The Role of Community-Led Support Groups in Facilitating Recovery for Young Adults with a Substance Use Disorder




aftercare, community-led support groups, social support, substance use disorder, risk factors, recovery


Substance use disorder is a cause of great concern globally and in South Africa in particular. Striking a balance between acute treatment and long-term community-based aftercare is important for sustained recovery from substance use disorder. Support groups play a vital role as a support strategy in recovery. In the article, we illustrate the ways in which community-led support groups can reduce the demand for expensive institutional treatment for readmission for substance use disorder. In the study, we adopted a qualitative exploratory, descriptive and contextual research design. Nine participants from three community-led support groups were recruited by using non-probability purposive and snowball sampling. The sampling criterion included participants aged between 18 and 35, in recovery from substance use disorder for six months and longer. The data were collected through online individual, semi-structured interviews and analysed using thematic analysis. The findings indicated that community-led support groups created a safe space where social support could be accessed. Support needs to avert relapse were identified and active responses were tailored to the needs of the group members.


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Author Biography

Veonna Goliath

Senior Lecturer

Dept of Social Development Professions


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How to Cite

Teko, Luvuyo, Veonna Goliath, and Zurina Abdulla. 2023. “The Role of Community-Led Support Groups in Facilitating Recovery for Young Adults With a Substance Use Disorder”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 35 (1):17 pages.



Received 2022-07-11
Accepted 2023-02-23
Published 2023-05-09