Back to Journals » Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation » Volume 6

Motivation to maintain sobriety among residents of sober living recovery homes

Authors Polcin D, Korcha R

Received 27 May 2015

Accepted for publication 6 July 2015

Published 11 September 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 103—111


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Naseem Qureshi

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Li-Tzy Wu

Douglas L Polcin, Rachael Korcha

Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute, Emeryville, CA, USA

Background: The study of motivation in the substance abuse field has typically examined the extent to which substance users want to quit or reduce substance use. Less frequently examined is the desire to maintain sobriety after achieving abstinence. The current study examined motivation to maintain sobriety among residents of sober living houses (SLHs), a type of recovery home for individuals with alcohol and drug problems. Previous research on this population showed favorable longitudinal outcomes over 18 months. Resident views about the costs of not using substances (ie, the difficulties encountered when not using), as well as the perceived benefits of not using, were strong predictors of substance use outcomes.
Methods: This study adds to these findings by conducting two focus groups with individuals familiar with the structure and day-to-day operations of SLHs, including administrators of SLH organizations, owners, and peer managers
Results: Focus group results supported the importance of costs and benefits as motivational forces influencing abstinence. However, participants also emphasized characteristics of the sober living recovery environment as important factors influencing motivation. Interactions among recovering peers offer unique opportunities for feeling understood, recognizing vulnerability in others, identifying with the recovery processes of others, receiving supportive confrontation, and engaging in mutual accountability. These experiences are important elements of motivation that become activated by involvement in the SLH environment and are difficult to replicate outside of that context.
Conclusion: In addition to recognizing how motivation can be enhanced by addressing costs and benefits experienced by individuals, operators of recovery homes need to understand motivation as a function of the recovery home social environment. Additional studies are needed on motivation as a longitudinal construct in a variety of peer-oriented environments. Studies are also needed to better specify interactions within SLHs that increase and hinder motivation among different types of residents.

Keywords: recovery residence, sober living house, social model, social environment

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]


Readers of this article also read:

Cognitive and psychological profiles in treatment compliance: a study in an elderly population with hemophilia

Riva S, Nobili A, Djade CD, Mancuso ME, Santagostino E, Pravettoni G

Clinical Interventions in Aging 2015, 10:1141-1146

Published Date: 9 July 2015

Acquired hemophilia A: emerging treatment options

Janbain M, Leissinger CA, Kruse-Jarres R

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:143-150

Published Date: 8 May 2015

Second case report of successful electroconvulsive therapy for a patient with schizophrenia and severe hemophilia A

Saito N, Shioda K, Nisijima K, Kobayashi T, Kato S

Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment 2014, 10:865-867

Published Date: 16 May 2014

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

The use of PEGylated liposomes in the development of drug delivery applications for the treatment of hemophilia

Rivka Yatuv, Micah Robinson, Inbal Dayan-Tarshish, et al

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2010, 5:581-591

Published Date: 6 August 2010