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Peer support’s role in helping individuals withdraw from psychiatric medications

Journal of Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
Marcello Maviglia,<sup>1</sup> Donald Hume,<sup>2</sup> Norman J Cooeyate<sup>3</sup>

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Peer Support Specialists play a crucial role in helping individuals to taper or withdraw from psychiatric medications and find alternative treatments based on psychosocial interventions and lifestyle changes. Although psychiatric medications can be useful in managing acute psychological distress, their efficacy and safety in the long term are not well understood. Consumers and professionals are increasingly interested in finding more client-centered approaches to pharmacologic treatment and effective alternative strategies to deal with emotional distress. While individuals in recovery, peer specialists, have contributed to this growing body of literature, the role of Peer Support Specialists in supporting individuals who are withdrawing from psychiatric medications is not yet clearly defined and widely accepted. This may be partly due to professional bias about their abilities and competencies. This article aims to clarify the role of Peer Support - Recovery Based - Interventions and provide a springboard for refining and applying modalities and strategies to support more effectively individuals who are withdrawing from psychiatric medications. The article is based on a review of some of the most noteworthy literature on the subject, which, the authors believe, requires more contributions.


peer specialists, psychiatric drugs withdrawal, consumer empowerment