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Assessing a pilot scheme of intensive support and assertive linkage in levels of engagement, retention, and recovery capital for people in recovery housing using quasi-experimental methods

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  • Matthew Belanger
  • Arun Sondhi
  • Amy A Mericle
  • Alessandro Leidi
  • Maike Klein
  • Beth Collinson
  • David Patton
  • William White
  • Hao Chen
  • Anthony Grimes
  • Matthew Conner
  • Bob De Triquet
  • David Best
Article number209283
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of substance use and addiction treatment
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/01/24
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Introduction: Strong and ever-growing evidence highlights the effectiveness of recovery housing in supporting and sustaining substance use disorder (SUD) recovery, especially when augmented
by intensive support that includes assertive linkages to community services. This study aims to evaluate a pilot intensive recovery support (IRS) intervention for individuals (n=175) entering
certified Level II and III recovery residences. These individuals met at least three out of five conditions (no health insurance; no driving license; substance use in the last 14 days; current
unemployment; possession of less than $75 capital). The study assesses the impact of the IRS on engagement, retention, and changes in recovery capital, compared to the business-as-usual
Standard Recovery Support (SRS) approach (n=1,758).
Methods: The study employed quasi-experimental techniques to create weighted and balanced counterfactual groups. These groups, derived from the Recovery Capital (REC-CAP) assessment
tool, enabled comparison of outcomes between people receiving IRS and those undergoing SRS.
Results: After reweighting for resident demographics, service needs, and barriers to recovery, those receiving IRS exhibited improved retention rates, reduced likelihood of disengagement,
and growth in recovery capital after living in the residence for 6-9 months.
Conclusion: The results from this pilot intervention indicate that intensive recovery support, which integrates assertive community linkages and enhanced recovery coaching, outperforms a
balanced counterfactual group in engagement, length of stay, and recovery capital growth. We suggest that this model may be particularly beneficial to those entering Level II and Level III
recovery housing with lower levels of recovery capital at admission.