top of page


Below are links to research articles about recovery housing for your reference.  ORH has organized these articles into four categories, Outcomes, Resident Experiences, Recovery Housing and Community, and Implementation and Policy.  



Housing Outcomes of Adults Who Were Homeless at Admission to Substance Use Disorder Treatment Programs Nationwide

Of 1,200,105 persons admitted to the programs, 192,838 (16.1%) were homeless at admission; 68.7% remained homeless at discharge, 16.3% were discharged to dependent housing, and only 15.0% were discharged to independent housing. Factors associated with remaining homeless included being age ≥55 years, being unemployed, admission for detoxification (vs. rehabilitation or residential treatment or ambulatory treatment), shorter stays, and program noncompletion. Factors associated with discharge to independent versus dependent housing included employment, admission to non-intensive outpatient treatment, and, unexpectedly, shorter stays. [Read: Abstract]

Outpatient Treatment & Recovery Residences: How Do Clients Do Over Time When the Services Are Offered Together?

"Outpatient treatment settings have surpassed inpatient and residential settings as the most frequently used level of care for substance use disorder. As a result, many clients face treacherous living environments that may increase relapse risk. This study examined the long-term outcomes for clients who used outpatient treatment services combined with recovery residences."

[Read: Article]

Oxford Houses Offer Both Recovery Benefits and Cost Savings

Oxford Houses are a type of abstinence-focused recovery residence that are democratically-run, where residents are entirely responsible for house decisions and maintenance. In this study, authors conducted the most rigorous evaluation of Oxford Houses – and recovery residences more generally – to date.

[ Read: Article]

The Characteristics and Effectiveness of Oxford House Recovery Residences: 2010 Review

"A 2010 article examined the characteristics of the houses and participants and also reviewed two studies funded by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA)."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]

Peer-Delivered Recovery Support Services for Addictions in the United States: A Systematic Review.

"This systematic review identifies, appraises, and summarizes the evidence on the effectiveness of peer-delivered recovery support services for people in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction"

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article ]


A Clean and Sober Place to Live: Philosophy, Structure, and Purported Therapeutic Factors in Sober Living Houses.

"The call for evidence-based practices (EBPs) in addiction treatment is nearly universal. It is a noteworthy movement in the field because treatment innovations have not always been implemented in community programs."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]


Abstinence-contingent recovery housing and reinforcement-based treatment following opioid detoxification.

"To conduct a randomized, controlled trial of abstinence-contingent recovery housing delivered with or without intensive day treatment among individuals exiting residential opioid detoxification."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article ]


Recovery from Addiction in Two Types of Sober Living Houses: 12-Month Outcomes

"Sustained abstinence for many alcohol- and drug-dependent persons might be enhanced by providing an alcohol- and drug-free living environment that supports recovery. Sober living houses (SLHs) are alcohol- and drug-free living environments for individuals attempting to maintain abstinence. "

[ Read: Full Abstract ]

A Model for Sober Housing During Outpatient Treatment

"Finding a living environment that supports recovery is a major challenge for many clients attending outpatient treatment. Yet it is important because family, friends, and roommates who encourage substance use or discourage recovery can undermine the progress made in treatment."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article ]

What did we learn from our study of sober living houses and where do we go from here? 

"Lack of a stable, alcohol- and drug-free living environment can b e a serious obstacle to sustained abstinence. Destructive living environments can derail recovery for even highly motivated individuals."

[ Read: Full Abstract ]

Recovery Housing: Assessing the Evidence

"Recovery housing is a direct service with multiple components that provides supervised, short-term housing to individuals with substance use disorders or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders. It commonly is used after inpatient or residential treatment."

[ Read: Full Abstract ]


The Role of Recovery Residences in Promoting Long-Term Addiction Recovery

"Addiction and the larger arena of alcohol and other drug (AOD) abuse and related problems exact an enormous toll on individuals, families, organizations, local neighborhoods, and whole communities in the United States."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]


How Does a Campus Recovery House Impact Its Students and Its Host Institution?

"This is a literature review about a growing trend in meeting the needs of students in recovery who wish to attend an institution of higher education. The trend is campus-based recovery community programs and, more specifically, campus-based recovery houses."

[ Read: Full Abstract ]


Recovery Capital as Prospective Predictor of Sustained Recovery, Life Satisfaction and Stress among Former Poly-Substance Users

"This study builds on our previous cross-sectional findings that recovery capital (social supports, spirituality, religiousness, life meaning, and 12-step affiliation) enhances the ability to cope with stress and enhances life satisfaction."

[ Read: Full Article]


Social and Recovery Capital Amongst Homeless Hostel Residents who use Drugs and Alcohol

"Therapies that focus on promoting positive social networks amongst people experiencing addiction seem to offer a valuable way of working with homeless hostel residents who use drugs and alcohol."

[ Read: Full Article]

The Need for Substance Abuse After-Care: Longitudinal Analysis of Oxford House

"Results suggest that receiving abstinence support, guidance, and information from recovery home members committed to the goal of long-term sobriety may enhance residents' abstinence self-efficacy and enable persons recovering from alcohol and other drug addiction to reduce the probability of a relapse."

[ Read: Full Article]

Substance Abuse Recovery Odds Increase in a Community Setting

"This news article discusses the research of Leonard Jason, a community psychologist at DePaul University, specializing in the study of Oxford Houses."

[ Read: Full Article]




Resident Experiences


Understanding What Motivates Recovery Residents

"There are many factors that research has shown are important to achieving and sustaining recovery. Among the most important factors is motivation to quit alcohol and other drugs."

[ Read: Article]

Will Providing Housing for Homeless People With Mental Illness Reduce Daily Substance Use?

"Homeless individuals with substance use issues and a co-occurring mental health disorder face additional obstacles when attempting the break the cycle of homelessness and addiction. While recovery is possible, effective interventions designed with this specific population in mind are needed."

[ Read: Article]

Do Young Adults Need Both Clinical & Non-clinical Continuing Care After Residential Treatment?

"Relative to adolescents and older adults, emerging adults (18-24 years old in the current study) face unique recovery challenges related to their social and contexts, such as lower availability of recovery-supportive peers and environments."

[ Read: Article]

Addressing Unemployment & Addiction Through Recovery Housing

"Recovery residences for homeless people with substance use disorders is an emerging solution to a cyclical problem. Homeless individuals may have difficulty obtaining secure housing and in turn, lack of housing acts as a barrier to sobriety."

[ Read: Article]

Alternative Families in Recovery: Fictive Kin Relationships Among Residents of Sober Living Homes

"Sober living homes are group residences for people attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs in a mutually supportive setting. Residents typically develop strong psychological and economic ties and have been referred to as “alternative families,” thus evoking the anthropological concept of fictive kinship." 

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article ]


Housing Preferences and Choices Among Adults with Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders: A Qualitative Study

"Housing is a crucial issue for adults with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance use disorders, as this population is particularly susceptible to housing instability and homelessness."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]

Sense of Community within Oxford House Recovery Housing: Impact of Resident Age and Income

"The experience of psychological sense of community (PSOC) can play an important role in the substance abuse recovery process. This study explored the relationship between PSOC and setting level variables of age and income among residents living in Oxford House, a communal, self-governed recovery housing model."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]


Sober as Deviant: The Stigma of Sobriety and How some College Students “Stay Dry” on a “Wet” Campus

"Social scientists have conducted numerous studies on college students’ binge drinking behavior. They have not, however, conducted any systematic studies of nondrinkers on college campuses. Our study focuses on the everyday experiences of nondrinking undergraduates who stay “dry” while living on “wet” campuses."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]


What about Sober Living Houses for Parolees?

"High recidivism rates for parolees might be reduced with the provision of a stable, drug-free living environment. This paper suggests that Sober Living Houses (SLHs) have been overlooked as housing options for alcohol and drug abusing parolees."

[ Read: Full Abstract ]


Therapy or Threat? Inadvertent exposure to alcohol and illicit drug cues in neighbourhoods of sober living homes

"Alcohol retail outlets and other environmental cues can contribute to relapse among individuals recovering from substance abuse. Sober living homes are residences designed to strengthen abstinence from substances, in part by helping residents develop skills for coping with cues and other stressors."

[ Read: Full Abstract ]

Dynamic Social Networks in Recovery Homes

"Results suggest that confidant relationships are predicted by trust, while trust is affected by recovery behaviors and length of residence. Conceptualizing recovery houses as a set of independent, evolving social networks that can be modeled jointly appears to be a promising direction for research."

[ Read: Full Article ]


Residents of Mutual Help Recovery Homes, Characteristics and Outcomes: Comparison of Four US Ethnic Subgroups

"This study compared the characteristics and outcomes of four ethnic groups living in mutual help recovery homes."

[ Read: Full Article ]



Recovery Housing and the Community

Community Context of Sober Living Houses

"The success or failure of programs designed to address alcohol and drug problems can be profoundly influenced by the communities where they are located. Support from the community is vital for long-term stability and conflict with the community can harm a program’s reputation or even result in closure." 

[ Read: Full Article]


Perceptions of Sober Living Houses Among Addiction Counselors and Mental Health Therapists: Knowledge, Views and Perceived Barriers

"Affordable alcohol- and drug-free housing that supports recovery is limited in many areas. Sober living houses (SLHs) offer a unique living environment that supports abstinence and maintenance of a recovery lifestyle."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]


From Personal Tragedy to Personal Challenge: Responses to Stigma Among Sober Living Home Residents and Operators 

"Sober living homes for people attempting to maintain abstinence from alcohol and drugs can act as a buffer against the high rates of substance misuse that are endemic to many urban environments. Sober living homes and other group homes for people with disabilities have faced persistent opposition from neighbourhood associations, which raises the question of stigma."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article]

The Evolution of Peer Run Sober Housing as a Recovery Resource for California Communities

"The purpose of this paper is to trace the evolution of sober living houses in California from the early influences of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930’s to the establishment of current SLH associations, such as the Sober Living Network in Southern California."

[ Read: Full Article]


Attitudes Toward Recovery Homes and Residences: Does Proximity Make a Difference?

"The present study investigated the attitudes of neighborhood residents toward a particular type of substance abuse recovery home (i.e., Oxford House) . . . Findings suggest that well managed and well-functioning substance abuse recovery homes, such as Oxford Houses, elicit constructive and positive attitudes toward individuals in recovery and recovery homes."

[ Read: Full Article]


Counteracting "Not in my Backyard": The Positive Effects of Greater Occupancy within Mutual-Help Recovery Homes

"Regression analyses using data from 643 residents from 154 U.S. Oxford Houses indicated that larger House size predicted less criminal and aggressive behavior; additionally, length of abstinence was a partial mediator in these relationships. These findings have been used in court cases to argue against closing down larger Oxford Houses."

[ Read: Full Article ]

Implementation and Policy Considerations


An Agenda for Recovery Residence Stakeholders in the 21st Century

"There are thousands of housing resources designed to support recovery – recovery residences – in the United States. In this policy statement, an expert panel reviews what is known about recovery residences, while identifying major gaps in the knowledge base. This overview results in a sprawling agenda that spans needs in recovery residence research, policy, and advocacy in the years to come."

[Read: Article]

A Descriptive Look at the Mission, Obstacles & Strategies Used by the Operators of Recovery Residences

"A growing body of research has found that recovery residencies are a useful peer-based recovery support option for substance use disorder. Little is known, however, descriptively regarding the priorities of the home operators. This study outlined how the operators of these homes describe their mission, obstacles, and strategies using a qualitative investigation.​"

[ Read: Article]

The Role of Recovery Housing: Prioritizing Choice in Homeless Services

"Recovery Housing is essential for supporting some homeless individuals and families.  Within a comprehensive continuum based on choice, both recovery housing and low-demand models can support housing retention, reduce homelessness, promote recovery, and foster self-determination."

[ Read: Full Abstract or Full Article ]

The Setting is the Service: How the Architecture of Sober Living Residences Supports Community Based Recovery

"This paper uses a case-study approach to analyze the architecture of a community-based residential recovery service that has demonstrated successful recovery outcomes for its residents, is popular in its community, and has achieved state-wide recognition." 

[ Read: Full Article]

Maximizing the Social Model Principles in Residential Recovery Settings

"This article presents specific, practical suggestions for enhancing social model principles in ways that facilitate peer support in a range of recovery residences." 

[ Read: Full Article ]


Measuring Treatment Philosophy: A Scale for Substance Abuse Recovery Programs

"This paper presents a Social Model Philosophy Scale (SMPS) to classify the extent to which a given treatment program follows a social model approach to treatment." 

[ Read: Full Article ]


Sober Housing and Motivational Interviewing: The Treatment Access Project

"This paper describes an innovative program that provides rental subsidies for sober housing and supportive services to persons in early recovery who are homeless and have substance use disorders." 

[ Read: Full Article ]


The Role of Recovery Residences in Promoting Long-Term Addiction Recovery

"New recovery support institutions are emerging beyond the arenas of traditional addiction treatment to support individuals hoping to initiate and to sustain long-term recovery from addiction." 

[ Read: Full Article ]

bottom of page