Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor



Social Work


New roles in service grow from an unmet need. In the current world of addiction treatment and addiction recovery, a new role is emerging to bridge the gap between professional treatment and sustainable recovery within a client’s natural environment. This role has been identified as many different titles: recovery coach, recovery mentor, peer recovery, and specialist. Peer-to-peer recovery support services are designed and delivered by peers in recovery. A review of the literature has found that recent growth in peer-based recovery support services as an addition and alternative to addiction treatment has created some uncertainty about the separation of responsibilities across three roles: 1) sponsors in 12-step programs, 2) addiction counselors, and 3) volunteer or paid peer based recovery support roles. By studying the barriers of a persons’ success to maintain a program of recovery from addiction, we can identify new ways to give support to an ever growing population. Sponsors in 12-step programs, addiction counselors, recovery coaches, and person’s in recovery were invited to fill out an online survey of 32 open-ended and closed-ended questions regarding the differences across these three roles and to identify barriers that may enhance a person’s recovery from addiction. Results show there is a need for increased support for someone to be able to maintain a program of recovery. Implications from this study indicate a need to develop a more formal role for the recovery coach as well as informing people of what a recovery coach can do for them in supporting their recovery.

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Social Work Commons