Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 15:3 (2015), pp. 307–326.

doi: 10.1080/1533256X.2015.1056058


Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


This article identifies potential barriers to substance use recovery associated with rural residence. The evidence is discussed and illustrated with examples. Fourteen specific barriers to substance abuse recovery are identified within 4 broad categories: access to treatment services, access to other professionals, access to peer support groups, and barriers to confidentiality. Although telehealth, expansion of mental health care, intensive referral, and other efforts might enhance access to care, the evidence suggests practitioners and researchers should remain aware of community-level barriers to recovery from substance use disorder and work with clients to overcome them.