Recovery 101: providing peer-to-peer support to students in recovery

Document
Description

Collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) are university-sanctioned initiatives for students in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Given the ever-rising rates of alcohol and opioid use and misuse, a great

Collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) are university-sanctioned initiatives for students in recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Given the ever-rising rates of alcohol and opioid use and misuse, a great need exists to understand how to provide support for those who are considering recovery or who choose a recovery lifestyle in college. The purpose of this action research study was to examine peer-to-peer support for students in recovery. The development of two training innovations, Recovery 101 and Recovery Ally, were delivered to health and wellness peer educators called the Well Devil Ambassadors (WDAs) with the goal of equipping them to better support their peers in recovery. Learning objectives for the training were to gain knowledge about addiction and recovery and to enhance positive attitudes toward students in recovery, which could thereby increase self-efficacy and behavior intention to work with their peers in recovery. Mindfulness was included in the trainings to enhance the WDAs’ experience and provide tools for a self-care skillset. Quantitative data included pre, post, and follow-up surveys for the Recovery 101 training. Qualitative data included short-answer questions following Recovery 101 training and in-depth interviews following Recovery Ally training. Findings indicated that the information provided in Recovery 101 built the WDAs’ knowledge on the topics of addiction and recovery; hearing multiple perspectives from students in recovery allowed the WDAs to increase empathy toward students in recovery; and the building of knowledge, empathy, and mindfulness allowed the WDAs to gain self-efficacy and behavior intention when supporting their peers in recovery.