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Training, Education & Support Resources
Professional development is critical for peer recovery support staff. It enhances their knowledge, skills, and abilities, allowing them to better serve individuals struggling with SUD, co-occurring mental health challenges, or any aspect of recovery capital. Investing time into your continuing education is an investment in yourself and in the work you do.
Here are some reasons why professional development is essential:
Staying up-to-date with best practices
Developing new skills
Building a professional network
Enhancing job satisfaction
As you engage in training, please send your training certificate(s) to HR to have on file. This information helps us know who has additional training and may be able to help inform areas of YPR that are growing or being updated.
Below you will find organizations that provide training opportunities to network with other organizations and gain essential skills in the recovery space.
Faces & Voices of Recovery is dedicated to organizing and mobilizing the over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, our families, friends and allies into recovery community organizations and networks, to promote the right and resources to recover through advocacy, education and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery. We envision a world where the diverse voices of individuals and families affected by addiction are embraced and connected in communities, free from discrimination and injustice.
SAMSHA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. Congress established the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 1992 to make substance use and mental disorder information, services, and research more accessible.
SAMHSA’s working definition of recovery defines recovery as a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential. Today, when individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders seek help, they are met with the knowledge and belief that anyone can recover and/or manage their conditions successfully. The value of recovery and recovery-oriented systems of care is widely accepted by states, communities, healthcare providers, peers, families, researchers, and advocates including the
In 2020, Congress designated the new 988 dialing code to be operated through the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. SAMHSA sees 988 as a first step towards a transformed crisis care system in America.
The resources and information on their page are designed to help states, territories, tribes, mental health and substance use disorder professionals, and others looking for information on understanding the background, history, funding opportunities, and implementation resources for strengthening suicide prevention and mental health crisis services. SAMSHA developed the 988 Partner Toolkit with resources for partners to use and share information about the 988 Lifeline and is intended to facilitate partner efforts for collaborative and aligned 988 communication planning.
SAMHSA’s new report:
Provides an updated evidence-based roadmap for supporting and affirming LGBTQI+ youth.
Comprehensively reviews the key scientific studies, guidelines from major medical and other professional associations, and implications for clinical care.
Offers guidance and highlights resources for health care providers, educators, families, community leaders, and others — to reduce behavioral health inequities facing LGBTQI+ youth and their families.
Explores policy levers and future research areas that can improve the behavioral health of LGBTQI+ youth.
Confirms new research supports gender-affirming care for youth and opposes “conversion therapy” as harmful, ineffective, inappropriate, and something that should never be provided to youth.
Peer Recovery Center of Excellence (PR COE)
The Peer Recovery Center of Excellence exists to enhance the peer recovery support services field. Led by those with lived experience, peer voice is at the core of our work and guides our mission. Peers – people in recovery from substance use challenges – serve a valuable role in helping persons with substance use challenges achieve and maintain long-term recovery. We are here to offer help from those who have done this work to those wanting to enhance or begin peer support services in their communities!
CA Bridge, launched in 2018, has led the nation in expanding medication for addiction treatment in Emergency Departments throughout California. The model has proven to work effectively in any hospital setting and has been launched in 85% of the state’s Emergency Departments.
By lowering barriers to medication for addiction treatment, unnecessary tests are eliminated and patients are provided with immediate relief from withdrawal symptoms. Once patients are stabilized, they engage with a navigator—often a peer with lived experience—to discuss harm reduction and ongoing treatment. Bridge navigators triple the likelihood that a patient will be in treatment 30 days after they leave the Emergency Department.
NHRTAC provides free help to anyone in the country providing (or planning to provide) harm reduction services to their community. The goal of NHRTAC is to improve the capacity and performance of harm reduction programs throughout the United States by ensuring access to high-quality, comprehensive technical assistance. This TA Center will connect harm reduction programs to resources and experts that can help programs better serve their communities.
The Opioid Response Network (ORN) was created to provide training and address the opioid crisis by connecting local consultants in all 50 states and nine territories to respond to local needs by providing free educational resources and training to states, communities, and individuals in the prevention, treatment, and recovery of opioid use disorders and stimulant use.
A team of volunteer Shatterproof Ambassadors collaborated on the creation of this guide, which is designed to offer helpful suggestions to parents, caregivers, and educators looking for resources that strengthen youth resiliency and potentially prevent or delay experimentation with substances. The Ambassadors conducted interviews with teachers, administrators, and parents, and evaluated countless evidence-based and evidence-informed programs. Their efforts culminate in this toolkit that, while not exhaustive, consists of many vetted and reputable options.
YPR supports a Many Pathways approach to recovery support which is why it is important for our leaders to be educated about the distinct pathways participants may be considering or choosing to help best support their unique needs and worldview. Below you will find a list of pathway-specific support for people in or seeking recovery and their allies. Keep in mind that this is only a short list of resources and many individuals often try one or more pathways before finding what works best for them. Being flexible and adaptive in recovery is key and, for some, this may mean changing or adding on new pathways to better support one’s evolution in life and in recovery.
Types of Treatment Programs
Keep in mind that not all who seek and find recovery will utilize a treatment program at any point of their journey. For many, there are barriers to accessing treatment including physical accessibility, insurance, language barriers, cost, etc. For those who do engage in formal treatment, it is important that they have a plan to sustain their recovery once they are no longer active in a structured program.
1. Outpatient – Low to Medium Intensity
Clients typically attend an average of nine hours of treatment a week at a specialized facility while continuing to live in the community. Many programs make services available in the evenings and on weekends so individuals can remain in school or continue to work.
2. Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) – Medium to High Intensity
Clients attend about 10-20 hours of treatment a week at a specialized facility while continuing to live in the community. Many programs make services available in the evenings and on weekends so individuals can continue to work or stay in school. This is often the preferable option for individuals with accompanying medical or mental health issues who need multiple services, or have not found outpatient treatment to be sufficient.
3. Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) – Medium to High Intensity
PHP, sometimes known as “day treatment” usually involves 4-8 hours of treatment a day (around 20 each week) that allows clients to continue to live in the community. Many caregivers opt for this type of treatment when their child needs an intensive and structured experience that cannot be achieved at a lower level of care. Day treatment can be appropriate for individuals with co-occurring mental illness as well.
4. Residential ( sometimes known as “rehab”) – Medium to High Intensity
These programs provide treatment in a residential setting and typically last anywhere from one month to a year. Most often, clients will move through different stages as they progress through the program. Sometimes programs restrict contact with outside family or friend contact at particular stages in the program. It is important to ask questions about the program’s policies and procedures, and inquire about additional services like education or vocational training that are integrated into the programming.
5. Inpatient – High Intensity
Treatment provided on specialized floors of hospitals or in medical clinics offering both detox and rehabilitation services. These facilities are typically used for people with serious medical conditions or co-occurring mental health conditions. Individuals often “step down” to residential or PHP once they are stabilized at this level of care.
6. Medications for Addiction Treatment (MAT)
For individuals with a physical dependency on certain substances, including alcohol, nicotine and opioids, medications like buprenorphine, methadone, or naltrexone may be helpful in combination with counseling and other treatment services.
Types of Treatment Services
Within different treatment programs, as well as community-based services, there are different approaches being taken to help support individuals. Often, these services are most effective when used in some combination in order to provide tailored support to the needs of the recipient.
1. Individual counseling – One-on-one conversations with a trained professional to explore personal challenges that are unique to the individual
2. Group counseling – Consisting of anywhere from 5 to 10 people on average, with one or two counselors facilitating a discussion around shared challenges, experiences and solutions.
3. Educational services – Grade-appropriate or GED classes for those who may have had their education disrupted due to substance use or other factors
4. Vocational services – Services aimed to help determine an individual’s vocational aptitudes and interests, along with job skills development, resume assistance and other work readiness skills.
5. Life skills – Designed for groups or delivered 1:1 to help individuals with practical tools to effectively manage daily life tasks and personal development through increased self-esteem and independent functioning
6. Mental health treatment – Often, individuals are diagnosed with co-occurring mental health issues with their substance use disorder. This treat addresses both, ideally in an integrated fashion. It is unlikely that treating the substance use alone will resolve underlying mental health issues, and treating a mental health issue alone will likely not resolve the substance use or dependence.
7. Family services – In many cases, family involvement is an important element in treating those with SUD, particularly with teens and young adults. It can be helpful to have family members understand addiction as a disease, allowing them to have realistic expectations for treatment which can help improve communication and overall family functioning.
8. Continuing care – Sometimes labeled ‘after care’ or ‘follow-up care.’ These often include treatment prescribed after completion of a structured program in any type of setting (in-patient or otherwise) which can look like regular outpatient therapy, attendance at meetings or working with a 1:1 Recovery Coach. This is an important part of an individual’s support plan to ensure that the tools learned in treatment can be applied successfully in their community.
For some, these support services will be the first step in seeking recovery. For others, these pathways may be woven into a continuum of care that integrates these supports after leaving a more structured form of treatment. Still others may find that a combination of treatment and community-based services suit them best in order to live a healthy, safe, and self-directed life. Note that this is not an exhaustive list- there are many other unique and useful pathways to recovery and YPR encourages everyone to find what works best for them.
1. Narcotics Anonymous
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. They suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. The program is a set of principles written so simply that they can be followed in daily life.
2. Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who come together to solve their drinking problem. It doesn’t cost anything to attend AA meetings. There are no age or education requirements to participate. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem. AA’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics to achieve sobriety.
3. Smart Recovery
Get support for any addictive behavior including drugs, alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, food, etc. SMART Recovery meetings are free and run weekly. Each SMART Recovery meeting is guided by a trained facilitator.
4. Refuge Recovery
Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, non-theistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery.
5. Recovery 2.0
If you are ready to move beyond the traditional “disease model” of addiction and embrace a holistic approach to recovery that incorporates physical, mental, and spiritual practices, Recovery 2.0 is the right place
7. The Phoenix
The Phoenix takes a new approach to recovery by fostering healing through fitness and personal connection. They offer activities for everyone – from weightlifting and boxing to running, hiking, and yoga. All to help people grow stronger together, overcome the stigma of addiction, and rise to their full potential.
6. Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate recovery is a biblically balanced approach to help bring sustainable recovery and healing to hurts. It guides participants toward new healthy truths and life-giving habits as broken relationships are repaired.
Many family members, friends, partners, co-workers, and community members benefit from engaging in support services of their own. These resources can provide education, elevate understanding and cultivate meaningful relationships grounded in empathy and mutual respect.
1. Al-Anon Family Groups
Al‑Anon is a mutual support program for people whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking. By sharing common experiences and applying the Al-Anon principles, families and friends of alcoholics can bring positive changes to their individual situations, whether or not the alcoholic admits the existence of a drinking problem or seeks help.
2. Alateen Groups
Alateen, a part of the Al-Anon Family Groups, is a fellowship of young people (mostly teenagers) whose lives have been affected by someone else’s drinking whether they are in your life drinking or not. By attending Alateen, teenagers meet other teenagers with similar situations. Alateen is not a religious program and there are no fees or dues to belong to it.
3. Partnership to End Addiction
Free Online Support Meetings for parents & caregivers of children experimenting with, or dependent on, substances. Hosted by specially trained parent coaches, with clinical oversight. The approach is solution-based, and discusses real-life issues, and applies evidence-based skills and techniques to help address them. Also available are tailored meetings for specific situations, such as grief groups.
4. Start Your Recovery
The online resource provides helpful information for people who are dealing with substance use issues — and their family members, friends, and co-workers, too. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the challenges faced by those who misuse alcohol, prescription or illegal drugs, or other substances, and they aim to break through the clutter to help people at any stage of recovery.