The Ethics of Peer Support
Below is the DBHDS Code of Ethical Conduct for Peer Recovery Specialists. A recognized certifying body may have a different set of ethics, but the principles must be substantially similar to what is below.
Principle: Recovery First
My primary obligation and responsibility is my recovery. I will immediately seek outside counsel and if applicable, notify my supervisor if alcohol, drug use, mental illness or anything else gets in the way of my recovery.
Principle: Sharing Personal Recovery Story
I will share my lived experiences to help others identify resources and supports that promote recovery and resilience.
Principle: Service Approach
I affirm the rights and dignity of each person that I serve.
The services I provide will be guided by the principle of self‐determination to assist others in achieving their needs and goals. This includes advocating for the decisions of the peers regarding professional and other services.
I will advocate for the right of peers to self‐select their own recovery pathways and recovery communities and will promote the individual’s inherent value to those communities and pathways.
I respect the privacy of those I serve and I will abide by confidentiality guidelines as required by the law.
I provide recovery support services regardless of someone’s age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, political belief, language, socioeconomic status or mental or physical condition. If differences that impact the motivation for recovery occur, I seek consultation and, if necessary, make referral to another Certified Peer Recovery Specialist.
I act in accordance with the law.
I never use physical force, verbal or emotional abuse; intimidate, threaten, harass, or make unwarranted promises of benefits.
I will fairly and accurately represent myself and my capabilities to the peer and the community. I will not accept money or items of significant value from people that I serve.
I will not lend or borrow from the peers that I serve.
I will not engage in sexual activities or intimate relations with peers that I serve.
I will not engage in sexual activities or sexual contact with former clients within a minimum of two years after terminating services.
I will not provide services to individuals with whom I have had a prior sexual or intimate relationship.
I will not discontinue services to a peer without his or her knowledge and will make a referral for continued services when appropriate.
I will report violations of the Code of Ethics by other Certified Peer Recovery Specialists to the appropriate certifying entity.
Principle: Conflict of Interest
I will not use my role as a CPRS to promote any treatment, procedure, product or service, which would result in my personal gain.
Principle: Scope of Practice
I will not perform services outside of my area of training, expertise, competence, or scope of practice.
Principle: Personal Development
I will improve my recovery service knowledge and skills through ongoing education, training and supervision.