Peers are individuals in recovery who can use their own experiences to help others working towards recovery. Peer supports are a critical component of the substance use disorder treatment system. Many people who work in the treatment system as counselors or case managers are in recovery, and peers are central to many recovery support efforts. Mansfield UMADAOP employs former Addicts to assist clients in the Recovery Process.
Peers also play a powerful role as a part of mutual-support groups. These groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs, provide peer support for ending or reducing substance use. They provide an international support network which is relied upon by many people in recovery from substance use disorders. Mutual-support groups are often intentionally incorporated into treatment plans and can provide a ready community for individuals who are trying to change their lifestyles to get away from alcohol and other drugs. While mutual-support groups do not work for everyone and are not a necessary part of recovery, they are a fundamental component of the substance use disorder treatment system, even if they are not considered formal treatment.