University of Hartford, Connecticut Research Sober Living Impact

University of Hartford, Connecticut Research Sober Living Impact

Students and faculty at the University of Hartford’s Center for Social Research are researching the best practices for running recovery houses in Litchfield County, which is located in northwest Connecticut.

Assistant Professor Kelly McGeever, Associate Professor and Center Director Wesley Younts, researcher Marcia Hughes, Ph.D., and criminal justice students Mason Brooks ’20 and Kyra Roosa ’20 are collaborating with the Litchfield County Opiate Task Force (LCOTF) to identify and implement best practices for recovery and sober homes.

The Bridge between substance use treatment

“Recovery homes can be a bridge between substance use treatment and sustained independent living. I am very hopeful that our research will help create safer and healthier environments for people recovering from substance use disorders, which ultimately benefits the entire community,” states Assistant Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice Kelly McGeever.

The professors have signed a contract with the LCOTF for the project, which has given them a broad range of responsibilities and goals as well as the freedom to choose the best research methodologies. This includes the team planning and leading various community discussions across Litchfield County, with a focus on Torrington, in order to gather feedback from a diverse group of stakeholders. Clients, those in recovery, family and community members, criminal justice and local authorities, and substance misuse treatment, and other health experts are among those involved. Younts says, “The community seems to be very energized about this issue and is committed to the project.” 

The main goal of recovery residence housing

Another important goal of the study is to aid in the planning, design, and implementation of pilot programs that test best practices. This includes training owners and operators of recovery residence housing, assessing the effectiveness of the practice, and capturing issues and barriers in real-time so that changes can be made quickly.

Students Mason and Kylie are tasked with leading community talks, taking field notes, compiling data about recovery housing and the opioid crisis in Litchfield County, and conducting stakeholder interviews. They’re also taking advantage of the trip to finish their Honors thesis projects. Mason is looking into how sober living arrangements may best benefit veterans, while Kylie is looking into the stigma surrounding sober living.

A detailed report will be presented to LCOTF once the work is completed in around two years, and the professors will strive to present the findings at national conferences and get the results published in professional publications.

The initiative is in addition to McGeever’s and Younts’ other research projects. They’re also looking into the efficacy of drug treatment programs in Connecticut jails, as well as how recovery coaching and peer support might aid people suffering from addiction.

With the Hartford University research in progress, the many benefits of introducing recovery homes in the treatment process will be shared widely. Hence, If you are seeking a well-established, structured sober living home, look no farther than Vanderburgh House, where we take pleasure in providing outstanding sober living resources to our residents.

Our Sober House Database may assist you in locating a facility. However, the best fit is ultimately up to you. While certification and a good outside appearance are excellent starting points, you should do more research before making a commitment. Do not be afraid to inquire!

As the first organization in the US to give sober living charters, we recommend contacting Vanderburgh Communities if you’ve ever been curious about what managing a sober house is like. Keep a positive frame of mind and be grateful for each day as it comes!


  1. Ingarra, M. (2019, November 15). Professors and Students are Researching the Role of Recovery Residences in the Opioid Problem in Northwest Connecticut. The University of Hartford.