Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

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

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper




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.


recovery coaching, addiction, twelve step programs

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.