Opportunities for Enhancing Access and Efficacy of Peer Sponsorship in Substance Use Disorder Recovery

Jeremy Heyer, Zachary Schmitt, Lynn Dombrowski, Svetlana Yarosh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are characterized by an inability to decrease a substance use (e.g., alcohol or opioids) despite negative repercussions. SUDs are clinically diagnosable, hazardous, and considered a public health issue. Sponsorship, a specialized type of peer mentorship, is vital in the recovery process and originates from 12-step fellowship programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). To investigate sponsorship relationship practices and to identify design opportunities for digitally-mediated peer support, we conducted 27 in-depth interviews with members of AA and NA. We identified five key sponsorship relationship practices relevant for designing social computing tools to support sponsorship and recovery: 1) assessing dyadic compatibility, 2) managing sponsorship with or without technology, 3) establishing boundaries, 4) building a peer support network, and 5) managing anonymity. We identify social computing and digitally-mediated design opportunities and implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 21 2020
Event2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020 - Honolulu, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2020Apr 30 2020

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Conference

Conference2020 ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2020
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period4/25/204/30/20

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank participants for their time and willingness to share their experiences. We also thank Claire Yang, Tab Zhang, and Tianhao Liu for their help with interviews and members of the GroupLens labs for manuscript edits. This work was partially funded by NSF 1651575.

Keywords

  • 12-step fellowships
  • addiction
  • peer health support
  • recovery
  • substance use disorders
  • technology for substance use

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