Let us hope that the frequent framing of pharmacological treatments as the only evidence-based approach doesn’t eclipse the evidence for behavioral and social interventions like sober housing:
Following substance abuse treatment, individuals who live in a collaborative housing setting with community rules and responsibilities have their substance abuse treated more effectively than those not provided supportive housing, according to research led by Leonard Jason, a community psychologist at DePaul University.
Research shows that living in a functional community and engaging in positive social structures enhances the recovery trajectory for alcohol and drug abuse, noted Jason, director of the Center for Community Research at DePaul.
Leonard’s research also provides insight into some of the characteristics of successful sober houses and their benefits:
According to Jason, in order for the Oxford Houses to be the most effective in treating its residents, it is best if they are located in safe neighborhoods or strong communities. “Based on our research, the houses work best when they are close to public transportation, have job opportunities, and have other supports such as AA self-help groups. We also have data showing that Oxford House residents do contribute and strengthen their neighborhoods,” Jason said. “Our research shows that it is a win-win situation, with communities benefiting from these Oxford Houses, and the support the Oxford House residents receive from their communities help these former substance abusers live more productive and healthier lives.”