Frequently Asked Questions

Why am I being asked to complete this survey?

The NSTARR project is conducting a national survey of 800 recovery residences. You are being asked to complete this survey because your residence was randomly selected to participate. The survey collects information on house structure, policies, practices, programming, service orientation, and organization characteristics that will help characterize the national recovery housing landscape.

In addition to collecting information about residences, we are testing the reliability of the survey. To test the reliability, some residences will be invited to complete the survey twice. The informational letter sent to the residence specifies whether your residence has been selected to complete the survey more than once.

How did you find my facility?

Our study team identified recovery residences through publicly available sources, such as the SAMHSA Treatment Locator and recovery residence associations and organizations (e.g., Oxford House, Inc. the National Association of Recovery Residences, Treatment Communities of America). Some residences were identified through other recovery-oriented associations or individual operators.

What is considered a recovery residence for this study?

Recovery residences can range from those based solely on mutual aid to those that also provide recovery support or clinical services. They go by different names, like Oxford Houses, sober living houses, recovery homes, halfway houses, and therapeutic communities. Our study includes the full range of recovery residences: peer-run residences, monitored residences, supervised residences, and treatment providers. If you are unsure if your residence qualifies, contact the NSTARR project coordinator or research associate at xxx-xxx-xxxx.

Our facility provides supportive housing in private homes or apartments throughout the city/state. Should we complete the survey for those homes?

Complete the survey only for the residence listed on the first page of the informational letter that was sent to your residence.

My facility provides housing services for individuals who are homeless. Many of these individuals are in recovery, but this is not a requirement to moving into the residence. Does my residence qualify for the study?

We recognize that recovery can mean different things and that individuals may need different kinds of support at various stages in their recovery. This study is interested in learning more about residences whose primary focus is supporting individuals who are actively engaged in their recovery from alcohol and other substance use, regardless of other services and support they may provide.

My facility provides housing and services to support individuals in recovery from mental health problems. Many of these individuals are also in recovery from alcohol and other substance use, but this is not a requirement of moving into the residence. Does my facility still qualify for the study?

We recognize that individuals can be in recovery from a variety of behavioral health conditions. This study is interested in learning more about residences whose primary focus is supporting individuals who are actively engaged in working on their recovery from alcohol and other substance use, regardless of other services and support they may provide.

Our facility offers in-home services to clients who do not live at the residence. Does this qualify a recovery residence for the study?

If in-home services are provided in addition to a recovery residence program, the facility still qualifies as recovery housing. If your facility only provides in-home services at a client’s personal residence, it does not qualify as recovery housing.

Is a residence specifically for recovery from alcohol use or specifically for recovery from another substance still considered a recovery residence for this study?

Yes, our study includes recovery residences for individuals in recovery from alcohol or any other substance use.

My organization operates multiple facilities. Should I complete this survey for all of them?

No, please complete the survey only for the residence that is listed on the informational letter that was sent to your residence.

How do I access the survey?

All participants will complete the survey by phone with study staff. Study staff will contact you to schedule a time for the survey interview.

Some participants will be asked to first complete the survey online. A link to the survey and your unique user ID and password are included in the informational letter that was sent to your residence. You may also retrieve your link and login information by contacting the project coordinator or a research associate at xxx-xxx-xxxx or xxxxx@arg.org. You may access the survey at any time using your login information.

Who should complete this survey?

The survey should be completed by someone who is knowledgeable about the residence’s daily operations. This may be an owner/operator, house manager, senior resident or house president, or another individual who is involved in the daily operations of your residence.

Can I share the survey link with someone else to help complete it?

No, the person completing the survey may consult with others, but the survey link should only be accessed by one person.

Do I need to complete the survey all at once? Will I be able to go back and change my answers?

Phone interviews for the survey can be conducted in more than one session. You may exit the online survey and use the same link to resume. While completing the survey, you may go back to complete or correct previous responses.

How long is the survey?

The phone interview will take approximately one hour. The survey will take approximately 40 minutes to complete online.

Do I need to speak English to complete the survey?

Yes, the survey is not translated into other languages and must be completed by someone who is fluent in English.

Is it mandatory that I complete this survey?

Your participation is voluntary, but very important. This is the first survey of its kind. Your input will provide important information about recovery residences and about the kind of information that is most important to collect about them.

I want to participate in this study, but I don’t want my answered shared with anyone else. How will my privacy be protected?

All information collected in the survey is completely confidential.  We will report findings from the survey, but results will be reported in aggregate (grouped together) so that no single residence can be identified in the results. We will also make answers from the survey available to other researchers, but no identifying information (e.g., names, address, phone number, contact information) will be included with these data. Researchers will need to sign agreements that they will:  (1) be using the data only for research purposes; (2) commit to securing the data using appropriate computer technology; and (3) not redistribute the data to third parties. If you have any questions about this, you should speak with study staff so that you know exactly how we will protect your confidentiality.

Are there incentives for completing the survey?

Yes, survey respondents will receive a gift card via email for completing the survey. The informational letter you received about the survey specifies the amount that you will receive. The incentive will be sent to you as soon as we receive notification that the survey has been completed.

Where can I find more information about the terms used in the NSTARR Recovery Residence Survey? What if I am unsure about what a question is asking?

Links to see definitions and examples of terms used in the survey will be provided within the survey itself. You may also view specifications for each question on the study website.