• Article

Recovery support for adolescents with substance use disorders


Garner, B. R., Godley, M. D., Passetti, L. L., Funk, R. R., & White, W. L. (2014). Recovery support for adolescents with substance use disorders: The impact of recovery support telephone calls provided by pre-professional volunteers. Journal of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism, 2(2), 1010.


The present quasi-experiment examined the direct and indirect effects of recovery support telephone calls following adolescent substance use disorder treatment. Six-month outcome data from 202 adolescents who had received recovery support calls from primarily pre-professional (i.e., college-level social service students) volunteers was compared to 6-month outcome data from a matched comparison sample of adolescents (n = 404). Results suggested adolescents in the recovery support sample had significantly greater reductions in their recovery environment risk relative to the comparison sample (β = -.17). Path analysis also suggested that the reduction in recovery environment risk produced by recovery support calls had indirect impacts (via recovery environment risk) on reductions in social risk (β = .22), substance use (β = .23), and substance-related problems (β = .16). Finally, moderation analyses suggested the effects of recovery support calls did not differ by gender, but were significantly greater for adolescents with lower levels of treatment readiness. In addition to providing rare empirical support for the effectiveness of recovery support services, an important contribution of this study is that it provides evidence that recovery support services do not necessarily have to be "peer-based," at least in terms of the recovery support service provider having the experiential credentials of being "in recovery." If replicated, this latter finding may have particularly important implications for helping increase the recovery support workforce.