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The Importance of Role Clarity and Role Integrity

The recent growth in peer-based recovery support services as an adjunct and alternative to addiction treatment has created heightened ambiguity about the demarcation of responsibilities across three roles: 1) voluntary service roles with communities of recovery, e.g., the role of the sponsor within Twelve Step programs, 2) clinically focused addiction treatment specialists (e.g., certified addiction counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers), and 3) paid and volunteer recovery support specialists (e.g., recovery coaches, personal recovery assistants) working within addiction treatment institutions or free-standing recovery advocacy/support organizations. The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of these new recovery support roles by comparing and contrasting these three service roles.