Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Family Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Ronald Werner-Wilson


Substance use disorder (SUD) is one of the most pervasive public health problems in the United States (US Surgeon General, 2016). Addiction (used synonymously with SUDs here) is associated with an abundance of negative outcomes including reduced quality of life, increased criminal activity, spread of infectious diseases, child neglect, job loss, loss of productivity and much more (US Surgeon General, 2016). Despite the detriment that addiction poses to virtually all facets of society, the addiction treatment paradigm in the United States lags significantly behind the research (Kelly & White, 2011; Laudet & Humphreys, 2013). This current system focuses on intensive, rather than extensive, care.

Research shows that full remission from SUDs is not achieved until 3-5 years of sustained remission (Dennis et al., 2007; Jin, Rourke, Patterson, Taylor, & Grant, 1998) and yet only about 20% of clients will engage in any form of aftercare following treatment (Donovan, 1998). New modalities of recovery support are emerging to meet the evolving needs of people with SUDs. This is a study of the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a recovery support service called telephone recovery support (TRS).

Method: Participants (n=100) were recruited from an outpatient addiction treatment provider and randomly assigned to treatment and control. Data were collected at baseline and subsequently at 30 days.

Results: Although the sample size was too small for statistical significance, the results indicated important differences between treatment and control group. By virtue of participating in TRS, participants demonstrated less substance use, a greater sense of perceived support, and increased recovery capital.

Discussion: TRS is well-liked and is perceived as beneficial to recovery. This may be a consequence of TRS increasing recovery capital by connecting participants to resources. More research is needed to determine the dosing of these effects.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Funding made possible in part by the Kathryn Louise Chellgren Endowment via Dr. Werner-Wilson 2019