Summary and Analysis

Peer support in recovery is a proven successful action and its use is growing. The article from The Hechinger Report, An evolving role for colleges: Training people recovering from substance abuse disorders, shows how colleges are now providing training to individuals to become peer support specialists. In particular, persons with lived experience are given a chance to help others on the recovery journey. The Hechinger Report is a national nonprofit newsroom that reports on education.

Peer support for people grappling with mental health and substance use challenges is not new, but recent developments have “radically changed the addiction field,” according to the national Peer Recovery Center of Excellence, established last year with federal funding.

“We’re seeing a growing understanding of the peer-based recovery profession,” said Keegan Wicks, national advocacy and outreach manager for Faces and Voices of Recovery, an advocacy organization. Other boosts to the field include Medicaid expansion, which allows employers to be reimbursed for recovery peer advocates’ services, and federal, state and local grants for training programs.


Excerpted from The Hechinger Report

LaShondra Jones went through years of mental illness and alcohol addiction, and in her late 40s she was living in a women’s shelter in Brooklyn. Finally stable and sober, she needed work — any type of work — for which her history wouldn’t count against her. Jones Googled “free training in NYC” and learned that several area community colleges offered training for people to become certified recovery peer advocates for those coping with alcohol or drug addiction. Her experience, in this case, would be a big plus.