Substance Use Disorder Coach

A Substance Use Disorder Coach is a trained professional who helps individuals overcome addiction and maintain long-term recovery.


A Substance Use Disorder Coach, also known as an Addiction Coach or Recovery Coach, is a trained professional who provides guidance, support, and accountability to individuals struggling with substance abuse and addiction. They work with clients to develop personalized recovery plans, set goals, and navigate the challenges of maintaining sobriety. Substance Use Disorder Coaches use a variety of techniques, such as motivational interviewing, cognitive-behavioral strategies, and life skills training, to help clients build a strong foundation for long-term recovery.

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The concept of Substance Use Disorder Coaching has its roots in the addiction recovery movement of the late 20th century. As the understanding of addiction as a chronic disease grew, so did the recognition that individuals in recovery could benefit from ongoing support and guidance. In the 1990s, the role of Recovery Coach emerged as a way to provide this support, drawing on principles from psychology, social work, and peer support. Over time, the field of Substance Use Disorder Coaching has evolved to incorporate a range of evidence-based practices and professional standards, with many coaches now holding specialized certifications and degrees.


  1. Personalized Support Substance Use Disorder Coaches provide individualized support tailored to each client's unique needs, goals, and circumstances.
  2. Accountability Coaches help clients stay accountable to their recovery goals, providing structure and motivation to maintain sobriety.
  3. Skill Development Coaches teach clients essential life skills, such as stress management, communication, and problem-solving, to support long-term recovery.
  4. Improved Relationships By working with a coach, clients can learn to build and maintain healthy relationships with family, friends, and colleagues.
  5. Increased Self-Awareness Substance Use Disorder Coaching helps clients gain a deeper understanding of their thoughts, emotions, and triggers, promoting self-awareness and personal growth.
  6. Reduced Risk of Relapse With the support and guidance of a coach, clients can develop effective coping strategies and reduce the risk of relapse.
  7. Enhanced Quality of Life By overcoming addiction and building a strong foundation for recovery, clients can experience improved physical, emotional, and social well-being.

How It Works

A substance use disorder coach provides personalized guidance and support to individuals struggling with drug or alcohol addiction. The coach works closely with the client to develop a customized recovery plan, set achievable goals, and identify strategies to overcome triggers and prevent relapse. This may involve regular one-on-one sessions, group meetings, or a combination of both. The coach also helps the client navigate the challenges of early recovery, build a strong support network, and develop essential life skills to maintain long-term sobriety. Throughout the process, the coach offers accountability, motivation, and a non-judgmental ear to help the client stay on track.


When working with a substance use disorder coach, it's essential to find someone with the proper training, certifications, and experience in addiction recovery. It's also crucial to establish a strong, trusting relationship with the coach to foster open communication and progress. Clients should be prepared to commit to regular sessions and do the necessary work outside of meetings to achieve their recovery goals. It's important to remember that a coach is not a substitute for professional medical or psychiatric treatment, and some individuals may require additional support. Lastly, coaching is a collaborative process, and clients should be open to feedback and willing to make lifestyle changes to support their recovery.

How Much It Costs

The cost of working with a substance use disorder coach can vary depending on factors such as the coach's experience, location, and the type of services provided. On average, individual coaching sessions can range from $75 to $200 per hour. Some coaches may offer package deals or sliding scale fees based on the client's financial situation. Group coaching sessions may be less expensive, ranging from $50 to $100 per session. It's important to discuss pricing and payment options with potential coaches before committing to their services.

Virtual & Online Options

Virtual or online substance use disorder coaching offers several advantages over in-person options. Online coaching provides greater accessibility, allowing clients to connect with coaches from anywhere with an internet connection. This eliminates geographical limitations and can be especially beneficial for those living in areas with limited access to addiction recovery resources. Online coaching also offers more flexibility in scheduling, as sessions can be conducted via video conferencing platforms at a time that suits the client's needs. However, in-person coaching may be preferable for some individuals who value face-to-face interaction and the opportunity to build a more personal connection with their coach. In-person sessions may also be more engaging and interactive, with the coach able to observe nonverbal cues and body language. Ultimately, the choice between online and in-person coaching depends on the individual's preferences, needs, and circumstances.


Substance use disorder coaches may hold various certifications, depending on their background and the specific services they offer. Some common certifications include Certified Addiction Recovery Coach (CARC), Certified Recovery Coach (CRC), and Certified Peer Recovery Specialist (CPRS). These certifications typically require a combination of education, training, and supervised experience in addiction recovery. Coaches may also have additional certifications in related fields, such as mental health counseling, social work, or psychology. It's essential to verify a coach's credentials and ensure they have the appropriate training and experience to provide effective support for addiction recovery.

Complementary Practices

Complementary practices to working with a Substance Use Disorder Coach include attending support group meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, participating in individual or group therapy sessions with a licensed mental health professional, engaging in regular physical exercise and stress-reducing activities like yoga or meditation, and building a strong support network of friends and family members who encourage and support recovery efforts.

Practitioner Types

Substance Use Disorder Coaches may have backgrounds as certified addiction counselors, licensed clinical social workers, psychologists, or other mental health professionals. They may also be individuals in long-term recovery from addiction who have completed specialized training programs to become peer support specialists or recovery coaches.

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  • Q: What is a Substance Use Disorder Coach?

    • A: A Substance Use Disorder Coach is a trained professional who provides guidance, support, and accountability to individuals in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. They help clients develop coping skills, set and achieve recovery goals, and navigate challenges along the path to sustained sobriety.
  • Q: How can a Substance Use Disorder Coach help me maintain long-term recovery?

    • A: A Substance Use Disorder Coach can help you maintain long-term recovery by providing ongoing support and guidance, helping you identify and overcome triggers and obstacles, and holding you accountable to your recovery goals. They can also connect you with additional resources and support services as needed.
  • Q: What is the difference between a Substance Use Disorder Coach and a sponsor?

    • A: While sponsors in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous provide peer support and guidance based on their own recovery experience, Substance Use Disorder Coaches have specialized training in addiction and recovery principles. Coaches may use a wider range of evidence-based techniques and work with clients in a professional capacity.
  • Q: How often should I meet with my Substance Use Disorder Coach?

    • A: The frequency of meetings with your Substance Use Disorder Coach will depend on your individual needs and stage of recovery. In early recovery, more frequent sessions may be beneficial, while later stages may involve less frequent check-ins. Your coach will work with you to determine an appropriate schedule.
  • Q: Can I work with a Substance Use Disorder Coach if I am also seeing a therapist or counselor?

    • A: Yes, many individuals in recovery choose to work with both a Substance Use Disorder Coach and a therapist or counselor as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Coaches can provide additional support and accountability, while therapists can help address underlying mental health concerns or past traumas.


Substance Use Disorder Coaches play a valuable role in supporting individuals in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. By providing guidance, accountability, and connection to resources, coaches help clients build the skills and mindset necessary for long-term recovery. While coaching is not a substitute for professional medical or psychiatric treatment, it can be a powerful complementary tool in a comprehensive recovery plan. If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, consider reaching out to a qualified Substance Use Disorder Coach to explore how they may be able to support your journey to a healthier, more fulfilling life in sobriety.