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The impact of AA on non-professional substance abuse recovery programs and sober living houses
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In addition to being a widely used and effective approach for alcohol problems, AA has been central to the development of several types of nonprofessional recovery programs. Known as "social model recovery," these programs were staffed by individuals in recovery and they encouraged program participants to become involved in AA as a way to address their drinking problems. In addition, they relied on the traditions, beliefs, and recovery practices of AA as a guide for managing and operating programs (e.g., democratic group processes, shared and rotated leadership, and experiential knowledge). This chapter reviews the philosophy, history, and recent changes in several types of these programs, along with a depiction of AA's influence on them. Programs examined include neighborhood recovery centers, residential social model recovery programs, and two types of sober living houses: California Sober Living Houses and Oxford Houses. Recent outcome evaluations on both types of sober living houses are presented.
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services