This thesis explored what treatment providers can learn from community-based organizations about volunteerism as a way to support long-term alcohol and drug recovery. In particular, this thesis used 11 structured interviews with staff at community-based organizations and treatment centers to determine the level of resource allocation of volunteers, the utilization of volunteers in program and service delivery, and the motivation of volunteers to get and stay involved in recovery activities. Gaining a better understanding of volunteerism as a strategy for extending care beyond a treatment setting had benefits for both treatment center alumni and volunteers. Findings supported previous anecdotal and research evidence that there were enormous benefits for alumni and the volunteers as recovery was most often enhanced for the volunteer when the experience of recovery was shared with others who were new to a recovery lifestyle. The present research also supported the belief that alumni of treatment centers were less likely to relapse when longer post-treatment recovery support was provided. The findings suggested ways to extend treatment of alcohol and drug addiction beyond the formal treatment setting into the home environment and improve recovery outcomes.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Research projects (MSOD); Alcoholism -- Treatment; Drug addiction -- Treatment; Voluntarism

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graziadio Business School



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Feyerherm, Ann