peer recovery support

what is recovery?

recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. even individuals with severe and chronic suds can, with help, overcome their disorder and regain health and social function. this is called remission. when those positive changes and values become part of a voluntarily adopted lifestyle, that is called “being in recovery” (samhsa, tip 35, p.2). while recovery has historically been defined by abstinence, the harm reduction model presents an equally valid pathway to recovery. 

according to the 2018-2020 national college health assessment, 5.9% of psu students report being in recovery from alcohol or other drug use.

what is peer recovery support?

in peer recovery support, students in recovery or interested in recovery connect with a peer with shared lived experience. peer support workers operate outside of both punitive and clinical systems to support and advocate for students in recovery. we are mindful of the power imbalances that are inherent in all services, including peer support services, and strive to redress these imbalances by honoring students’ agency in their own recovery. we also recognize the impact of societal stigmatization of individuals in recovery, which may be compounded by individuals’ intersecting identities. peer support workers maintain awareness of positionality while attempting to reduce stigma and break down barriers to recovery. in addition to one-on-one support, we are available to establish peer-to-peer support groups. we welcome students’ ideas for building a recovery community on campus. 
the peer recovery specialist can be reached at