Newsroom

News About Addiction, Recovery and Advocacy

If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place. Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates.

DEI Public Forum – Round 4

February 7, 2021
 

Join us on February 25th 2021, 6-7:30pm EST

Click Here to register!

Virtual Shift

January 22, 2021

2020 was a challenging time. It may have looked different. We may have had less hugs and more virtual high-fives, but we were still able to accomplish amazing things.

This ongoing series will look at some of the amazing Recovery Community Organizations, their struggles, triumphs, and unrelenting desire to help others find health, wellness, and success on their journeys of recovery.

 

In March of last year, Recovery Community Network in Central Minnesota, made the difficult decision to shut their physical doors due to COVID-19 restrictions. Just prior to their closure, Recovery Community Network (RCN) with the assistance of funding from the Department of Health Services, was in process of opening new offices. What was to be a joyous occasion, turned into a store faced by many in 2020, but through struggle comes growth.

 

RCN Director, Major John Donovan, and his staff, had to make  a complete virtual shift. Organizational growth that was planned to be implemented and enacted during year 2 or 3 of the brick and mortar facility, now had to happen at warp-speed. A website was created. A Constant Contact account, which allowed RCN to mass email and make connections to their email network, was enabled. By adapting to the need for change, and embracing the very spirit of recovery, RCN managed to grow their 1400-member listserv to nearly 6000 members by year’s end.

 

In the COVID-19 world, digital meetings via Zoom have become a standard of 2020, but RCN took the common TRS (Telephonic Recovery Services) system of communication used by Recovery Community Organizations and built on that system by creating TORS (Telephonic Online Recovery Services). Realizing that Gen Y and Millennials don’t always respond well to phone calls, they created a text system, with weekly check-ins of simple questions and conversation starters, like “How are you doing on your Recovery this week?” Those simple texts granted opportunity for an individual to seek support on their recovery journey. Donovan says that those moments, where individuals feel comfortable in showing vulnerability – knowing they need additional help – makes for some “good news stories,” and makes it all worth it.

 

While many programs changed, the Recovery Community Network’s goal for continued recovery support services for Veterans did not. Major Donovan, who served in the United States Military for 27 years and is a person in long-term recovery for 42 years, has blended his experiences into the programs for RCN by engaging the Veteran community in Central Minnesota.

 

The Recovery Coach Academy is a workshop training offered by RCN for trainings of individuals hoping to find jobs in Peer Recovery Support Services. Through grants, they have been able to offer the Recovery Coach Academy training to 16 Veterans. The program has proven wildly popular and in 2021 they will be able to provide full scholarships to another 12 veterans! Donovan feels that through these programs, Veterans can use their recovery to give back to those around them. Service to others and their country is something Maj. Donovan has found to aid Veterans in their recovery.

 

RCN also recently received a $5000 grant from Central Minnesota Community Foundation for a transportation program, which provides free transportation to individuals entering residential care for their substance use. Donovan elaborates, “when an individual makes the decision to enter a [treatment] program, often their only option is to drive themselves to a facility which is not always the safest choice.” Through this program they will provide free and safe transportation to residential treatment. The program will also provide transportation for individuals in local halfway homes to mutual-aid group meetings.

 

We can all admit that 2020 was challenging for many, but Recovery Community Network and many other RCO’s have proven that the Recovery Community will not be stopped from performing their missions and services to help individuals with substance use disorder and their communities. We cannot wait to see what 2021 has in store us!

 

 

If you have a story you want to share, please reach out to Emily Porcelli at eporcelli@facesandvoicesofrecovery.org.

Announcement: Federal Policy and Advocacy Priorities – 2021 & 2022

January 21, 2021

January 21, 2021

 

As we enter our twentieth anniversary, we trim last year’s vegetation and nourish the roots that have allowed the Recovery Movement to flower and grow – advocacy.

As a new Administration and Congressional term begin, we look to the future. Through the building of new relationships with decision-makers and key partners, we continue to prioritize the faces and voices of those in recovery, those using substances, and their families.

Today, we introduce our federal policy and advocacy priorities for the next two years. Take these priorities with you. Cultivate the diverse voices of individuals and their families affected by addiction. In your community or on Capitol Hill, carry these priorities with intention. Sow the expectation of recovery and raise your voice – we’ve got growing to do.

 

Review our priorities here:

Federal Policy and Advocacy Priorities – 2021 & 2022

 

Warm regards,

Keegan Wicks
National Advocacy and Outreach Manager
Faces & Voices of Recovery
Advocate. Act. Advance

 

Recovery Community Celebrates Announcements of Marty Walsh and Rep. Deb Haaland as Nominees for Cabinet Level Positions in Biden-Harris Administration

January 8, 2021

Members of the Recovery Community would like to congratulate both Mayor Marty Walsh and U.S. Representative Deb Haaland, announced by President-elect Biden to be nominated to cabinet level positions in the new Administration.  Both Walsh and Haaland are public figures who are open about their long-term recovery from substance use disorders.

In December, President-elect Biden chose Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) to serve as the first Native American as Secretary of the Interior Department.  During the #CongressGoesPurple  observance of National Recovery Month, Congresswoman Haaland wrote on Twitter “As someone who is in recovery, I want to offer a message of hope to anyone struggling with addiction.  You are strong and you have my support.”

On January 7th, the Biden-Harris Administration announced plans to nominate Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, for the next U.S. Secretary of Labor. In addition to his ample accomplishments in the labor sector and on behalf of working-class Americans nationwide, Mayor Walsh has paved pathways to progress and growth for those in recovery from addiction. As a person with more than 25 years in recovery, he has been a tireless advocate for the addiction recovery community. Mayor Walsh has spoken publicly about his own journey, invested in resources to support countless Bostonians, and even established The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services.

We have no doubt that as Cabinet-level policymakers Haaland and Walsh will use every opportunity to highlight their own stories as shining examples of the power of recovery.  Through providing platforms and opportunities for Americans in recovery, we are also creating hope for struggling individuals and families by reducing the stigma associated with substance use disorders.

As national recovery organizations representing hundreds of affiliates nationwide and millions of American in long-term recovery, we hope that these nominees will be among many people in recovery in the Biden-Harris Administration. We aim to serve as a resource to the Biden-Harris administration to ensure that the voices of recovery are included in policy discussions at every level of our government.

 

Sincerely,

 

Faces & Voices of Recovery

Association of Recovery in Higher Education

Association of Recovery Schools

Association of Alternative Peer Group Programs

Association of Recovery Community Organizations

National Alliance for Recovery Residences

Public Policy Newsletter – November 2020

November 19, 2020

November 2020
Policy Update
Nearing the end of the calendar year, progress has slowed greatly, but Faces & Voices is doing everything they can to lay a solid foundation for 2021. 

As always, we encourage you to reach out to your representatives on issues that matter to you.

On the Hill…

Getting Ready for 2021

Through the Coalition for Whole Health, Faces & Voices is working on recommendations for policy priorities, which will be relayed to those shaping the future of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Some of these priorities will include an expansion of recovery support programs via new grant mechanisms, an expansion of the peer workforce, and a request for clarity in regard to new 42 CFR 2 regulations. As for the transition to the new administration, leadership announcements at SAMHSA or ONDCP are not expected until late March or Early April at the earliest.

Employment Services

Another program Faces & Voices is advocating for involves funds for people in recovery who are seeking new employment. Administered by the Secretary of Labor, this program will provide workforce and vocational training for those in recovery. The increase was $2 million, or a full 50% increase over last year’s amount.

“To award competitive grants to entities to carry out evidence-based programs to support individuals in substance use disorder treatment and recovery to live independently and participate in the workforce. Eligible grantees include entities that offer treatment or recovery services for individuals with substance use disorders, and partners with one or more local or State stake- holders that support recovery, independent living, and participation in the workforce.”

What this means…

While these two programs focus strictly on recovery support services, there were other aspects of the legislation that prove signs of progress. Increases were made to recovery support services in rural settings, and to programs that provide education and training to the SUD workforce that include peers. While the increases recommended by the Senate are not final, Faces & Voices is optimistic that when the appropriations process is complete, there will be significant gains.

In Action…

Legislation

Faces & Voices now returns its focus to the federal budget and appropriations process. With the current continuing resolution set to expire December 11, we await the end of the process that will establish the budget for FY 2021.

While the House of Representatives finished their work on appropriations in the spring, the Senate only recently concluded their work this month. Our advocacy efforts were for the most part successful, as the Senate recommended a $2 million increase for the Building Communities of Recovery (BCOR) program, bringing its total to $10 million.

How its going…

The advocacy of Faces & Voices has resulted in a 67% increase in funding for this program in just two years.

The Senate also included this in their report, at our request:

“The Committee notes that Peer Support Networks focus on long-term, sustainable recovery and incorporate a full range of services such as case management, counseling, and community supports. SAMHSA is encouraged to ensure that grants employing peers comply with the highest standards within their respective states.”

Call to Action:
Abuse is a four-letter word

Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Recovery Research Institute of Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital have joined together in creating a petition to end the use of the term “Abuse” in the names of governmental agencies which use the outdated term.

Words and language matter and stigma has been identified as a barrier to treatment and recovery among individuals with addiction. Terms such as “abuse,” increase stigma and add additional harm to those seeking – as well as those in – recovery.

Now is the time to tell Congress that national government agencies with words like “abuse” must undergo a NAME CHANGE (e.g., National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA]), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA].

Please take a moment to share and sign the petition, and together we can change the conversation and help the Recovery Community.

Sign here!

RDP Newsletter – November 2020

November 10, 2020

November 2020
Digital Newsletter

Enhanced RDP!

If you haven’t switched over yet,
what are you waiting for?The new participant layout also includes fields like Personal Pronouns and easier navigation of records via a tab layout.If you are tired of having to find the New TRS Log button, try the new layout today with Quick Actions available!

Reports, Reports and More!

The new My RDP Logs folder on the reporting tab will help users view and find all their records sorted by Month. Remember that My means record was created by the logged in user rather than they have been assigned! Let us know if you have any other reporting needs you would like met!

Monthly Trainings Going Strong!

On a recurring basis the RDP team is providing an onboarding training series for Standard, Manager and Admin users.

Sign-up for this directly from the Homepage of RDP!

Sign up now!

CAPRSS Newsletter – November 2020

November 3, 2020

November 2020
Digital Newsletter

Virtual Learning Community

Join us on November 18, 2020 at 12:00pm EDT for a webinar on Recruitment, Training, and Mentoring

This month we will focus on best practices in the recruitment of volunteers and peer recovery support workers. We will look closely at how training programs and mentoring can help develop and grow volunteer and peer workforce. Finally, documentation and the participatory process will be explored through this learning community.

Presenter: Kristen Aja, Senior Project Coordinator at Faces & Voices of Recovery

Register Here!

Kristen Aja

Kristen Aja is a Senior Project Coordinator at Faces & Voices of Recovery where she works primarily on expanding and supporting recovery community organizations across the nation.  As a training and technical assistance professional, she has provided instruction on a wide range of topics related to recovery community organizations and recovery support services.

Kristen has been involved in peer-based recovery for over a decade.  Shortly after she began her own recovery journey, she joined a community team that opened the 11th recovery community organization in the State of Vermont.   In 2013 Kristen was hired at the Vermont Recovery Network and held various positions over the years supporting peer recovery support services at the 12 recovery community organizations around the state.  She has extensive experience in peer recovery support services program design and implementation, training and workforce development, data collection and outcome measures, collaborations with stakeholders and building community partners.

Upcoming Webinars

Accreditation 101 – November 6, 2020 – 12pm EDT

Accreditation 101 is an introduction to accreditation course, where participants will learn the mission and purpose of CAPRSS, an overview of the standards and criteria, the steps in the accreditation process, establish resources for getting your organization accreditation ready, and for completing your application for accreditation candidacy.

Register Here

Accreditation 201 – November 20, 2020 – 12pm EDT

Accreditation 201 is designed to: Identify the elements of the CAPRSS standards taxonomy and how they relate. Describe the core domains and standards, and discuss how peer reviewers – and PRSS programs – will use standards, criteria, and elements of performance in the accreditation process.

Register Here

NRI NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 2020

October 27, 2020

October 2020
Digital Newsletter

Have you checked out our Online Toolkits?

Free Resources for you!

We have a bunch of toolkits and templates available on our website that can assist you and your team.  We have resources available around community organizing and education, as well as recovery community organizing (RCO) development.

Here are a few of the resources:

Check out all toolkits & templates here!
The National Recovery Institute offers competency and strength-based professional development and leadership training specific to our field

Our experienced trainers offer training accessible to all learning styles through a combination of information sharing, dialogue and experiential activities. Through a consultative process, we will build a training program specific to your needs.

Click here for more info!

Public Policy newsletter – October 2020

October 19, 2020

October 2020
Policy Update
As we approach the last quarter of the calendar, time is becoming short to pass certain bills into law.
Faces & Voices is doing everything they can
to lay a solid foundation for 2021. 
As always, we encourage you to reach out to your representatives on issues that matter to you.

On the Hill…

Relief Packages

As Congress continues to work towards another COVID stimulus package, the House of Representatives seems to have abandoned the HEROES act, which they passed in May. This bill proposed $4.5 billion for SAMHSA, including $1.5 billion for the SAPT block grant. The House went back to the drawing board in September, in an effort to produce a bill that would garner support in the Senate. In the most recent iteration of the stimulus bill, SAMHSA is slated to receive $8.5 billion, with $3.5 billion going to the SAPT block grant.

What that means…

While Faces & Voices advocated that $50 million be dedicated solely to recovery support services, the legislation did not include this provision. With a potential $3.5 billion being distributed via block grant (if the bill passes and the appropriations committee agrees to the outlay) Faces & Voices is hopeful that the states will allocate some of this funding to recovery support.

In Action…

National Recovery Month Funding

Due to Faces & Voices recent inheritance of National Recovery Month, F&V has turned to Congress for assistance. SAMHSA never had a specific budget for recovery month, and its involvement in the effort was always discretionary. Representative Trone (D-MD) has drafted legislation that will change this. He proposes a $1 million budget for Recovery Month for the next three years. Faces & Voices plans to support this legislation, and will work towards passage, as well as on securing the necessary funds during the appropriations process.

H.R. 5572

During the first week of October, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan bill, H.R. 5572, the Family Support Services for Addiction Act. The legislation would create a $25 million grant program over five years to help national and local nonprofit organizations provide services for families impacted by addiction.

While the future of the legislation in the Senate is unclear, Faces & Voices has advocated for passage of this legislation since its inception and has partnered with the Partnership to End Addiction in this effort. Representative Trone recognized Faces & Voices as an original supporter of the legislation in his press release which announced the passage of the legislation.

View Press Release Here

Call to Action:
Abuse is a four-letter word

Faces & Voices of Recovery and the Recovery Research Institute of Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital have joined together in creating a petition to end the use of the term “Abuse” in the names of governmental agencies which use the outdated term.

Words and language matter and stigma has been identified as a barrier to treatment and recovery among individuals with addiction. Terms such as “abuse,” increase stigma and add additional harm to those seeking – as well as those in – recovery.

Now is the time to tell Congress that national government agencies with words like “abuse” must undergo a NAME CHANGE (e.g., National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism [NIAAA]), and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA].

Please take a moment to share and sign the petition, and together we can change the conversation and help the Recovery Community.

Sign here!

RDP Newsletter – October 2020

October 13, 2020

October 2020
Digital Newsletter

RDP’s Login Page Got a Facelift!

We know you’ve seen it!

The new RDP login page looking better already. Coming soon additional ways to get involved with Faces & Voices of Recovery.

Together we can ADVOCATE, ACT & ADVANCE!

Going strong!

The Monthly Training Series is going strong! On a recurring basis the RDP team is providing an onboarding training series for Standard, Manager and Admin users.

Sign-up for this directly from the Homepage of RDP!

Sign up now!