Addiction versus Peer Credential

Several people have written in recently inquiring about the state’s peer recovery specialist credential, but then go on to ask how their addiction- or psychology-specific training can fit into the credential requirements. The truth is, they can’t, except for some hours in ethics. The credential is designed to support peer recovery standards found in the current literature (William White, SAMHSA, iNAPS, etc.) and not any other discipline.

I believe one reason that is happening is well-meaning people are directing these others toward the peer credential because it may be more attainable for them. The peer recovery specialist credential is not an “easy A” credential and should not be looked at this way. It is by far not that easy to obtain and does require some hard work for those who strive for it. It is also insulting for those who hold it to insinuate that they are less intelligent or industrious than those who strive for another discipline. Far from it. When the CPRS was first introduced several social workers and addiction counselors wanted to know how to receive the credential. They saw it as something worthwhile to supplement their practice. Many of these did go on to become peer supervisors because of their interest in and knowledge of the work.

To those who are accumulating credit hours in addiction or another discipline, I say go on and get a credential in that area. You will still help people, if that’s why you chose that career path in the first place. If you sincerely want to be a peer recovery specialist, take the class work and get the experience that sets the CPRS holder apart from every other discipline.

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