At Swift River rehab center, we offer several opportunities for patients within our addiction treatment programs to empower themselves through meaningful engagement with other patients and the broader community.
One of these empowering opportunities is the chance to become a peer support leader within our partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Peer support leaders at Swift River play an important leadership role among our patient population as mentors and guides.
What Does It Mean To Be A Peer Support Leader?
At Swift River, our peer leaders are patients within our PHP program who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and social skills and are capable of encouraging others who are newer to treatment.
The primary feature of this type of program is peer support, which is a type of non-clinical support provided by people with lived experience of substance abuse or addiction.
Integrating peer leadership into addiction treatment can offer a meaningful and positive influence for people in the early stages of recovery. This can help guide people who are new to a rehab program or are struggling to make progress in their treatment.
The roles of a peer support leader can vary depending on each person’s individual skill set and the needs of the patient community.
Examples of how peer leaders may provide support in rehab programs:
- mentoring newer patients
- helping new patients learn the rules and regulations of Swift River’s treatment programs
- offering emotional support to others during times of struggle
- leading community groups and meetings
- encouraging others to complete community-assigned chores
- showing others the locations of important community resources (e.g. where to buy groceries, local fitness center)
- helping other patients set and reach their recovery goals
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How Do You Become A Peer Support Leader?
Peer leaders at Swift River are chosen based on how long they have been in a rehab program at our facility and their willingness to take on a leadership role in the patient community.
Patients within our PHP program may have several opportunities to become a peer leader, depending on their own progress in treatment and available openings in the community.
Characteristics of peer support leaders at Swift River:
- have been at Swift River for an extended amount of time
- demonstrate familiarity with rules, regulations, and available resources both on- and off-campus
- demonstrate exceptional social skills, including the ability to act with compassion, provide words of encouragement, and
- speak to patients from a place of mutual understanding
- have a willingness to guide newer patients
- have demonstrated exceptional progress in their treatment and recovery
Benefits Of Empowering Patients Through Peer Support Leadership
Peer support programs can offer several benefits for both the peer leaders and the broader patient community.
Patients who volunteer to serve as peer leaders at Swift River have the opportunity to give and receive meaningful support.
According to studies on the effects of peer support in addiction treatment, peer support services can also:
- increase treatment engagement
- motivate patients to stay in treatment longer
- inspire a greater sense of belonging for patients who are first entering a treatment program
- foster a sense of respect, compassion, and support within the patient community
- reduce the likelihood of relapse
It can be very helpful for people who are navigating the challenges of treatment to have other patients to turn to for guidance and support.
Peer support offers an important opportunity for patients to benefit from the positive influence of someone who has been where they are and has made significant progress in their own recovery.
Find Peer And Community Support At Swift River
Our peer leader program at Swift River is just one of the many highlights of our five-day-a-week partial hospitalization program (PHP).
Partial hospitalization offers a less structured treatment experience for people who have either recently completed a residential rehab program, or require greater support than can be offered on an outpatient basis.
Highlights of our partial hospitalization program include:
- 24-hour access to medical and behavioral support from staff
- local YMCA membership
- day passes (weekend-only)
- family visits
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT) appointments with our nurse practitioner
- weekly individual counseling sessions
- phone use after treatment hours
- transportation to sober meetings
- community meetings and activities
At Swift River, our treatment professionals understand that recovery is a long-term process that requires making a decision every day to abstain from harmful drug and alcohol use.
Day treatment is the final stage of the full continuum of care we offer to help patients transition back into their normal routine outside the highly structured days of residential rehab programs.
Offering empowering opportunities like peer leadership is just one way we aim to help patients feel more capable of helping themselves and others in recovery. This can offer long-term benefits not just within our treatment program but later on for a successful future in recovery.
Learn more about our peer support services and other empowering opportunities within our drug and alcohol rehab programs by contacting Swift River today.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — Peers
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: PMC — Benefits of peer support groups in addiction treatment