Peer Recovery Specialists. To become nationally certified by the NAADAC, applicants must:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or higher
  • Have a minimum of two years in recovery
  • Have a minimum of 200 hours of direct practice in a peer recovery support environment (paid or volunteer)
  • Have earned 60 contact and training hours of peer recovery-focused education and training
  • Have two references
  • Receive a passing score on the National Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist (NCPRSS) exam

What Are the Benefits of Working With a Peer Recovery Specialist?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, peer recovery coaching is a highly effective service. Not only do individual testimonies support that fact, but so does the research.2

A continually growing body of research shows evidence that people receiving peer recovery support are likely to experience:

  • Reduced drug and alcohol use
  • Reduced criminal justice involvement
  • Decreased emergency service utilization
  • Reduced re-hospitalization rates
  • Increased housing stability
  • Increased treatment retention
  • Improved relationships with treatment providers
  • Improved access to peer support

It’s not surprising that peer support services come with such great benefits. Working with a Peer Recovery Specialist combines the real life experience of a sober mentor with specialized training and one-on-one supervision. This enhances the quality of life for people in long-term recovery.

Work With a Peer Recovery Specialist at Eudaimonia Homes

At Eudaimonia Homes, we see great value in peer recovery support services, so we partnered with Austin-based provider, MAP (Measure Act Prevent) to offer peer support programming to our clients.

Our certified Peer Recovery Specialist Support (PRSS) Program helps clients maintain their sobriety by offering:

  • A personalized recovery plan
  • Weekly support sessions with a certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist
  • 24/7 access to live recovery support services
  • Bi-weekly family support sessions

By offering our PRSS program to eligible clients, we help newly sober individuals sustain their sobriety by extending their time in treatment. These peer support services also help prevent relapse and ease the transition between different levels of care, such as moving from a residential rehab program to an intensive outpatient program.

Eudaimonia clients are eligible for our PRSS program when they:

Many of our clients also use our MAP PRSS program to enhance their IOP attendance or sober living program participation.

Get Peer Recovery Support Today

If you or a loved one recently got sober, now is a great time to enroll in our certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist Program. Our admissions team is available to answer any questions you have or to verify your insurance coverage for our MAP PRSS program. Please call (512) 363-5914 to get started today.


  1. https://www.naadac.org/ncprss
  2. https://www.samhsa.gov/sites/default/files/programs_campaigns/brss_tacs/value-of-peers-2017.pdf

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  • Recovery-Focused Lifestyle
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