The 5 Benefits of Peer Support

October 7, 2018

 

Addiction is and has been a huge issue in the United States. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of people killed by opioids alone is quickly approaching the number of people killed by guns. The numbers are staggering and quickly rising, the National Institute On Drug Abuse Reports that over 72,000 people died from an overdose in 2017. The costs and damages associated with relapse are just as high. Fortunately, services and treatment options like Peer Support and Certified Peer Recovery Coaching (also referred to as Peer Support Specialist) can help take some of the burden off taxpayers and insurance companies. 

 

 

Here Are 5 benefits Peer Support Can Have on Your Community:

Improve Outcomes: 

 

The most critical time during addiction recovery is 30-90 days after detoxification. Individuals who receive peer coaching during this time are more likely to stay sober. The body of research is still growing but the evidence overwhelmingly suggests that peer coaching can improve outcomes, increase treatment retention, and reduce substance use. Optum has recently published a study on the benefits of peer support specialists serving Medicaid clients. For more on this, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration published a great article and infographic.

 

Reduce Employee Accidents: 

According to the National Safety Council, employees who abuse prescription drugs are two to five times more likely to take unexcused absences, be late for work, be injured or violent at work, file workers’ compensation claims, and quit or be fired within one year of employment. Employers who have Employee Assistance Programs in place have improvements in morale and productivity and decreases in absenteeism, accidents, downtime, turnover, and theft. Employee Assistance programs can be underutilized because of lack of access, lack of time, and stigma. Telehealth can help eliminate these barriers. 

 

Reduce Crime: 

According to the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, approximately 60% of individuals arrested test positive for an illegal substance at the time of their arrest. The Department of Justice states that 37% of all inmates say they had alcohol in their system at the time of their arrest. Drug and alcohol use is correlated with arrests and crime. If we can reduce drug and alcohol use effectively using peer support, we can consequently reduce crime. 

 

Reduce Healthcare and Medicaid Costs: 

According to the National Council for Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Research has demonstrated that alcohol and drug treatment pays for itself in reduced healthcare costs. Insurance companies often "cap" the amount they spend on addiction recovery services, however, complications associated with addiction are often still covered. Infection, organ failure, emergency services, and more are a financial burden that is often left for payers to deal with. 

 

Reduce Hospitalizations: 

Without proper support after treatment, relapses rates are between 40-60%. A relapse is often so dangerous because an individual in recovery has often lost their tolerance to the chemical they are addicted to. Instead of starting from square one, they consume the same amount they had been taking before treatment. Apart from overdoses, SAMHSA  States that nearly 1/4 of people admitted to hospital emergency rooms have a problem with alcohol. These individuals are seeking medical attention for alcohol-related complications, not for consuming too much alcohol at one time.

 

 

To learn more about how peer support and 24/7 Telehealth recovery coaching can help you and your community, Contact Sober Grid today. 

 

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