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Psychiatr Serv. 2014 Jul;65(7):853-61. doi: 10.1176/

Peer recovery support for individuals with substance use disorders: assessing the evidence.

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Dr. Reif is with the Institute for Behavioral Health, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts. Dr. Braude, Dr. Lyman, and Dr. Dougherty are with DMA Health Strategies, Lexington, Massachusetts. Dr. Daniels and Dr. Ghose are with Westat, Rockville, Maryland. Dr. Salim is with the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Rockville, Maryland. He is also with the Office of Policy, Planning, and Innovation at SAMHSA, where Dr. Delphin-Rittmon was affiliated when this work was done. Send correspondence to Dr. Lyman (e-mail: This literature review is part of a series being published in Psychiatric Services. The reviews were commissioned by SAMHSA through a contract with Truven Health Analytics. The reviews were conducted by experts in each topic area, who wrote the reviews along with authors from Truven Health Analytics, Westat, DMA Health Strategies, and SAMHSA. Each article in the series was peer reviewed by a special panel of Psychiatric Services reviewers.


In recent years, peer recovery support services have become an accepted part of the treatment of substance use disorders, providing a more extensive array of services than typically associated with mutual support groups. Peer providers may help consumers set recovery goals, develop a plan, and work toward and maintain recovery. In this literature review, the last in the Assessing the Evidence Base (AEB) Series, the authors review the evidence supporting peer recovery support services, noting that more research is needed to distinguish the effects of peer recovery support from other recovery support activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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