Rising Strong: Edovo's Substance Use Recovery Programming

Rising Strong: Edovo's Substance Use Recovery Programming

Substance Use Recovery Programming


Substance misuse is a critical issue for people incarcerated in America. The National Institute of Health reports that 65% of incarcerated individuals have an active substance use disorder, and an additional 20% were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their crime. In substance abuse recovery, identifying the most important actions or strategies can help individuals achieve the greatest progress toward their recovery goals. To determine what type of substance abuse recovery program will yield the desired results of abstinence and sobriety, individuals may want to consider the following:


These areas of consideration are defined by research studies published by the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 

the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, and the Journal of Addiction Medicine.  

  1. Identify the most critical aspects of recovery: This includes understanding the root causes of substance abuse, developing coping strategies, building a support network, and setting achievable goals.

  2. Prioritize the most effective treatments: Evidence-based treatments such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and medication-assisted treatment have been shown to be effective in treating substance abuse.

  3. Develop a personalized recovery plan: A recovery plan should be tailored to an individual's specific needs and goals, taking into account any co-occurring mental health conditions, social support, and lifestyle factors.

  4. Focus on building healthy habits: Substance abuse can often be linked to unhealthy habits, such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate sleep. Focusing on building healthy habits can help support overall recovery. 

  5. Address any underlying trauma or emotional issues: Many individuals with substance abuse disorders have underlying trauma or emotional issues that may have contributed to their substance use. Addressing these issues through therapy or other supportive services can be critical to long-term recovery.

Approaches to Substance Misuse Recovery

Recovery from substance misuse is a highly personal process that can occur via many pathways, so Edovo has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing a need that touches so many on the inside. While AA and NA are often the provided service inside correctional facilities, several alternatives to AA exist that are more secular and may align with individuals who do not find success in AA programs. Edovo offers a combination of AA-based materials and many alternatives. These alternatives generally ask individuals to find motivation within themselves and to learn internal control instead of seeking an external source of power. 

In addition to cultivating internal control and motivation, research indicates that a holistic approach to an individual’s well-being across all areas of their life is essential for long-term substance abuse recovery. SAMSHA, The National Library of Medicine, and The University of Virginia, point to the following dimensions of recovery:

  1. Health/Physical Exercise

  2. Self-Esteem/Purpose

  3. Motivation for Change

  4. Community

  5. Emotional Intelligence

  6. Spirituality

  7. Employment

The Importance of 12-Step Alternatives

Many individuals seeking treatment for substance misuse struggle to maintain consistent, long-term engagement, and 12-step groups are not attractive to a significant number of them. Treatment studies consistently indicate that during the year following treatment, most people fail to attend the recommended minimum of weekly treatment sessions.

Additionally, mandating participation in 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous presents legal and ethical concerns. Around 37% of publicly funded substance abuse treatment program admissions are mandated  (Zenmore et.al. (2017), and several higher courts have ruled that mandating 12-step attendance violates the First Amendment due to the religious aspects of these programs. However, mandating attendance at 12-step programs as one option among multiple options, including secular alternatives, is permissible.

Research has shown that members of alternatives to 12-step programs tend to be less religious and have higher levels of education and income. Despite attending fewer in-person meetings, members of these alternatives report equivalent levels of involvement and higher satisfaction and cohesion compared to 12-step members. It is possible that some or all of these alternatives may be more appealing and effective for less religious clients, who have higher socioeconomic status, are older, do not have co-occurring drug or mental health problems, and are not committed to lifetime abstinence.  (Zenmore et.al. (2017)

In response to the legal and ethical concerns of limiting the substance abuse treatment options raised in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, Edovo is committed to providing incarcerated individuals access to a wide variety of substance abuse recovery resources and programs.

Edovo’s Approach to Substance Misuse Recovery

Since the substance misuse recovery process can vary significantly from one individual to another, Edovo understands that traditional 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous can be effective for many, but might not be suitable for all incarcerated individuals seeking to overcome addiction. Accordingly, Edovo has compiled a broad range of resources that cater to different recovery paths. 

These resources fall into the categories recommended by SAMSHA and The National Library of Medicine as dimensions that are essential to substance abuse recovery. By providing these resources in a digital environment,  incarcerated individuals have regular, judgment-free opportunities for self-reflection and evaluation, which can help them stay on track with their recovery objectives and pinpoint areas that require improvement.

Throughout this list of content, you will often see links to Insight, where staff can manage their Learner's activity, and Edovo Go. Remember that Staff with Insight accounts can log into Edovo Go and view their content as if they were an incarcerated Learner. We use this tool to provide an accurate and real-time experience that reflects one of your Learners. To learn more, check out this article

Health/Physical Exercise

  • The Phoenix

    • Since 2006, The Phoenix’s free sober active community has inspired more than 192,000 people across America to believe they have the strength to rise from the ashes of addiction through the support of those who are walking that very same path. Through their message of physical fitness, The Phoenix aims to empower people in their journey towards sobriety. Their active sober living workout, yoga, and meditation videos have found success on the Edovo platform in part because they deliver their message through the voices of formerly incarcerated individuals who overcame addiction and now live a sober lifestyle on the outside. 

    • Use Edovo Go to View The Phoenix Series:


  • The Art of Soulmaking: The Path to Unconditional Freedom

    • The Unconditional Freedom Project’s Art of Soulmaking eight-week correspondence course is about restoring dignity. Restoring dignity means restoring the idea that every single human being has a unique purpose and genius inside of them. The workbook is a monastery in a book. You will learn self-inquiry, yoga, and meditation, as well as have the opportunity to write with a pen pal on the outside. Soulmaking is about discovering who we are together.

    • Use Insight to The Art of Soulmaking: The Path to Unconditional Freedom Course to Learners.

    • And use Edovo Go to view the course.

  • The Abstinence Myth 

    • The Abstinence Myth, a book by addiction expert Adi Jaffe, offers a new approach to addiction recovery. Jaffe draws on his personal experience and research to introduce the IGNTD recovery method, which challenges the traditional idea of abstinence and provides a personalized path to transformation. The book includes Jaffe's inspiring story, an explanation of the mythology of addiction, and the three IGNTD principles with nine steps to create a unique recovery path. The Abstinence Myth is a hopeful and practical guide for those seeking a new perspective on addiction and a way to move forward.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this eBook.

  • Rewired Program

    • The truth is: every person has the power to change their habits and their lives by rewiring their brains. That's the Rewired Belief, and it's at the heart of this online wellness program. Throughout ten self-paced modules, we'll explore self-care, communication, our thoughts, time management, stress management, boundaries, and self-love, which will help you rewire your brain for recovery and wellness. Each module includes an in-depth topic overview, an exercise, a journal prompt, a discussion question, and an affirmation that will reinforce the module's key takeaways.

    • Use Insight to assign Rewired Program Course to Learners.

    • And use Edovo Go to view the program.

Motivation for Change

  • Seeking Substance Abuse Treatment

    • The goal of drug abuse treatment is to stop drug use and allow people to lead active lives in the family, workplace, and community. One continual challenge, however, is keeping patients in treatment long enough for them to achieve this goal. That is why finding the right treatment for a person’s specific needs is critical. This course was put together with information provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. For more information visit www.drugabuse.gov.

  • Individual Support

    • Youturn Health’s video series was designed to provide information about substance misuse and give you the tools you need to make an accurate self-assessment of where you are in your journey. Topics include: What is addiction? The stages of change; Environmental and emotional triggers; Finding your purpose.


  • The Phoenix 

    • The Phoenix partnered with Edovo to create a set of custom digital curricula available exclusively on the Edovo tablet. These courses, which include workout videos, yoga, and meditation, as well as guided self-reflections and daily challenges, aim to bring The Phoenix's supportive community to the digital world. The courses are designed for incarcerated individuals to participate together with others in their facility, providing them with a sense of connection to The Phoenix's community while also finding support within their facility. In addition to dozens of active, sober living videos, these custom digital curricula offer a safe and guided way for incarcerated individuals to stay motivated and supported.

    • Use Insight to Assign the Phoenix Courses to Learners

    • Use Edovo Go to View the Courses:

  • Ben's Story

    • Youturn Health’s video series was designed to help incarcerated individuals feel connected to a wider community by sharing the story of Ben Williams. Ben Williams tells his story about incarceration and reentry into society. Incarceration is hard. Ben tells his story of re-entry and hope to those struggling with substance misuse.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

Emotional Intelligence

  • PMI: Path of Freedom (v2022)

    • Fleet Maull and the Prison Mindfulness Institute (PMI) have created this video-based course to help you practice mindfulness as a tool to improve your everyday life and work towards your long-term goals. PMI is dedicated to providing the most effective, evidence-based tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal and professional development. The focus of Path of Freedom is emotional intelligence. Fleet is an author, master teacher, trainer, and leader who facilitates deep transformation.

    • Use Insight to assign PMI: Path of Freedom (v2022) Course to Learners.

    • And use Edovo Go to view the course.


  • Reflections and Recovery

    • Recovering from addiction takes an enormous amount of courage and just admitting that you have a problem that you can't solve by yourself takes a ton of bravery. Throughout this course, you will learn about some practices that will help you recover from your addiction. Objectives: Explain how mindfulness and sobriety are related; Discuss the benefits of practicing mindfulness-based sobriety; Envision your life without your addiction; Identify three important values to you to help you on your road to recovery; Cope with your cravings; Use spirituality to help you achieve your goals; Tackle the obstacles you face when trying to create positive change in your life.

    • Use Insight to assign Reflections and Recovery Course to Learners.

    • And use Edovo Go to view the course.


  • Recovery First Aid

    • Youturn Health is a virtual support program that bridges the gap between inaction and seeking treatment by making support accessible to employees grappling with stress, anxiety, depression, or suicidal ideation, wherever they are in their journey. The Recovery First Aid series covers topics such as: What is substance abuse? Impact of substance misuse in the workforce; Recognizing substance use disorder; Tobacco use in the workplace. 

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a popular program worldwide, with over 2 million members in 180 countries and more than 118,000 groups. For many individuals, AA’s approach to sobriety provides an effective, long-term solution. Therefore, to support all people in overcoming addiction, the Edovo platform offers various AA resources. Incarcerated individuals can access literature like the titles listed below which can give them an understanding of addiction, the recovery process, and the tools to beat addiction through the AA lens. 

  • 12 Steps and Twelve Traditions Audiobook

    • Commonly referred to as the Twelve and Twelve, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions comprises 24 foundational essays by Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill W. that have helped millions of A.A. members worldwide both to get and stay sober one day at a time and to ensure that their Fellowship — Alcoholics Anonymous as a whole — will be there for them tomorrow. Whether read aloud at meetings, referred to while working with a sponsor, or turned to in a quiet moment, The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions can serve as a vital resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of the Steps and Traditions. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions has been approved by the General Service Conference.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

  • The Language of the Heart: Bill W.'s Grapevine Writings

    • Featuring all of AA cofounder Bill W.’s writings in Grapevine, AA’s official International Journal. Bill was Grapevine’s most prolific contributor, writing more than 150 articles, from his first in June 1944 to his last in December 1970. Language of the Heart contains Bill’s first thoughts about AA’s Twelve Traditions, his battles with chronic depression and spiritual pride, memories of an all-night drinking spree with his dear friend Ebby and a vivid description of how he came to organize the Twelve Steps of AA.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous - Stories of Recovery

    • AA members talk about their experience, strength, and hope in recovering from alcoholism. Expect both humor and inspiration as these AA members share their true stories.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

  • A Guide Through the 12 Steps of Recovery

    • The purpose of this course is to allow you to reflect on the ways alcohol or substance use has affected your life. It provides educational material on the 12 steps of AA/NA as well as interactive reflective exercises.

    • Use Insight to assign this course to Learners.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this course.

  • Alcoholics Anonymous - 4th Edition Audiobook

    • Known as the Big Book, the basic text of Alcoholics Anonymous has helped millions of people worldwide get and stay sober since the first edition appeared in 1939. Opening chapters articulate A.A.’s program of recovery from alcoholism — the original Twelve Steps — and recount the personal histories of A.A.'s co-founders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob. In the pages that follow, more than 40 A.A. members share how they stopped drinking and found a new healthier, and more serene way of life through the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. Whether reading passages at meetings, reading privately for personal reflection, or working with a sponsor, the Big Book can be a source of inspiration, guidance, and comfort on the journey to recovery. This Fourth Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous has been approved by the General Service Conference.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

  • Living Sober Audiobook

    • A.A.’s how-to manual for staying sober in everyday situations, this widely read booklet demonstrates through simple examples how A.A. members throughout the world live their lives to the fullest while staying sober one day at a time. From the foreword: Living sober turns out to be not at all grim, boring, and uncomfortable, as we had feared, but rather something we begin to enjoy and find much more exciting than our drinking days. Responding to commonly asked questions such as Should I go into bars? and Should I seek professional help? and covering popular topics such as romantic relationships in sobriety, Living Sober offers suggestions that can, over time, help alcoholics replace their old, destructive habits with new, healthier ones. An especially useful resource for the newcomer to Alcoholics Anonymous, Living Sober has helped countless A.A. members meet life on life’s terms while they move forward on their recovery path. Living Sober has been approved by the General Service Conference.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this series.

  • It Works If We Work It: Practicing the Principles of AA

    • Stories by AA members about the Twelve Traditions, including topics such as: Can we be too anonymous? Is Tradition Three really the only requirement? Are there bosses in AA? Also features the essay “The Twelve Traditions: Our Key to Survival and Growth” by AA co-founder Bill W.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this audio.

  • The Twelve Traditions: What Experience Has Taught Us

    • Insightful recordings of Grapevine articles on the Traditions, including “Why We Have Servants Instead of Bosses,” “The Group Conscience in Action,” a “Tenth Tradition Checklist,” and more.

    • Use Edovo to view this audio.

  • No Matter What: Dealing with Adversity in Sobriety

    • Powerful stories by AA members about using the tools to get through tough times in sobriety, including helpful stories about illness, divorce, financial loss, death of a child or sponsor, house fires, and more.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this reading.

  • One-on-One: AA Sponsorship in Action

    • What does a sponsor do? How do you get one? This book is full of members’ experiences 

about the challenges and joys of AA sponsorship.

  • Daily Reflections

    • This collection of readings moves through the calendar year one day — and one page — at a time. For every day, a favorite quotation from the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous is followed by an A.A. member’s personal reflection, making for daily reading that is at once inspired and inspiring. While focusing broadly on the Three Legacies of Recovery, Unity, and Service, this volume offers experience, strength, and hope on specific topics such as willingness, faith, making amends — themes that recovering alcoholics must address each day — and reminds us that we are never really alone in Alcoholics Anonymous. Whether using the day’s reading as a source for their morning meditation, discussing it with a sponsor, or sharing it with their home group, many in Alcoholics Anonymous consider Daily Reflection to be a critical tool in their spiritual toolkit. Features a topical index to help guide the discussion. Daily Reflections has been approved by the General Service Conference.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this reading.

  • Beginner's Book: Getting and Staying Sober in AA

    • Full of useful suggestions, insights, and solutions for newcomers, this book features stories by AA members about what helped them get sober and successfully navigate early sobriety.

    • Use Edovo Go to view this reading.

Coming to Edovo in 2023

  • Healing Shame

    • “Shame is at the root of depression, trauma, addiction, eating disorders, and perfectionism,” they teach. “When we go to extremes to keep our vulnerabilities hidden, our very efforts keep us stuck. But when we develop a healthy relationship with this complex emotion, we find freedom and healing.” In Healing Shame, Sheila Rubin and Dr. Bret Lyon ask the question: What if your shame—that awful, overwhelming emotion—could work for you instead of sabotaging your well-being?

  • Self-Compassion Step

    • Over the past decade, an overwhelming body of research has shown self-compassion to be a master key to good psychological and physical health. Whether you wish to reduce stress, develop healthy habits for exercise or diet, unlock your creativity, or even deal with serious conditions such as depression or addiction, a strong sense of self-compassion is an essential ingredient for success. Best of all, self-compassion is a skill that can be learned. Through six sessions of teaching, Dr. Neff offers guided meditations, experiential practices, and on-the-spot techniques to help you build a strong foundation of self-compassion in your daily life.

  • Neurosculpting

    • Modern neuroscience shows that what we do and think can change the physical structure of the brain—yet often this occurs unconsciously when we habitually react to stress in unhealthy ways. Lisa Wimberger created Neurosculpting® as a complete approach for consciously reshaping our brains for greater happiness, health, creativity, and compassion. With Neurosculpting, she offers you in-depth training in this powerful process for using meditation, mindfulness, diet, and unique daily practices to help you create positive, lasting changes in your brain—and your life.

  • Healing Trauma

    • Researchers have shown that survivors of accidents, disasters, and childhood trauma often endure lifelong symptoms ranging from anxiety and depression to unexplained physical pain, fatigue, illness, and harmful "acting out" behaviors. Today, professionals and clients in both the bodywork and the psychotherapeutic fields nationwide are turning to Peter A. Levine's breakthrough Somatic Experiencing ® methods to actively overcome these challenges. In Healing Trauma, Dr. Levine gives you a personal how-to guide for using the theory he first introduced in his highly acclaimed work Waking the Tiger. Join him to discover: how to develop body awareness to "renegotiate" and heal traumas by "revisiting" them rather than reliving them; emergency "first-aid" measures for times of distress; and nature's lessons for uncovering the physiological roots of your emotions.

  • Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark

    • Based upon Masters's four decades as a psychospiritual therapist and guide, Bringing Your Shadow Out of the Dark invites readers to understand and skillfully work with this rich yet neglected dimension of ourselves. In this book you’ll discover: • The nature of our shadow and how to optimally work with it—exploring our conditioning and core shadow elements, including in the domains of shame, fear, aggression, resistance, addiction, death, and spirituality, and more. 

  • No Bad Parts

    • Dr. Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems (IFS) model has been transforming psychology for decades. With No Bad Parts, you’ll learn why IFS has been so effective in areas such as trauma recovery, addiction therapy, and depression treatment—and how this new understanding of consciousness has the potential to radically change our lives. Here you’ll explore Exercises for mapping your parts, accessing the Self, working with a challenging protector, identifying each part’s triggers, and more.

  • The Language of Emotions

    • On The Language of Emotions, you'll learn to meet your emotions and engage with them to safely move toward resolution and equilibrium. Through experiential exercises covering a full spectrum of feelings from anger, fear, and shame to jealousy, grief, joy, and more, you will discover how to work with your own and others' emotions with fluency and expertise. In this program, you’ll learn how to overcome addictions, distractions, and unresolved trauma, the three primary impediments to emotional ease

  • Soberful

    • As the ever-increasing “quit-lit” audience explores new ways to get sober, many are asking, “What’s next?” A renowned sobriety coach shares a road map for long-term change and a fulfilling, alcohol-free life. Here is a practical and straightforward program to stop drinking, stay stopped, and develop emotional sobriety.

  • The Healing Trauma Summit

    • In a wide range of fields, psychologists, neuroscientists, pioneering therapists, and traditional healers are making enormous progress in helping us to recover—and to turn our energies toward our greater dreams and life purpose.

  • Facing Your Shadow

    • The Shadow, in many ways, is the force that runs our lives. It is natural and universal, capable of creation and destruction. Within ourselves, the Shadow will show up as our unconscious patterns, addictions, motivations, and triggers. The Shadow itself is not what causes harm—rather, it is our refusal to acknowledge the Shadow that leads to destructive behavior. What we hide from ourselves gains the power to shape our lives in ways we do not see or understand. The solution is to bring the Shadow to light. Then we can understand the hidden forces at play in ourselves, in others, and the world. During Facing Your Shadow, an eight-part transformational learning experience, Caroline Myss and Andrew Harvey guide you through the process of illuminating the unconscious forces that drive our lives. Think of it as a guide to uncovering what you don’t know about yourself so you can come into alignment with your true power and purpose.

  • 40 Days to Positive Change Online Course

    • How many times have you tried to build a positive new habit, only to end up falling short? If so, you probably didn’t have the structure and support critical for instilling a new behavior. With 40 Days to Positive Change, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., provides just that—the helping hand necessary to create the change you most desire in your life. Whether it’s exercising every day, devoting yourself fully to a personal project, or establishing a regular meditation practice, this innovative program will provide the scaffolding necessary to instill a positive habit in your life. Drawing upon the latest neuroscientific and behavioral research, 40 Days to Positive Change emphasizes that new habits are built on a foundation of intention, gratitude, joy, loving compassion, and interdependence. Part mentor, part professor, and part coach, McGonigal will guide you in daily practices and lessons to follow through in each of these areas. By the end of this audio journey, you’ll have all the tricks and tools you need to live out your new, better habit without letting it drop by the wayside.