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The Recovery Agenda: The Shared Role of Peers and Professionals

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Abstract

The alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems arena is extending its organizing center from knowledge drawn from the study of addiction-related pathologies and clinical and social interventions to knowledge drawn from the lived experience of long-term addiction recovery. A distinctive element within this shift is the increased use of non-clinical, peer recovery support services as an adjunct or alternative to specialized, professionally directed addiction treatment. This paper reviews the context of this shift, notes the evolution from competing to integrated service models, and outlines a decade of experience integrating peer recovery support services within the City of Philadelphia’s behavioral healthcare system. Integrated models of peer-professional addiction recovery support have the potential of capitalizing on the respective strengths of clinical and environmental interventions into severe AOD problems.

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Correspondence to William L. White MA.

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Key Words

  • Addiction
  • recovery management
  • recovery-oriented systems of care
  • recovery support services
  • recovery community institutions