Faces & Voices Celebrates 20 Years of Incorporation

For two decades, Faces & Voices of Recovery has been steadfastly committed to shattering stigma, amplifying recovery voices, and advocating for supportive policies.

Through innovative campaigns, educational initiatives, and grassroots mobilization efforts, our organization has fostered a vibrant community enriched by support and hope. We are especially mindful to show individuals and families affected by addiction that recovery is not just possible – it’s celebrated.

We celebrate the resilience it takes to navigate the complex terrain of addiction and recovery and feel honored to champion addiction recovery at every available opportunity. Some of the fruits we’ve seen from our movement are shifts in cultural and stigmatic tides, progressive debunking of harmful misconceptions, and increased tolerance toward people that struggle with substance use.

Increasingly more individuals, groups, and governmental bodies seem to be acknowledging that recovery is about being ill and getting well, not being bad and getting good.

As we embark on our next chapter, we hold our founding principles close, re-committing ourselves to fierce advocacy for people that deserve dignity, support, and equitable opportunities to thrive. With the weight of 20 years of experience behind us and limitless potential ahead, Faces & Voices of Recovery will continue to break stigmas down and push for recovery-inclusive policies and actionable change.

Here’s to another 20.

“I have so many wonderful memories with Faces & Voices. Returning to St. Paul, Minnesota in 2022 [and hearing] the stories from the original meeting and thinking about what Faces & Voices has done in the time since is quite remarkable; really, the history of America’s modern recovery movement had a major jumping off point at that meeting. For the organization to be where it is today – leading, advocating, and supporting recovery from substance use disorders – is a gift. We support millions of people that we will never meet but whose lives are bettered by our work. I am honored to be associated with Faces & Voices of Recovery.” –David Mineta, Chair of the Board


“When I first heard of Faces & Voices of Recovery, I was amazed. I couldn’t believe that there was an organization advocating for people like me; people in recovery from Substance Use Disorder. It’s been 20 years, and I am still in awe of the unwavering commitment and passion of everyone who came before us. They all had a hand in making us who we are today.  Every achievement and milestone is possible because a community that used to let shame and stigma keep it silent now has a voice.” –Patty McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer


“As Faces & Voices of Recovery celebrates two decades of making waves in the realm of addiction recovery advocacy, I can’t help but reflect on my own journey, too. Twenty years ago, I was just a lost soul stumbling through the haze of addiction. But today, thanks to support, opportunities, and camaraderie, I am a testament to the power of community and advocacy work.” –Joseph Sanchez, Chief Program Officer

Patty McCarthy

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Patty McCarthy, M.S., has been the Chief Executive Officer of Faces & Voices of Recovery since 2015. Prior to joining Faces & Voices, she was a senior associate with the Center for Social Innovation (C4), where she served as a deputy director of SAMHSA’s BRSS TACS initiative.  Patty served for a decade as the director of Friends of Recovery-Vermont (FOR-VT), a statewide recovery community organization conducting training, advocacy and public awareness activities.  In addition to public policy and education, her work has focused on community mobilizing, peer-based recovery support services, and peer workforce development and was instrumental in the development of a national accreditation standards for peer recovery support service providers. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling and a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and has been in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction since 1989.