Recovery Management's 10 Slices of Cheese


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Addiction Recovery Management Model


The Swiss Cheese Model was created by Safety Psychologist Dr. James Reason to prevent aviation mishaps. Safety barriers can prevent mishaps, but they are not perfect. They have weaknesses - like the holes in Swiss Cheese. By using more than one safety barrier, we can minimize the risk of a mishap. This safety approach allows tens of thousands of people to travel safely all over the world, every day.


“Memo to Self” is a film about Recovery Management: organizing addiction treatment and recovery support services so people with addiction can get ready for recovery, get into recovery, get through early recovery, and get what they need to thrive in long-term recovery.


The film brings the science of safety together with Recovery Management. With each “slice of cheese” that a person in early sobriety adds to their recovery plan - their risk of relapse is reduced, and their chances for long- term remission of their substance use disorder increase.


Below are ten closing “Recovery Management Elements used by professional health programs for pilots, health care providers, and other many other people working in high-risk occupations.

diction Recovery Management
diction Recovery Management
diction Recovery Management
diction Recovery Management



LeMont (2008 - 2012)

Our experiment in creating a recovery residence and recovery management program in Utah

Learn more about Recovery Management:


Recovery Management and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care by William White

This monograph, written by William L. White, is an excellent summation of the concepts and practices of Recovery Management and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care. This link is to from the NAADAC website.


Addiction Recovery Management: Theory, Research and Practice (20100), John Kelly and William White (eds.)

This is the seminal survey text on Addiction Recovery Management. We used this as the blueprint for designing our Recovery Management/Recovery Residence program. Most of the concepts discussed in our film “Memo to Self” can be found (and came from) this book, and I believe it is the most important book I have ever read. Every person interested in the field of addiction treatment and recovery support should read this book at least once.


A New Paradigm for Recovery: Making Recovery - and not relapse - the Expected Outcome of Addiction Treatment

A report by the Recovery Management Working Group in 2014 summarizing Recovery Management principles.


Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC): Recovery Management by William White, Ernest Kurtz, and Mark Sanders

An early primer on the concepts of Recovery Management - one of the first articulations of the concepts and principles discussed in our film.


“New Paradigm Addiction Recovery Model takes long-term view” from the Partnership for Drug Free Kids website

This is an article about a lecture given by one of the Blueprint Studies authors, Dr. Robert DuPont, about the need for Recovery Management. I found the comments made in the response section interesting.


William White Papers Website: papers on Recovery Management

From Bill White’s excellent website: the full repository of all of his writings on the subject of Recovery Management.


How are physicians treated? A National survey of physician health programs.

The first of the two original “Blueprint Studies.” Accessed from the West Virginia Medical Professionals Health Program.


Setting the standard for recovery: Physicians’ Health Programs (2009)

A link to the citation on for the second of the two original “Blueprint Studies”


Six lessons from state physician health programs to promote long-term recovery

A 2012 article by two authors of the Blueprint Studies that we used in our film to describe the six things that PHPs provide their recovering participants to give them higher likelihood of entering long-term remission of their substance use disorders.


A summary of supporting journal articles supporting the Blueprint Studies


How to achieve an 80 percent recovery rate

A 2012 blog commentary by American Society of Addiction Medicine President Dr. Stuart G Itlow on the findings of the Blueprint Studies and their application to other groups of patients.


Drug Dependence Treatment: Sustained Recovery Support

A 2008 United Nations report on the importance of recovery management principles


What is recovery? A working definition from the Betty Ford Institute

The 2007 report from the Betty Ford Institute Consensus Panel on the definition of “recovery” from the NAADAC website. This panel was comprised of some of the brightest minds in addiction treatment and research, including several Blueprint Studies authors.


What is recovery? Revisiting the Betty Ford Institute Consensus Panel Definition

A 2010 letter to the editor of the Journal of Groups in Addiction and A. Thomas McLellan, PhD (an author of the Blueprint Studies) updating some of the concepts about recovery from the 2007 Betty Ford Institute’s Consensus Panel.


Recovery and Recovery Support

Taken from the website of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration delineating the four dimensions that support recovery: health, home, purpose and community.


The Status and Future of Addiction Recovery Support Services in the United States

The Betty Ford Institute’s Consensus Statement on Recovery Support Services