A recovery coach is a trained professional who provides support, guidance, and accountability to individuals in recovery from addiction. Recovery coaching is a non-clinical, person-centered service that is designed to help individuals in recovery achieve their personal goals and maintain long-term sobriety. Recovery coaches work one-on-one with individuals in recovery to help them identify their strengths and challenges, develop a plan for achieving their goals, and stay accountable to their recovery plan.

The Recovery Team Explained

While it’s often said that addiction is an isolated place, the recovery journey isn’t. In fact, successful recovery is a team effort. That team may vary a bit depending on what stage a person is in and what they are comfortable with.. However, a team can often consist of some or all of the following: 

  • Medical Provider — A medical doctor, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant  can be utilized in medication-assisted treatment to prescribe medications to aid in the recovery process as well as address other physical or behavioral health issues.
  • Counselor — Depending on state requirements, this person is either licensed or certified to conduct talk therapy sessions. Someone in treatment may attend, group sessions, individual sessions or a combination of both. This person will also conduct an initial assessment and help to create a treatment plan.
  • Recovery Coach — This person offers non-clinical assistance in the recovery process alongside other team members to offer personal experience, resource suggestions and cheerleading/straight talk.
  • Nurse Care Manager — Nurses who support the recovery journey and can assist with medical education including things like how to properly take medication, 
  • Fellow Individuals in Recovery— There is a popular saying in the recovery community that the opposite of addiction is connection. Building your healthy, social relationships with members of your therapy group, friends at your local recovery center,  
  • Friends and Family

The Role of the Recovery Coach

The qualifications and requirements for a recovery coach will vary by state, but the purpose of the role is all the same — to help a person achieve and maintain their recovery, nonuse of substances or a reduction in usage (depending on the goals of the person). They are often a peer recovery coach. This means that they have experienced the substance use recovery process, remained in recovery, offer life experience, have specialized training and may operate under the supervision of a counselor or another member of the treatment team.

Recovery coaches have been known to be a vital link between the member and community resources. They understand the stress and coping skills required to successfully achieve recovery and teach those skills to members. They can spot and explain the challenges and opportunities to achieve long-term recovery. They are often there with the member after treatment to help guide them through the process of living their lives in recovery, however they define it.

Research indicates that recovery coaches are an important tool in eliminating barriers to care for people who aren’t rich or famous or those in minority groups. Peer recovery coaches also need to be flexible and creative in their approaches to accommodate the individual goals of members and the sometimes rollercoaster cycle of readiness to work a recovery program.

Using a Recovery Coach Can Be a Game Changer

Recovery coaches are often used to give a first-hand perspective of the process and provide proof that the outcome is worth the struggle in recovery that many people face. They can also relate on a deeper level than someone who hasn’t been through the process or experienced substance use. Recovery coaches may have a keen sense of what to look out for and the training and connections to get the proper resources to members when they need them.

Recovery coaching can help people with SUDs in a variety of ways, including:

  1. Providing Hope: Recovery coaches provide individuals with hope and encouragement for their recovery journey. This can be especially valuable for individuals who may have struggled with addiction for many years and may feel hopeless or discouraged. Belonging, love, and purpose are founding values of Better Life Partners and what we offer to our members as well.
  2. Offering Support and Guidance: Recovery coaches offer support and guidance for individuals as they navigate the challenges of early recovery, such as addressing triggers and stressors, rebuilding relationships, and managing legal and financial issues.
  3. Providing Accountability: Recovery coaches provide individuals with accountability and support to help them maintain their recovery. This can be especially helpful during the early stages of recovery when individuals may be more vulnerable to relapse.
  4. Promoting Long-Term Recovery: Recovery coaching helps individuals develop the skills and resources they need to maintain long-term recovery. By providing ongoing support and guidance, recovery coaches help individuals build a strong foundation for recovery and reduce the risk of relapse.

According to research published in 2022, recovery coaching helped individual in care stick to treatment protocols, reduce substance use, learn and use self-efficacy, increase their quality of life and even learn stress control. These skills are ones that can also be used after treatment in many of life’s situations.

How Does Recovery Coaching Work?

One of the best parts of recovery coaching is that how it works is largely driven by the individual being coached. At Better Life Partners, your recovery coach will work with you as much or as little as you want or find helpful. At some points in recovery when things are especially challenging, it can be helpful to talk to someone even just to have a thoughtful ear or just get something off your chest. The timing and frequency are worked out between the member and the recovery coach and start out with an initial meeting. Other members of the care team might encourage or suggest coaching as a supplement to care based on each person’s needs but it is never required or mandatory.

Coaches Are Ready to Help

Our member’s success is our mission at Better Life Partners, and recovery coaching is part of the plan including other resources like group therapy and medication assisted treatment (MAT) with medications like Suboxone and Naltrexone. We offer quick and easy access to care along with a supportive community to help members achieve better outcomes.

We’d love to share with you how we can help you or a loved one achieve recovery goals. Contact us today, so we can get started on the recovery journey.


New York Daily News — Lindsay Lohan immediately met with sober coach after completing rehab stint, is allowed to finish community service in NYC

Radar Online — Bloated Ben Spotted With A Sober Coach

WebMD — Addiction: Know Your Health Care Team

Careers of Substance — Peer Recovery Coach

PubMed — Implementing a peer recovery coach model to reach low-income, minority individuals not engaged in substance use treatment

The Academy for Addiction Professionals — Recovery Coach Training   

Peer Recovery Center of Excellence — What is Peer Support?

PubMed — Roles and Effects of Peer Recovery Coach Intervention in the Field of Substance Abuse: An Integrative Literature Review