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Social Support

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Substance Abuse: Clinical Issues in Intensive Outpatient Treatment highlights the importance of incorporating social support from families and communities in the recovery process. Involving family members throughout the recovery process can provide encouragement and emotional support and is associated with improved treatment outcomes. Other social support figures, such as recovery coaches, can also play a vital role in supporting adherence to the treatment plan and recovery process.

The Recovery Support Strategic Initiative was developed by SAMHSA to promote partnerships with people in recovery and their family members. The initiative aims to foster health and resilience; increase housing to support recovery; reduce barriers to employment, education, and other life goals; and secure the necessary social supports in the community. Services are culturally and linguistically appropriate and incorporate a full range of social, legal, and other supplemental services to promote wellness and recovery.

Other evidence-based support services include:

  • Employment
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Illness management

Resources to Learn More

Principles of Intensive Outpatient Treatment
Chapter 2 of this Treatment Improvement Protocol summarizes 14 principles of outpatient treatment for substance use based on research and findings of an expert panel, including making treatment readily available, building trusting relationships between providers and patients, utilizing evidence-based approaches, and engaging families, employers and significant others. Each subsequent chapter elaborates on each of these 14 principles and provides more specific recommendations for successful substance abuse treatment.
Organization: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Date: 2006

Promoting Housing Stability
Resources and tools for promoting housing stability among people living with substance abuse, mental illness, and co-occurring disorders.
Organization(s): Case Western Reserve University, Center for Evidence-Based Practices

Supported Employment/Individual Placement and Support
Resources and tools to help people with mental illness and/or substance abuse identify and acquire jobs.
Organization(s): Case Western Reserve University, Center for Evidence-Based Practices