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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014 Nov-Dec;46(5):436-43. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2014.960112.

Maximizing social model principles in residential recovery settings.

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a Senior Scientist, Alcohol Research Group , Emeryville , CA.


Peer support is integral to a variety of approaches to alcohol and drug problems. However, there is limited information about the best ways to facilitate it. The "social model" approach developed in California offers useful suggestions for facilitating peer support in residential recovery settings. Key principles include using 12-step or other mutual-help group strategies to create and facilitate a recovery environment, involving program participants in decision making and facility governance, using personal recovery experience as a way to help others, and emphasizing recovery as an interaction between the individual and their environment. Although limited in number, studies have shown favorable outcomes for social model programs. Knowledge about social model recovery and how to use it to facilitate peer support in residential recovery homes varies among providers. This article presents specific, practical suggestions for enhancing social model principles in ways that facilitate peer support in a range of recovery residences.


National Alliance of Recovery Residences; peer-help; recovery home; self-help; sober living house; social model

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