Peer mentoring

Interested in getting a mentor or have a client who is? Click the button below to fill out the form and a member of the 4D staff will get back to you.
Get a Mentor

4D Recovery is a peer-run organization, meaning that all of its staff identify as people in recovery. We believe that people in recovery are the best suited to direct a recovery organization because they have the lived experience of finding and sustaining their recovery. 

As peers, we use our experiences to help inspire, motivate, and guide individuals to navigate their own recovery journeys. We believe that we are the experts in our lives and we inherently know our individual needs. 

4D offers free county-based substance use recovery peer services to people between the ages of 18 to 35.

What does a peer mentor do?

Each peer mentor has been through a process of training and certification through the Mental Health and Addiction Certification Board of Oregon, and has at least two years of recovery experience, which enables them to help guide individuals seeking recovery though a range of activities aimed at building recovery capital:

  • Entering and exiting various formal treatment services
  • Guiding individuals toward a recovery pathway that is right for them
  • Overcoming barriers
  • Setting and achieving goals
  • Accessing recovery support services
  • Navigating criminal justice and child welfare systems
  • Providing emotional and moral support
  • Guiding individuals to partner organizations and agencies that provide clinical and mental health services
  • Developing social support groups
  • Education and occupation support 
  • Family and parental support

What is recovery capital?

Recovery capital is the range of internal and external resources that can be accessed to initiate and sustain recovery from several alcohol and other drug problems. It plays a major role in overcoming substance use disorder, and is best described by well-known researcher William L. White:

“Recovery capital constitutes the potential antidote for the problems that have long plagued recovery efforts: insufficient motivation to change AOD [alcohol or other drug] use, emotional distress, pressure to use within intimate and social relationships, interpersonal conflict, and other situations that pose risks for relapse.”

These potential antidotes, or resources, include:

  • Personal recovery capital includes physical and mental health; basic human needs like shelter, clothing, safety, and transportation; educational and vocational skills, like problem solving abilities and knowledge; values; self-awareness; self-esteem; hopefulness; interpersonal skills; and meaning and purpose in life. 
  • Family/social recovery capital includes intimate and social relationships that are supportive of the process of recovery for the individual.
  • Community recovery capital relates to the community attitudes, policies, and resources that support an individual finding recovery. This includes community efforts to reduce stigma, role models, accessible addiction resources, recovery community organizations, and other supportive services.
  • Cultural capital is a type of community capital that includes culturally specific pathways of recovery, such as mutual-aid meetings for Native Americans like White Bison or Wellbriety. 

Who can apply for a peer mentor?

Any Individuals between the ages of 18-35 who live in Multnomah and Washington counties who identify having a problem with substances and want recovery support are eligible to apply.

How do I know if I have a problem with substances?

If you are unsure of whether you have a substance use problem, or think you might, there is a helpful infographic that helps you to look at how substances might be impacting your life. Developed by the American Psychiatric Association by the Recovery Research Institute, the infographic prompts you to consider the following ways substances might be affecting your life:

  1. Amount: Are you taking substances in larger amounts and for longer than you intended?
  2. Control: Are you trying to reduce or quit but can’t?
  3. Time: How much of your time are you taking to get substances?
  4. Cravings: Do you experience strong cravings or desire to use?
  5. Obligations: Are you missing out on commitments at school or work due to substances?
  6. Social: Are you continuing to use substance despite it affecting your relationships?
  7. Activities: Have you stopped or reduced social, work, or other activities in preference of using substances?
  8. Hazard: Are you using substances in potentially hazardous situations, like driving?
  9. Harm: Do you consistently use despite the harm it is causing physically and psychologically?
  10. Tolerance: Are you having to use more to have the same or desired effect? 
  11. Withdrawal: Do you have withdrawal symptoms like sweating, shaking, difficulty sleeping, or irritability when not using substances?

Please note that 4D provides recovery support services. We do not provide professional treatment such as detox. We recommend that you seek professional guidance from your insurance provider — or contact 4D if you need guidance  — if you answer yes to two or more of these questions. If you don’t have insurance you may qualify for Oregon Health Plan or a subsidy through the insurance marketplace.

How much does a peer mentor cost?

Our peer-mentor program is FREE to anyone meeting the eligibility requirements.

How long does peer mentoring last?

Depending upon the individual’s needs, mentorship can last anywhere from six months to two years.

How effective is peer mentoring?

4D uses a variety of evidence-based best practices, including a young adult peer manual that was co-authored by our executive director and includes research from recovery scientist Robert Ashford and the Recovery Research Institute. 

In 2018, 4D served over 600 people each month and supported their recovery. Of the 185 individuals who engaged in peer support that year, all reported improvements in the following areas:

  • Education: 24 percent experienced improvements in education (participation, enrollment, attendance).
  • Employment: 55.6 percent experienced improvements in employment, both finding work and improvements in their current employment
  • Housing: 59.4 percent experienced improvements in housing (referral, permanent housing, and housing support).

For more information or to inquire about your eligibility to enroll, or if you are interested in becoming a peer, please contact us now.

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