How to scale peer support in a country lacking ‘mutual aid’. Implementation of Recovery Coaching in Qatar


1.Mr. Ryan Peden (⚑ Qatar) 1

2.Dr. Abdulla Al Johi (⚑ Qatar) 1

1. Naufar


Peer support and mutual aid is recommended in international guidance (WHO/UNODC 2020). Research indicates peer support alongside SUD treatment can result in rates of relapse, improved relationships between patients and treatment providers and social supports, increased treatment retention, and greater treatment satisfaction (Eddie et al, 2019). However, many countries have little or no peer support in place and so implementing or ‘scaling’ this, can be a challenge.

To address this issue in Qatar, Naufar, in collaboration with the Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery (CCAR), culturally adapted and trained cohorts of accredited ‘recovery coaches’ and recovery coach trainers to help build a new community of peer support to support recovery in Qatar.

In 2023, Naufar delivered Recovery Coach training to over 200 participants, with 22 people achieving CCAR’s Recovery Coach accreditation, and a further 6 people being trained as facilitators of the curriculum to sustain the delivery of the culturally adapted curriculum in Arabic in 2024. Trained Recovery Coaches have been employed in paid and voluntary positions within Naufar, to work in partnership with clinical staff and provide support for patients and bring their personal knowledge of what it is like to live and thrive in recovery from substance use disorders.

Naufar will present and discuss our experiences in culturally adapting the training of recovery coaches, and the roll-out of recovery coaching to build a community of recovery support. We will include key considerations for others who wish to implement recovery coaching in order build peer support in a country with little or no experience of ‘mutual aid’.

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