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.

Faces & Voices Hires New Executive Director

December 12, 2014
It is with great pleasure that Faces & Voices of Recovery announces the hiring of Patty McCarthy Metcalf as our new Executive Director. A long time Faces & Voices board member, Ms. McCarthy Metcalf is well known in recovery circles and widely respected nationwide as an advocate and recovery community leader. With intimate knowledge of the key aspects of our operation she can step in and immediately meet the day to day leadership needs at Faces & Voices. Patty has long term working relationships with many key stakeholders and her presence reinforces our commitment to the recovery community and the future of Faces & Voices of Recovery. She was chosen from a pool of high caliber candidates and we are delighted she has accepted the position. Please join us in welcoming Patty aboard! Patty can be contacted at Patty McCarthy Metcalf, M.S., comes to Faces and Voices of Recovery from the Center for Social Innovation where she served as a Deputy Director of SAMHSA’s Bringing Recovery Supports to Scale Technical Assistance Center Strategy (BRSS TACS) initiative. As Deputy Director, she has provided project direction and managed the quality and flow of work for numerous tasks under BRSS TACS. Previously, Ms. McCarthy-Metcalf served for a decade as the Director of Friends of Recovery-Vermont (FOR-VT), a statewide recovery community organization promoting the power of long-term recovery to improve the health and quality of life of Vermonters. In addition to public policy and education, her work has focused on community mobilizing, peer-based recovery support services and peer workforce development. She has been instrumental in the development of a national accreditation for recovery community organizations and in the development of peer support standards. Patty has designed and facilitated training on topics such as ethics and boundaries, recovery-oriented systems of care, peer volunteer management and peer recovery coaching. Ms. McCarthy-Metcalf has frequently participated as a subject matter expert and thought leader with SAMHSA sponsored policy discussions. Ms. McCarthy Metcalf’s professional experience covers the spectrum of prevention, treatment and recovery. She has worked as a substance abuse prevention specialist with the Vermont Department of Health and as a Child and Family Clinician within a community-based mental health center. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. Patty is a woman in long-term recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, since 1989.

Recovery Advocacy and Personal Philanthropy by William White & Greg Williams

July 14, 2014

I have written a good deal about the harmful effects of money on social movements – particularly about how recovery advocacy movements can be harmed by too much money, too little money, ill-timed money and agenda-tainted money. That said, there are critical periods in the life of successful social movements that require financial resources, with the long-term fate of the movement hinging on the availability and sources of such financial support. Greg Williams and I have given considerable thought to the state of the new recovery advocacy movement in the United States and we belief this movement is at such a critical milestone.

By all accounts, the new recovery advocacy movement has come of age. Faces & Voices of Recovery will celebrate its 13th anniversary this fall. There are now more than 95 members of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations. Advocates have championed and witnessed the passage of landmark legislation and regulatory changes that ended key areas of past discrimination against people in recovery. New recovery support institutions – recovery community centers, recovery residences, recovery schools, recovery ministries, recovery cafés – are sprouting in communities across the country. We have more than 125,000 people in recovery and their families and allied participating each year in public recovery celebration events. The film The Anonymous People is filling theatres across the country. Addiction recovery has never been more visible within the American culture.

When the new recovery advocacy movement was formally launched at the Recovery Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2001, the question we asked was, “Can individuals and families in recovery be mobilized culturally and politically?” In the intervening years, that question has been affirmatively answered. With such mobilization clearly evident, the question became “Mobilized to do what?” And again, that question was answered as local recovery community organizations developed programs that widened pathways of entry into long-term addiction recovery. Much of this work was initiated and sustained by voluntary efforts of people in recovery and by financial support that came from private foundations, federal or state agencies and the contributions of local businesses.

The next stage of the new recovery advocacy movement involves more than putting thousands of faces and voices on addiction recovery. Locally, it involves the much harder work of building sustainable recovery support institutions and building community environments in which recovery can flourish. Nationally, it involves the kind of technical support Faces and Voices has offered to local recovery community organizations and providing the connecting tissue that allows these organizations to speak with one voice on issues affecting all communities.

There is a point in all social movements where the true ownership of that movement is tested. The new recovery advocacy movement is at that point. The question is whether people in personal or family recovery will take ownership of the future of this movement by financially supporting the local, state and national organizations that coordinate the day-to-day work of the movement. It is time that we who have harvested the fruits of recovery pay it forward with our time, our talents, and yes, our financial contributions. What can you give today to support Faces & Voices of Recovery or to your local recovery community organization? Click here to make a donation to support the future of this movement. Click here to contribute your time and talents.

Faces & Voices of Recovery to Honor Chris Herren Former NBA Start with National Voice of Recovery Award

June 20, 2014

Over 23 Million Americans Are In Recovery From Addiction — America Honors Recovery Is The Preeminent Awards Ceremony Highlighting The Accomplishments Of The Most Influential Addiction Recovery Advocates

WASHINGTON, D.C.—June 25, 2013— Former NBA basketball sensation and national recovery advocate, Chris Herren, will be given the Voice of Recovery Award at Faces & Voices of Recovery’s annual awards reception, America Honors Recovery. Herren first went public with his recovery story in the memoir Basketball Junkie, and Emmy nominated ESPN Films documentary Unguarded, of which he is the featured subject. He has since traveled the country to speak to over 500,000 young people about his recovery and the dangers of substance use.

Long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs is a reality for over 23 million Americans, but remains one of our nation’s best-kept secrets. America Honors Recovery recognizes those individuals and organizations who work tirelessly to end the discrimination facing people with addiction.

“We have the exciting opportunity to come together and celebrate the solution to addiction – recovery – and highlight the importance of speaking out on behalf of those who still suffer from our most pressing public health problem,” said Dona Dmitrovic, Faces & Voices of Recovery Board Chair.

The June 25th ceremony will take place at the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, D.C. from 6:00-8:00 P.M. William Cope Moyers, best-selling author of Broken and Now What will be on hand as the master of ceremonies.

In addition to Chris Herren, the Northern Ohio Recovery Association will be awarded the Joel Hernandez Award, which honors an organization that works diligently on behalf of the recovery community. The Vernon Johnson Award honors three individuals who have devoted their lives to recovery: Denise Holden, RASE Project; Allen McQuarrie, Bucks County Chapter of PRO-ACT; and Kathleen Gibson, Oxford House World Services will be recognized with this prestigious award in 2014. A. Thomas McLellan, Ph.D. will be awarded the Lisa Mojer-Torres Award for his leadership and dedication to improving the quality of care that individuals and families suffering from addiction are able to access.

Each of these extraordinary organizations and individuals’ works tenaciously to promote the reality of recovery from addiction and to make it possible for others to get the help they need. They are leading the charge on a burgeoning movement that embraces recovery as a civil right.

This year Faces & Voices of Recovery is thrilled to announce Natural High, a nationally recognized nonprofit, as our Presenting Partner for this exciting event, whose work for the last 20 years has been dedicated to empowering millions of youth across the country to say yes to a natural high, and no to drugs and alcohol.

“Natural High is excited to join Faces & Voices of Recovery as the Presenting Partner of the America Honors Recovery Awards ceremony,” said Michelle Ahearne, Executive Director of Natural High. “This is truly a unique opportunity to bridge the prevention and recovery communities as we face the challenge of addiction together.”

About “Faces & Voices of Recovery”
Faces & Voices of Recovery is dedicated to organizing and mobilizing the over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, our families, friends and allies into recovery community organizations and networks, to promote the right and resources to recover through advocacy, education and demonstrating the power and proof of long-term recovery. For more information about event please visit:

About Natural High
Natural High is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization empowering youth to discover, amplify and pursue their natural high, giving them a reason to say no to drugs and alcohol. In collaboration with over 50 influential celebrity ambassadors, Natural High empowers youth in classrooms via their inspirational video series and research based curriculum which is provided free-of-charge to educators across the U.S.; online via, and social media; and in the community via contests & nationwide events like Vans Warped Tour. They currently work with more than 17,000 educators and reach 7 million youth every year. For more information visit

Congratulations To The First Five Organizations To Receive CAPRSS Accreditation!

February 25, 2014

Five organizations have received full accreditation status for their peer recovery support services programs from the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS).

In its first-ever round of awards, CAPRSS accredited the Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (Dallas, TX); McShin Foundation (Richmond, VA); Minnesota Recovery Connection (Minneapolis, MN); PRO-ACT, a program of the Southeast Council of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA); and Stairway to Recovery, a program of Latino Health Institute (Brockton, MA).

We’re proud to have achieved this important milestone in awarding these first-ever accreditations and are thrilled to be at this stage after nearly three years of development work. We are at this point because of the involvement and engagement of recovery community leaders, as well as stakeholders and allies, across the country.

In January 2014, CAPRSS began fulltime operations when Elizabeth Burden was hired as its chief executive officer. CAPRSS will begin accepting applications for its next round of accreditation in early April from any organization or program providing PRSS that support addiction recovery.

CAPRSS is the only accrediting body in the US for recovery community organizations and other organizations offering addiction-related peer recovery support services (PRSS). CAPRSS’s mission is to identify and support excellence in the delivery of peer recovery support services. CAPRSS’ asset-based accreditation™ program helps emerging and established PRSS programs to build capacity and improves PRSS program performance by setting and measuring the achievement of standards.

To find out more about CAPRSS and its accreditation process, please visit the website at, where you can sign up to recieve regular updates and get involved in this exciting recovery enterprise.

The New Face of Faces & Voices of Recovery

February 17, 2014

We’re excited to launch this amazing new website where you can learn, connect & take action. I’m proud to serve as Faces & Voices board chair and work with recovery advocates from across the country to advance our recovery agenda. I encourage you to find out more about our board and our regional representatives and share your recovery story, events and trainings with our growing constituency.

As a woman in long term recovery, I know that recovery is working for me and my family. I am one of the 23 million Americans who are standing up, speaking out and giving back so that others can get the help they need to live new lives in recovery. Faces & Voices of Recovery believes that everyone has a right to recover. This chart shows the conditions that will make that possible and that we’re excited to work with you to achieve:

Last year we collaborated with our partners to launch a new campaign, MANYFACES1VOICE.ORG to advance the recovery movement. Faces & Voices 2014 Rally for Recovery! hub event will be in Louisville, KY on September20th in partnership with People Advocating Recovery, Kentucky’s statewide recovery community organization. Stay tuned for much ahead in the coming year.

I want to thank our dedicated board and staff and the tens of thousands of people who have come together in recovery community organizations across the nation and the world. Whether behind the scenes or on the front line, thank you for joining us in making every recovery voice count.

Dona Dmitrovic

Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services LLC Established to Accredit Organizations and Programs Providing Peer Recovery Support Services

June 22, 2013

(Washington, DC, July 22, 2013) – Faces & Voices of Recovery has established the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) LLC, the next step in implementing a system to accredit recovery community organizations and programs as health care service providers.

“We are excited about this important step that will build on the successes of the growing network of recovery community organizations across the US,” said Faces & Voices Director of Programs Tom Hill. “Implementation of the Wellstone/Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act, combined with a new focus on recovery and health management, have positioned these organizations and programs to step into new roles in their communities.”

Under CAPRSS, organizations seeking accreditation will be required to meet a set of standards, established criteria, and measured outcomes, organized according to four functional areas and accompanying domains. Applicants will be evaluated on the extent to which they can demonstrate their ability to meet the specific standards on a tiered continuum ranging from full accreditation to provisional and nonaccreditation status. Assistance for applicants will be available to help organizations and programs build capacity and meet accreditation requirements.

“CAPRSS is the first-ever accrediting body that is designed specifically for recovery community organizations and peer programs in allied organizations offering peer services. CAPRSS accreditation status will allow them to take on a level of accountability that can guarantee the highest level of quality in services, wherever they are delivered – in community or off-site service settings, such as criminal justice, clinical treament, or primary care,” said Hill.

A full set of standards and key indicator criteria have been developed Site visits in five
locations are underway, to be completed by the end of October, 2013. The site visits are
planned as pilots to further assess the standards, develop onsite protocols, and test
measurement metrics and final evaluations. After the site visits, the standards and
measures, site visit protocols and peer review manuals will be finalized, along with an
online application and learning platform. The CAPRSS web site (
provides additional information and a place to register for updates and requests to
participate in the accreditation process.

Faces & Voices of Recovery has been developing CAPRSS since January 2011. A 25-
member Advisory Council representing public and private sector payers, researchers, and
peer recovery support service providers has guided its effort. Two consultants, Elizabeth
Burden and Thomas Zastowny, PhD., have brought organizational, design, and technical
expertise and Tom Hill, Faces & Voices Director of Programs, has managed the overall
project. CAPRSS development has been supported by the Health Foundation of Greater
Cincinnati, the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Administration (SAMHSA) and Faces & Voices of Recovery members.

About Faces & Voices of Recovery
Faces & Voices of Recovery is a national nonprofit organization working to mobilize,
organize and rally the 23 million Americans in long-term recovery from addiction to
alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies in a campaign to end
discrimination; broaden social understanding; and achieve a just response to addiction as
a public health crisis. For more information, please visit:


April 25, 2013

Study highlights the critical need for removal of discriminatory barriers to people with addiction and fighting for recovery – costing nation $343 Billion a year

(Washington, DC, April 25, 2013) – The results from the first nationwide survey of persons in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs released today by Faces & Voices of Recovery documents the heavy costs of addiction to the individual and the nation and for the first time, measures and quantifies the effects of recovery over time. During their active addiction, 50 percent of respondents had been fired or suspended once or more from jobs, 50 percent had been arrested at least once and a third had been incarcerated at least once, contributing to a total societal cost of $343 billion to our nation annually.*

There are over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction in the US. The dramatic improvements associated with recovery affected all areas of life including a ten-fold decrease in involvement with the criminal justice system and use of costly emergency room departments and a 50 percent increase in participation in family activities and in paying taxes compared with their lives in active addiction. Yet, discriminatory practices in housing, employment, health insurance coverage and elsewhere remain tremendous barriers to recovery.

“It’s time to take action to end discrimination facing people in or seeking recovery from addiction. As this survey from Faces & Voices documents, recovery benefits everyone,” said former Congressman Patrick Kennedy.

“This survey documents, for the first time ever, that investing in recovery makes sense. When we get the help and support that we need, we are employed, pay bills and taxes, vote, volunteer in our communities and take care of our health and families,” said Faces & Voices board chair Dona Dmitrovic. “We call on states and the Congress to reform drug policy by addressing and removing discriminatory barriers; ensuring access to and financing for a full range of health care and other services to support Americans in initiating and sustaining their recovery, and to invest in research to identify quality and cost-effective recovery-promoting policies and practices.”

While the many costs of active addiction are well documented, very little is known about the changes in key life areas as a function of entering and sustaining recovery, or when they occur. The survey measures and quantifies the recovery experience over time – Less than 3 years; 3 to 10 years; and 10 years and more.

“These research findings are a call to action to policy makers and the public,” said Dmitrovic. “Life keeps getting better as recovery progresses.”


Involvement in illegal acts and involvement with the criminal justice system (e.g., arrests, incarceration, DWIs) decreases by about ten-fold
Steady employment in addiction recovery increases by over 50% greater relative to active addiction
Frequent use of costly Emergency Room departments decreases ten-fold
Paying bills on time and paying back personal debt doubles
Planning for the future (e.g., saving for retirement) increases nearly three-fold
Involvement in domestic violence (as victim or perpetrator) decreases dramatically
Participation in family activities increases by 50%
Volunteering in the community increases nearly three-fold compared to in active addiction
Voting increases significantly
Reports of untreated emotional/mental health problems decrease over four-fold
Twice as many participants further their education or training than in active addiction

The percentage of people owing back taxes decreases as recovery gets longer while a greater number of people in longer recovery report paying taxes, having good credit, making financial plans for the future and paying back debts.
Civic involvement increases dramatically as recovery progresses in such areas as voting and volunteering in the community
People increasingly engage in healthy behaviors such as taking care of their health, having a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and dental checkups, as recovery progresses
As recovery duration increases, a greater number of people go back to school or get additional job training
Rates of steady employment increase gradually as recovery duration increases
More and more people start their own business as recovery duration increases
Participation in family activities increases from 68% to 95%.

The online survey was developed, conducted and analyzed in collaboration with Alexandre Laudet, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Study of Addictions and Recovery at the National Development and Research Institutes, Inc. It was conducted between November 1 and December 31, 2012 and collected information on 3,228 participants’ sociodemographics, physical/mental health, substance use, and recovery history, and 44 items representing experiences and indices of functioning in work, finances, legal, family, social and citizenship domains.

*Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Faces & Voices of Recovery is organizing the over 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies in a campaign to end discrimination; broaden social understanding; and achieve a just response to addiction as a public health crisis.