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9 Types of Recovery Support Programs

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Recovery Support Programs

In addition to the five dimensions of recovery support, there are specific types of recovery programs available nationwide, including:

  • Recovery Housing: Living environments that promote abstinence-based, long term recovery. After treatment for SUD many patients return to high-risk environments or stressful family situations. Returning to such settings without a network of people to support recovery increases the chances of recurrence of use. Recovery housing can provide one another with abstinence support, guidance, and information that may reduce the probability of a relapse.

  • Peer Support Services: Provides mentorship, coaching, & connection to others in recovery. Because peer support services are designed and delivered by peers––persons who have experienced a substance use disorder and recovery––they embody a powerful message of hope, as well as a wealth of experiential knowledge.

  • Recovery Community Organizations: Local nonprofit organizations that support recovery through services, education & outreach. Recovery is facilitated by a continuum of comprehensive, community-based services that can be tailored to individual needs and help them recover “in place”.

  • Mutual Aid Support Groups: Free peer support provided in a community setting (such as AA, NA, and SMART Recovery).

  • Activity-Based Recovery: Therapeutic activities to support recovery. Research supports physical activity as an effective recovery support as well as a healthy way to build community.

  • Recovery High Schools: Designed to support high school students in recovery. Research supports recovery high schools as an important approach to support youth struggling with substance use and has shown significant reduction in substance use as well as in mental health symptoms among students.

  • Collegiate Recovery: Designed to support college-age students in recovery. Supporting young people in recovery to handle the personal and academic stress of college life in healthy ways and succeed in achieving and/or maintaining recovery and building supportive communities.

  • Faith-Based: Programs informed/guided by faith-based practice. Research has shown that, for some individuals, spirituality is an important component of recovery.

  • Online Support: The number of Americans who have access to the internet is increasing, making proven telehealth and online resources an important means of ensuring these populations have access to resources.

It’s important to find the program(s) that meet your needs. Visit different locations and types of programs to find those that work best for you and match your needs.

Finding a Meeting

For individuals in recovery, it is imperative to maintain their support, meetings, and recovery schedule. One way to help you in your recovery is to attend online support groups if you are unable to attend in person meetings. Support groups may offer online meetings through Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, or their own web provider. These meetings have a similar format to the in-person meeting. There is an opening, topic discussion or speaker, and then there is time to share.

Follow this simple process to access your first online meeting.

  1. Decide what type of support group that you would like to attend. Visit the website that is listed below that is correlated with your prospective support group.

  2. Find a time that you would like to attend a meeting(s).

  3. Familiarize yourself with the process of accessing the meeting. You may have to set up an account in order to access the meeting, so make sure that you plan accordingly.

  4. Remember that just because you are unable to meet with someone in person or go to any gatherings, you are not alone. Feeling isolated and alone can lead people to feeling vulnerable and on edge. Reach out to people in your support network by phone, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or Skype. Whether you are chatting with some family, a friend, someone from the program, or your sponsor, it can help you feel more connected. This can be something to help you amp up your recovery, keep working your program.

Free Smartphone Recovery App

The Addiction Policy Forum has partnered with CHESS Health to make available their free Connections App, which supports patients in recovery by offering anonymous, prosocial engagement with others in recovery, connections to their care team, digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and other engaging and helpful features.

To download the free app, visit:


A Note From Addiction Policy Forum

Substance use disorders get worse over time. The earlier treatment starts the better the chances for long-term recovery. Many families are wrongly told to “wait for rock bottom” and that their loved one needs to feel ready to seek treatment in order for it to work. The idea that we should wait for the disease to get worse before seeking treatment is dangerous. Imagine if we waited until stage 4 to treat cancer. Decades of research has proven that the earlier someone is treated, the better their outcomes—and that treatment works just as well for patients who are compelled to start treatment by outside forces as it does for those who are self-motivated to enter treatment.

Help is Here

If you have questions or need to speak with someone for support, call or text (833) 301-4357 today. Our staff of trained counselors at Addiction Policy Forum provides free, confidential support to anyone in need of help with a Substance Use Disorder issue, including patients, families and healthcare providers.

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