Service Models and Settings

Recovery Literacy > Recovery Support Services > Service Models and Settings

Seeing the gap in support for themselves and their community, peers, and affected family members in recovery have historically developed recovery support service models to address their needs and the needs of their community. Recovery support services can be found in the community (community-based) or integrated institutions like hospitals, residential treatment centers, or jails. Some models are specific to a particular setting, such as a home or school. Other models are specific to a population, such as youth.


  • Recovery Residences include a wide range of sober, safe, and recovery supportive living environments that promote recovery through mutual aid, social model support, and linkage to community resources. In some cases, recovery residences offer recovery management, life skills development, and/or clinical services to best meet the needs of the residents they serve. The National Alliance for Recovery Residences (NARR) identified four types (known as levels of support), established a code of ethics and national best practice standard. NARR state affiliate organizations are responsible for certifying providers who meet and maintain the standard.
  • Recovery Community Centers are peer-operated centers that serve as local resources of recovery support. They help build recovery capital at the individual and community level through advocacy, recovery education, and resource mobilization. They often provide recovery coaching, social activities, and other community-based services. The Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) has established standards and offers an accreditation program for recovery community centers.
  • Alternative Peer Groups (APG) are a comprehensive recovery support model originally developed for transition-aged youth, including mutual aid and pro-social activities. Some, not all, integrate the evidence-based clinical practice. APG’s are often connected to recovery high schools. You can learn more from the Association of Alternative Peer Groups.
  • Recovery High Schools are secondary schools designed for students in recovery from substance use disorder or dependency. According to the Association of Recovery Schools, each school shares these goals: 1) To educate all available and eligible students who are in recovery from substance use disorder or co-occurring disorder such as anxiety, depression, and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder; 2) To meet state requirements for awarding a secondary school diploma, and 3) To support students in working a strong program of recovery.
  • Collegiate Recovery Programs are based in higher education institutions; collegiate recovery programs (CRPs) provide safe, supportive learning environments for enrolled students who are in recovery from substance use disorder or who have a co-occurring mental diagnosis. According to the National Association of Recovery in Higher Education (ARHE), the primary components of CRPs are Mutual aid support groups on or near campus for students in recovery; Physical space for students to gather socially, participate in sober activities, and experience peer recovery support in a safe environment; Institutional acceptance and support of the collegiate recovery program and the academic goals of students in recovery; Staff, counselors, or student leaders dedicated to the collegiate recovery program; and Peers, recovery coaches, or counselors who are available to offer recovery support.