Lorain county has a growing list of Recovery Coaches who are peer support specialists with a passion for working to help residents navigate their path to recovery. Recovery coaches often work with treatment agencies, churches, community providers or work independently. Their services support treatment.
Recovery Coach FAQ
A Recovery Coach is a Peer Supporter that is in his/her own recovery from substance use. Peer Supporters, “are individuals with the lived experience of recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs, mental illness, or both for at least two continuous years. Peer Supporters draw from this experience and the skills learned in the training to provide support, encouragement, hope, and guidance to a person seeking or in early recovery to assist them in maintaining their recovery (Ohio Peer Supporter Training fact sheet).” Peer supporters have been trained by curriculum accepted and supported by Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services.
A recovery coach uses his/her experience in recovery to work with referrals. Peer supporters often provide services “beyond the office walls” to assist individuals to move beyond barriers to recovery. They may help an individual get linked with treatment or work with him/her to find a strategy for recovery that is a fit. Some recovery coaches and peer supporters work with agencies within their treatment settings and others work in other settings in the community.
Some of the benefits of a sponsor and a recovery coach are similar, but there are some key distinctions. Usually, the sponsor’s role is in the context of the Twelve-Step community. It is often a relationship somewhat isolated to the self-help program. A recovery coach can expect to be a part of a larger team assisting an individual. Also, a peer supporter works under the belief that there are many pathways to recovery. He/she will work with the referral to build the most fitting recovery support (which may or may not include 12 Step). Finally, a sponsor focuses on mentoring their sponsee through the 12 Steps. While a sponsor’s support may expand beyond this work, the recovery coach by definition works with the individual on other aspects and barriers in recovery. Some peer supporters are also sponsors within the 12 Step community. These peer supporters are careful to set boundaries and focus on the role they are working in at any given time.
Your referral may benefit from all three! There is no reason a person can’t be in treatment, attending AA/NA, and also have a recovery coach. As they all serve slightly different roles, they can work together as a team.
Anyone who needs some assistance building their recovery capital might benefit from a recovery coach. Possible examples include those who: admit to some level of a problem but are resistant to treatment and/or AA, those who have graduated treatment but you sense they are struggling, those attending recovery support groups but struggling to really engage in a recovery network, and those who refuse to engage in 12 Step.