Identifying the availability of recovery housing in the U.S.: The NSTARR project

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2022 Jan 1:230:109188. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2021.109188. Epub 2021 Nov 26.


Background: Home is essential to recovery, and recovery housing can play an important role for individuals seeking a supportive environment. The National Study of Treatment and Addiction Recovery Residences (NSTARR) Project constitutes the largest and most diverse study of recovery housing to date. We describe the development of a national sampling frame to study recovery housing, as well as findings on availability and distribution of recovery housing across the U.S.

Methods: Data from publicly available sources and lists maintained by entities tracking recovery housing were compiled. Residences for which locating information was available were geocoded and linked with U.S. Census data and drug and alcohol mortality data. We used hot spot analysis and multilevel models to describe the geographic distribution of recovery residences and assess whether residences are located in areas of high need.

Results: The NSTARR database contains information on 10,358 residences operated by 3628 providers in all 50 states. Residences were more likely (p < 0.05) to be in urban areas and in counties with higher substance use mortality; they were less likely to be in economically disadvantaged areas. Recovery housing density also was greater in urban areas and areas with a greater proportion of non-White residents, but lower in economically disadvantaged areas.

Conclusions: Despite a wealth of research on some types of recovery housing, critical gaps in the field's understanding about the nature of recovery housing remain. The NSTARR Project represents an important first step to expand research on recovery housing across the country.

Keywords: Recovery; Recovery housing; Recovery residences; Treatment access; Treatment availability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Behavior, Addictive*
  • Housing
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / epidemiology