Program Requirements

All applicants must:

      • Be at least 21 years of age
      • Be a person in recovery from alcohol/substance use with a minimum period of continued recovery over the past two or more years
      • Provide verification of completion of a High School/GED diploma or higher degree from an accredited college or university
      • Obtain Central Registry clearance from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS)
      • Obtain local police clearance
      • Live or work within the State of Michigan at least 51% of the time
      • Comply with training requirements outlined by RTI to become a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor

What is a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor?

A Certified Peer Recovery Mentor is a peer provider (e.g. recovery coach, certified peer specialist, peer support specialist) who assists clients throughout all stages of their recovery from alcohol & substance use by offering support, guidance, strength, and resources. CPRMs use their lived experiences of addiction and recovery, as well as their skills learned in formal training, to deliver services that promote recovery and offer hope, motivation, and encouragement.

What do Peer Recovery Mentors do?

The responsibilities of a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor include, but are not limited to…

    • Offering emotional, informational, and instrumental support to the clients as they enter and progress through treatment and recovery
    • Assisting in post-treatment maintenance of recovery by directing the client to appropriate support systems and resources (housing, food, clothing, etc.)
    • Conducting intakes, assessments, creating individualized recovery plans with each client, and regularly assessing the client’s progress
    • Helping the client build a recovery network by helping them build social connections & relationships through support groups, 12-step meetings, and recovery events
    • Minimizing the obstacles to recovery by identifying challenges to and opportunities for long-term recovery

Why become a Certified Peer Recovery Mentor?

Studies show that people who receive peer recovery support services experience:

    • Improved relationships with treatment providers
    • Increased treatment retention
    • Increased satisfaction with the overall treatment and experience
    • Improved access to social supports
    • Decreased criminal justice involvement
    • Decreased emergency service utilization
    • Reduced relapse rates
    • Reduced re-hospitalization rates
    • Reduced substance use
    • Greater housing stability

What will you learn?

    • How to coach others in recovery by practicing empathy, building trust with clients, and providing information and resources
    • The multiple pathways of recovery and the recovery process, including its principles and stages of change from both a social and psychological perspective
    • Coaching skills such as effective communication, building rapport with clients, and motivational interviewing
    • Professional readiness, including ethics, cultural competence, crisis intervention, establishing caseloads, facilitating individual/group sessions, client confidentiality, and self-care
    • … And much more! For more details, check out our full curriculum.

Start your RTI application!

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¹ Andreas, D., Ja, D.Y., and Wilson, S. (2010). Peers reach out supporting peers to embrace recovery (PROSPER): a center for substance abuse treatment recovery community services program. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly 28, 326-338. doi: 10.1080/07347324.2010.488538.

² Armitage, E. V., Lyons, H., & Moore, T. L. (2010). Recovery Association Project (RAP), Portland, Oregon. Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 28(3), 339-357.

³ Bernstein, E., Bernstein, J., Tassiopoulos, K., Heeren, T., Levenson, S., & Hingson, R. (2005). Brief motivational intervention at a clinic visit reduces cocaine and heroin use. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 77(1), 49-59.

⁴ Boisvert, R. A., Martin, L. M., Grosek, M., & Claire, A. J. (2008). Effectiveness of a peer-support community in addiction recovery: Participation as intervention. Occupational Therapy International, 15(4), 205-220.

⁵ Boyd, M. R., Moneyham, L., Murdaugh, C., Phillips, K. D., Tavakoli, A., Jackwon, K., … Vyavaharkar, M. (2005). A peer-based substance abuse intervention for HIV+ rural women: A pilot study. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 19(1), 10-7.

⁶ Deering, K. N., Kerr, T., Tyndall M. W., Montaner, J. S. G., Gibson, K., Irons, L., and Shannon, K. (2011). A peer-led mobile outreach program and increased utilization of detoxification and residential drug treatment among female sex workers who use drugs in a Canadian setting. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 113, 46-54. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2010.07.007.

⁷ Ja, D. Y., Gee, M., Savolainen, J., Wu, S., & Forghani, S. (2009). Peers Reaching Out Supporting Peer to Embrace Recovery (PROSPER): A final evaluation report. San Francisco, CA: DYJ, Inc., for Walden House, Inc., and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

⁸ Kamon, J. & Turner, W. (2013). Recovery coaching in recovery centers: What the initial data suggest: A brief report from the Vermont Recovery Network. Montpelier, VT: Evidence-Based Solutions.

⁹ Mangrum, L. (2008). Creating access to recovery through drug courts: Final evaluation report for the Texas Department of State Health Services. Austin, TX: University of Texas Addiction Research Institute. Retrieved from

¹⁰ Min, S. Y., Whitecraft, E., Rothbard, A. B., & Salzer, M. S. (2007). Peer support for persons with co-occurring disorders and community tenure: A survival analysis. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 30(3), 207-213. doi:10.2975/30.3.2007.207.213

¹¹ O’Connell, M. J., Flanagan, E. H., Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. & Davidson, L. (2017). Enhancing outcomes for persons with co-occurring disorders through skills training and peer recovery support. Journal of Mental Health, Epub ahead of print. Retrieved from

¹² Rowe, M., Bellamy, C., Baranoski, M., Wieland, M., O’Connell, M. J., Benedict, P., … Sells, D. (2007). A peer-support, group intervention to reduce substance use and criminality among persons with severe mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 58(7), 955-961.

¹³ Sanders, L., Trinh, C., Sherman, B., and Banks, S. (1998). Assessment of client satisfaction in a 824 peer counseling substance abuse treatment program for pregnant and postpartum 825 women. Evaluation and Program Planning 21, 287-296.

¹⁴ Tracy, K., Burton, M., Nich, C., and Rounsaville, B. (2011). Utilizing peer mentorship to engage high recidivism substance-abusing patients in treatment. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse 37, 525-531. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2011.600385.

About RTI

Recovery Training Institute (RTI) is a didactic and interactive 1-year training and apprenticeship program designed to prepare individuals to become Certified Peer Recovery Mentors (CPRM) with the State of Michigan by providing educational trainings and mentored work experience that are required for certification.

RTI training consists of 2 levels, aligned with the Michigan Certification Board of Addiction Professionals’ (MCBAP’s) certification requirements for the CPRM credential. (Click here to review MCBAP’s certification requirements.)

Level 1
144 hours of educational instruction (including the 46 specialized education hours required by MCBAP)
Level 2
2000 hours of supervised work experience, including 1-on-1 mentorship from professionals in the field, performing Peer Recovery Mentor competencies