Moms Supporting Moms: Digital Storytelling With Peer Mentors in Recovery From Substance Use

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Substance use disorder (SUD) is a growing issue nationally, and SUD in pregnancy has significant consequences for mothers and their children. This article describes findings from a pilot project that used digital storytelling as a mechanism for understanding substance use and recovery from the perspective of women in recovery from SUD in pregnancy who worked as peer mentors with pregnant women currently experiencing SUD. Research on peer mentorship has primarily focused on outcomes for mentees but not the experience of the peer mentors themselves. In this qualitative study, a 3-day digital storytelling workshop was conducted with five women in recovery serving as peer mentors in their community. Each mentor also participated in an individual, in-depth interview. The digital storytelling workshop process helped peer mentors make linkages between their past substance use experiences to their present work of recovery, and fostered deep social connections between mentors through the shared experience. The workshop process also elicited a sense of hope among participants, which served as groundwork for developing advocacy-based efforts. Digital storytelling may be therapeutic for women in recovery and has the potential to be integrated into recovery programs to bolster hope and social support among participants.

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