An examination of main and interactive effects of substance abuse recovery housing on multiple indicators of adjustment

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AimsTo assess the effectiveness of community-based supports in promoting abstinence from substance use and related problems.Design and participantsIndividuals (n = 150) discharged from residential substance abuse treatment facilities were assigned randomly to either an Oxford House recovery home or usual after-care condition and then interviewed every 6 months for a 24-month period.InterventionOxford Houses are democratic, self-run recovery homes.MeasurementsHierarchical linear modeling was used to examine the effect of predictive variables on wave trajectories of substance use, employment, self-regulation and recent criminal charges. Regressions first examined whether predictor variables modeled wave trajectories by condition (Oxford House versus usual after-care), psychiatric comorbidity, age and interactions.FindingsAt the 24-month follow-up, there was less substance abuse for residents living in Oxford Houses for 6 or more months (15.6%), compared both to participants with less than 6 months (45.7%) or to participants assigned to the usual after-care condition (64.8%). Results also indicated that older residents and younger members living in a house for 6 or more months experienced better outcomes in terms of substance use, employment and self-regulation.ConclusionsOxford Houses, a type of self-governed recovery setting, appear to stabilize many individuals who have substance abuse histories.

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