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J Subst Use. 2010 Jan 1;15(5):352-366.

Eighteen Month Outcomes for Clients Receiving Combined Outpatient Treatment and Sober Living Houses.

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Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, 6475 Christie Avenue, Suite 400, Emeryville, CA 94608-1010, Phone (510) 597-3440, Fax (510) 985-6459.


One of the most frequent and frustrating challenges facing clients in outpatient treatment is finding a living environment that is free of alcohol and drugs and supportive of recovery. Sober Living Houses (SLHs) have been suggested as one potential solution (Polcin, 2009). Among other advantages, SLHs are financially self-sustaining and residents can remain there as long as they wish, provided they comply with house rules and expectations. This study examined 18-month outcomes for 55 individuals receiving outpatient treatment combined with residence in a SLH. Repeated measures analyses comparing 6-month time periods showed significant improvement on measures of alcohol and drug use, arrests, and days worked. The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) showed significant improvement on legal and employment scales. On ASI alcohol and drug scales, individuals entered SLHs with very low severity that was maintained at 18 months. Involvement in 12-step groups was associated with reductions in alcohol and drug use.

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