A growing number of states are investing in peer recovery coaches to help fight drug addiction, CNN reports.
These coaches, who have struggled with addiction themselves, meet with patients regularly to help them navigate recovery, and to tackle issues including housing and employment.
This summer, Rhode Island committed to assigning a peer recovery coach to every hospital emergency department. Other states, including New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Delaware, are also looking at ways to place and pay for coaches in the emergency rooms.
Questions remain as to the effectiveness of peer recovery coaches and how to credential them, the article notes. It is also a challenge to get more insurance plans to cover the cost of coaches.
Maryland, Rhode Island and Massachusetts are beginning to collect data on whether patients matched with coaches improve, and what services the coaches help them with.