Drug Addiction Recovery

Drug Addiction Recovery in the United States

Note: Learn about the treatment of drug addiction in this entry

Recovery is a process of change and growth through which people with substance use disorders stop using, and reestablish friendships and family ties, build positive social networks, and become productive and responsible citizens. It is characterized by health, wellness, a sense of purpose, and productive involvement with family and community. Recovery can occur at the individual, family, and community levels. A key to reducing America’s drug problem is greater support for and partnership with the millions of citizens who are in long-term recovery from addiction.

Recovery Systems and Services: Supporting Recovery

A wide range of services, program models, and supports are available to help individuals in recovery.

Mutual Aid

Mutual aid groups, also referred to as “self-help” or “support groups,” are run by people in recovery and support their members as they follow a recovery pathway. Examples of mutual aid groups include Twelve Step fellowships, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Cocaine Anonymous. There is also other addiction recovery mutual aid options, including online resources.

Recovery Support Services

Recovery Support Services are non-clinical services that help people achieve, enrich, and maintain recovery. Services include transportation assistance, childcare, mentoring, recovery coaching, traditional Native American healing practices, and housing and employment assistance. Services are offered by substance use disorder treatment providers as well as ,provider organizations, such as recovery community organizations, substance abuse ministries, and other grassroots community organizations.

Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC)

Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) is a system and service approach that supports long-term recovery. This approach supports recovery systems that are operational in the community at the local, state, or tribal level, and makes it possible for recovery services to be individually tailored.

Recovery Community Organizations (RCO)

Recovery Community Organizations (RCO) are independent, non-profit organizations led and governed by people in recovery. Their purpose is to mobilize resources to increase the number of individuals who achieve and sustain recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs.

Recovery Housing

Recovery housing provides an environment which is safe and supportive of those in recovery from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. Recovery housing typically makes use of single family residences, although there are congregate models in apartment buildings and college dormitories. A recently formed national association is developing national standards that will include uniform language that best describes recovery housing.

Recovery High Schools

Recovery high schools provide a service-enriched and supportive school environment for students recovering from drug and alcohol problems. These schools offer standard academic courses, combined with continuing care and/or recovery support services. Generally, recovery schools do not provide substance use or mental health disorder treatment. In the U.S., there are approximately 35 recovery high schools. The Association of Recovery Schools (ARS) website provides additional information on these schools.

Collegiate Recovery Programs

Collegiate recovery programs can be found on the campuses of community colleges, major state universities, and private institutions of various sizes. There are approximately 18 programs nationally.

Technology & Services

Technology provides a cost-effective way of supporting recovery. Technology used can range from landline and mobile phones to Internet-based social networking platforms, and virtual services to advanced physiological monitoring systems. It plays an ever-expanding role in addiction treatment and recovery support. Practices such as Telephone Monitoring and Adaptive Counseling (TMAC), peer telephone recovery checkups, online recovery support services and mutual aid, and virtual services are becoming increasingly prevalent in the addictions treatment and recovery arena.

Federal Programs and Initiatives

The Federal Government has developed a number of programs that support recovery in the community.

Access to Recovery (ATR)

Access to Recovery (ATR) is a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) program which awards competitive grants to states and tribes to implement voucher systems for purchasing substance use disorder treatment and recovery support services. ATR provides states and tribes with an excellent mechanism for developing systems and services that more effectively support long-term recovery.

Recovery Community Services Program (RCSP)

The Recovery Community Services Program is a SAMHSA grant program which funds organizations to provide peer-to-peer recovery support services for people in or seeking recovery from alcohol and drug problems. Initiated in 1998, RCSP has seeded the development of numerous recovery community organizations.

Targeted Capacity Expansion-Local Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (TCE-ROSC)

SAMHSA’s Targeted Capacity of Expansion (TCE) Local Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (TCE-Local ROSC) grants assist in the development of Recovery-oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) at a local level.

Partners for Recovery (PFR)

Partners for Recovery is a SAMHSA initiative that supports the development of recovery-oriented policy, systems and services. It engages diverse stakeholders including Federal agencies, states, tribes, local governments, professional/ trade associations, faith-based groups, health care professionals, nurses, social workers, and recovery support services providers to accomplish this.

Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) Network

SAMHSA/CSAT funds a network of 14 regional ATTCs, which provide training and technical assistance to states. The ATTC network publishes guides, toolkits and monographs supporting treatment and recovery systems and services. These include numerous publications on recovery-specific topics. Each of the ATTCs has established a ROSC implementation support team to assist states in implementing ROSC.

U.S. Department of Education Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention

The Center provides support for campus alcohol, other drug, and violence prevention efforts nationally. It assists colleges and universities in developing strategies for changing campus culture, fostering environments that promote healthy lifestyles and support recovery, and preventing illegal alcohol and other drug use among students.

Resources, Publications, and Additional Information

Partner Organizations

National Programs

Recovery High Schools

  • The Association of Recovery Schools maintains a list of member schools on its website.

Collegiate Recovery Programs


Drug Addiction Recovery: Open and Free Legal Research of US Law

Federal Primary Materials

The U.S. federal government system consists of executive, legislative, and judicial branches, each of which creates information that can be the subject of legal research about Drug Addiction Recovery. This part provides references, in relation to Drug Addiction Recovery, to the legislative process, the federal judiciary, and the primary sources of federal law (cases, statutes, and regulations).

Federal primary materials about Drug Addiction Recovery by content types:

Laws and Regulations

US Constitution
Federal Statutory Codes and Legislation

Federal Case Law and Court Materials

U.S. Courts of Appeals
United States courts of appeals, inclouding bankruptcy courts and bankcruptcy appellate panels:

Federal Administrative Materials and Resources

Presidential Materials

Materials that emanate from the President’s lawmaking function include executive orders for officers in departments and agencies and proclamations for announcing ceremonial or commemorative policies. Presidential materials available include:

Executive Materials

Federal Legislative History Materials

Legislative history traces the legislative process of a particular bill (about Drug Addiction Recovery and other subjects) for the main purpose of determining the legislators’ intent behind the enactment of a law to explain or clarify ambiguities in the language or the perceived meaning of that law (about Drug Addiction Recovery or other topics), or locating the current status of a bill and monitoring its progress.

State Administrative Materials and Resources

State regulations are rules and procedures promulgated by state agencies (which may apply to Drug Addiction Recovery and other topics); they are a binding source of law. In addition to promulgating regulations, state administrative boards and agencies often have judicial or quasi-judicial authority and may issue administrative decisions affecting Drug Addiction Recovery. Finding these decisions can be challenging. In many cases, researchers about Drug Addiction Recovery should check state agency web sites for their regulations, decisions, forms, and other information of interest.

State rules and regulations are found in codes of regulations and administrative codes (official compilation of all rules and regulations, organized by subject matter). Search here:

State opinions of the Attorney General (official written advisory opinions on issues of state law related to Drug Addiction Recovery when formerly requested by a designated government officer):

Tools and Forms

Law in Other Regions

*This resource guide is updated frequently. However, if you notice something is wrong or not working, or any resources that should be added, please notify us in any of the "Leave a Comment" area.

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