Office of National Drug Control Policy

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. For more information, read the Mutual Aid Guide

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.