RecoveryBlog

recoveryblog: a blog for recovery advocates!

Our recovery advocacy blog is produced by individuals in recovery!  Here you will find commentary and personal discussions on different aspects of addiction recovery and advocacy.

More Recent Posts

CAPRSS Newsletter – June 2021

June 1, 2021
June 2021
Digital Newsletter

Congrats Springs Recovery Connection!

Springs Recovery Connection is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit recovery community organization. We are community-based citizens, in long term recovery, who want to educate, mentor, and advocate for recovery and long-term recovery solutions. We support all roads to recovery. Springs Recovery Connection envisions a community that understands, supports, and embraces recovery from addiction.
A Notice on Virtual Site Visits
Due to COVID-19 all previously accredited organizations who were up for reaccreditation have had their term extended. With positive feedback from both organizations and site reviewers we continue to offer virtual site visits across the board – including reaccreditation.

Virtual Learning Community

Join us on June 9th, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT for our CAPRSS Virtual Learning Community webinar. This month we welcome Lisa Walker, LCSW, who will be presenting and leading our discussion this month on Data and Quality Assurance.
Register Here!

Lisa Walker

Lisa Walker holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah which she completed in 2014. She brings her experience as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to provide supervision and support to USARA’s Recovery Leadership Initiative and Addiction Recovery Management teams. Lisa has been in long-term recovery since December of 2005 and has passionately worked in various behavioral health settings over the last decade. She uniquely understands the barriers to becoming fully self-supportive after her personal battle of active addiction. She credits supportive services within the community to her long-term success. Lisa enthusiastically brings leadership and advocacy qualities to USARA that she has garnered through life experience and higher education. Lisa’s mission in life is to show others that recovery is possible by continuing to show support, advocate for and empower individuals seeking recovery. Lisa is most proud of her husband and two children who have thrived right alongside her and been her biggest cheerleaders.

Upcoming Webinars

Accreditation 101 – June 4, 2021 – 12pm ET
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 – July 16, 2021 – 12pm ET
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

Register now for Faces & Voices’ 20th Anniversary Summit

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Faces & Voices of Recovery. In 20 years, many things have changed in the Recovery Movement, but our dedication to the mission has never wavered. Through your ongoing support we have been able to connect and help Recovery Community Organizations around the world and continue to work to change the way addiction and recovery are understood and embraced through advocacy, education and leadership. JOIN US OCT 3 – 6, 2021 This Recovery Leadership Summit will be held over the course of four days and is filled with exceptional presentations, critical discussions and optional early morning and evening activities.
Register and learn more here!

Action Alert! – 10% Set-Aside and Billions dedicated for Recovery

May 28, 2021

May 2021
Action Alert

Breaking News!

10% Set-Aside and Billions dedicated for Recovery

Our hearts are elated. Our eyes filled with tears of joy. Today, The President introduced the FY 2022 Budget, which includes – for the first time in history – a 10% set-aside for recovery support services.

  • $1.7 billion increase – Substance Use Prevention, Treatment and Recovery Block Grant = $3.5 billion total
  • $750 million increase – State Opioid Response Grant (SORG) = $2.25 billion total
  • $500 million increase – Peer Support Technical Assistance Center = $1.5 billion total
  • $10 million increase – Building Communities of Recovery = $20 million total

“[The budget includes] … a new 10 percent set aside within the SABG for recovery support services in order to significantly expand the continuum of care both upstream and downstream. This new set-aside will support the development of local recovery community support institutions (i.e. recovery community centers, recovery homes, recovery schools, recovery institutions, recovery ministries; develop strategies and education campaigns, trainings, and events to reduce addiction/recovery-related stigma and discrimination at the local level; provide addiction treatment and recovery resources and support system navigation; make accessible peer recovery support services that support diverse populations and are inclusive of all pathways of recovery; and collaborate and coordinate with local private and non-profit clinical health care provides, the faith community, city, county. state, and federal public health agencies and criminal justice response efforts”.

The Recovery Community will make significant strides with this new funding. Our work begins advocating for its enactment. Stay tuned for additional updates as new information becomes available.

NRI Newsletter – May 2021

May 25, 2021

May 2021
Digital Newsletter

What NRI has been up to!

We have been busy delivering virtual trainings all over the nation. Our virtual trainings are just as interactive as our in-person trainings! We have breakout rooms, small and large group activities, and plenty of time for networking among participants.
Take a Look at our Trainings here!
Here are some comments from recent virtual attendees:

“I am normally a very shy person. You all made me feel comfortable, and I wanted to speak up and be a part of the activities. Thank you!!”

“I gained a greater understanding of Governance and how to improve leadership, management, organization, and documentation within our organization.”

“This training has given me newfound HOPE in what I do…no correction of who I AM!”

Technical Assistance – TA

TA is another term for consultation
or at its most simple—help

The National Recovery Institute offers a three-tiered approach to technical assistance to assure the organization requesting have their needs met.   Our main goals are to prepare tools to help improve the quality-of-service delivery and to provide organizations the support they need to improve processes and best practices.

Learn More Here!
Faces & Voices of Recovery is proud to be a NAADAC Approved Education Provider.
Reduced training rates are available for Faces & Voices Affiliates and for Members of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO).
Join Today!

Faces & Voices Update – May 2021

May 25, 2021

May 2021 
Monthly Wrap-up
Digital Newsletter

Peers Speak Out

As many of you know, Faces & Voices of Recovery has been partnering with Community Catalysts and the American Society of Addiction Medicine to identify the results of treatment and recovery services most important to individuals with substance use challenges or in recovery, and learn whether those priorities change during COVID-19.

More than 20 million Americans have substance use disorders, and during COVID-19, overdose deaths are increasing and demand for treatment is higher. We need more effective and equitable addiction services that meet peoples’ individual goals and needs.

We encourage you to share these findings with your networks and incorporate into your advocacy these recommendations for advances in research and treatment to help achieve the outcomes identified.

Click Here for Complete Findings
The National Recovery Institute offers competency and strength-based professional development and leadership training specific to the recovery field.

Technical Assistance – TA
TA is another term for consultation or at its most simple help.

The National Recovery Institute offers a three-tiered approach to technical assistance to assure the organization requesting have their needs met.   Our main goals are to prepare tools to help improve the quality-of-service delivery and to provide organizations the support they need to improve processes and best practices.

More about TA here!
The Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) at Faces & Voices of Recovery works to identify and support excellence in the delivery of peer recovery support services and other activities by recovery community organizations (RCOs).

On May 12, 2021 Faces & Voices hosted a webinar led by Jessica Parnell, CRSW. Jessica is the Executive Director for Revive Recovery in Nashua, NH. Revive Recovery is a non-profit, peer recovery support center. Their mission is to open doors and open minds for the recoverees in their community while providing a wide range of services for their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

More about CAPRSS Here!
The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery unites and supports the growing network of local, regional and statewide recovery community organizations (RCOs).

Last month, ARCO welcomed back 16 renewing members and welcomed 2 new members!

More about ARCO Here!
The Recovery Data Platform (RDP) is a cloud-based software solution developed and managed by Faces & Voices of Recovery. RDP aids RCOs and Peer Service Providers with the tools and assessments needed to effectively implement, document, and evaluate peer recovery coaching programs.

This month we released New Assessments for easier reporting and data entry. This change is also being pushed to the mobile app to ensure that entry by participants is streamlined and user-friendly.

Ready to learn more about how RDP can help your organization?
Schedule a demo! Sign up here

More about RDP Here!

Public Policy Update – May 2021

May 20, 2021

May 2021
Policy Update

On the Hill…

SAMHSA

The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the lead federal agency for services related to the prevention of, treatment for, and recovery from substance use disorders. It is led by the Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, a position appointed by the President. Three months into his term, President Biden has appointed Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon of Connecticut to lead the agency.

Who’s that…

Dr. Miriam Delphin-Rittmon has had several positions at the national and state level. As the commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services, she has been committed to promoting recovery oriented, integrated, and culturally responsive services and systems that foster dignity, respect, and meaningful community inclusion. At Yale University, she maintains a faculty appointment in the Yale Department of Psychiatry and has been Director of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities Research and Consultation at Yale’s Program for Recovery and Community Health (PRCH), which is affiliated with the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC). If confirmed, she will be the first person of color nominated to lead the agency.

In Other News…

SAMHSA is currently under the stewardship of Acting Director Tom Coderre, a former Faces & Voices employee and a man in long term recovery. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SAMHSA announced that federal funding may now be used to purchase rapid fentanyl test strips (FTS) in an effort to help curb the dramatic spike in drug overdose deaths largely driven by the use of strong synthetic opioids, including illicitly manufactured fentanyl. FTS can be used to determine if drugs have been mixed or cut with fentanyl, providing people who use drugs and communities with important information about fentanyl in the illicit drug supply so they can take steps to reduce their risk of overdose. This change applies to all federal grant programs as long as the purchase of FTS is consistent with the purpose of the program.

In Action…

Current Administration

The Biden Administration also recently made good on their promise to reform the “X waiver,” after halting efforts of the previous administration to do the same. The Department of Health and Human Services has determined that under the new rules, doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, certified nurse midwives and some other types of nurses will be allowed to prescribe buprenorphine without first receiving specialized training. Health care providers will require additional training and federal waivers if they plan to treat more than 30 patients with the medication. Studies have shown that people taking the medication are less likely to develop HIV or hepatitis C, or to be unemployed or imprisoned.

RDP Newsletter – May 2021

May 11, 2021

May 2021
Digital Newsletter

RDP + Enhanced Layouts =
Easier navigation and new features!

This month we released New Assessments for easier reporting and data entry.

This change is also being pushed to the mobile app to ensure that entry by participants is streamlined and user-friendly.

If you haven’t already switched to the new layout, what are you waiting for?

Interested in the mobile app?

All that is needed is a participant record with a valid email address + An RDP Licensed User with Mobile App permission will then be able to simply check a box for mobile access to generate an invitation email!

First step is to  submit a ticket and let us know who you would like to have the ability to turn on access to the “My Recovery Journey” app for participants.

Why not give it a try and activate a participant today.

Thats it!
Then we take care the rest making collection of assessments, updating goals and contact info a breeze!

Is your Organization
Emergency Prepared?

From Communications to Technology to Best Practices. We got it all!
The RCO Emergency Preparedness Toolkit handouts are a collection of materials that have been provided by multiple resources and compiled in order to be easily accessible for the public needs. Faces & Voices has collated these resources to guide RCOs and other agencies in their Emergency Preparedness planning.
Check it out here!

CAPRSS Newsletter – May 2021

May 4, 2021

May 2021
Digital Newsletter

Congrats USARA!

USARA’s (Utah Support Advocates for Recovery Awareness) mission is to connect and inspire communities to advocate for addiction recovery. We envision a Utah where recovery community and connection are recognized as the most valuable assets for people to recover from addiction. Since its founding in 2006, USARA has served thousands of individuals recovering from the effects of substance use disorders on the person, families, and the community. Recognized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, USARA is Utah’s premier recovery community organization.
A Notice on Virtual Site Visits

Due to COVID-19 all previously accredited organizations who were up for reaccreditation have had their term extended. With positive feedback from both organizations and site reviewers we continue to offer virtual site visits across the board – including reaccreditation.

Congratulations to FAVOR Greenville on Reaccreditation!

FAVOR Greenville is dedicated to organizing the recovery community to put a “face and voice” on recovery and provide intervention and recovery support services to individuals and their families seeking recovery.  FAVOR Greenville was incorporated in SC in 2004 and is a part of a national recovery advocacy movement whose vision is to provide people affected by substance use disorders with access to the support they need to achieve and maintain long-term recovery.

Virtual Learning Community

Join us on May 12th, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT for our CAPRSS Virtual Learning Community webinar.

This month we welcome Jessica Parnell, CRSW, who will be presenting and leading our discussion this month. Jessica is the Executive Director for Revive Recovery in Nashua, NH. Revive Recovery is a non-profit, peer recovery support center. Their mission is to open doors and open minds for the recoverees in their community while providing a wide range of services for their mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

Register Here!

Upcoming Webinars

Accreditation 101 – May 7, 2021 – 12pm ET

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 – May 21, 2021 – 12pm ET

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

Free RCO Emergency
Preparedness Toolkit

The RCO Emergency Preparedness Toolkit handouts are a collection of materials that have been provided by multiple resources and compiled in order to be easily accessible for the public needs. Faces & Voices has collated these resources to guide RCOs and other agencies in their Emergency Preparedness planning.
Login & Access it here!

Peers Speak Out! – Faces & Voices and Community Catalyst Project’s Data is In

May 4, 2021

Peers Speak Out!

Hello Everyone!

As many of you know, Faces & Voices of Recovery has been partnering with Community Catalysts and the American Society of Addiction Medicine to identify the results of treatment and recovery services most important to individuals with substance use challenges or in recovery, and learn whether those priorities change during COVID-19.

More than 20 million Americans have substance use disorders, and during COVID-19, overdose deaths are increasing and demand for treatment is higher. We need more effective and equitable addiction services that meet peoples’ individual goals and needs.

We encourage you to share these findings with your networks and incorporate into your advocacy these recommendations for advances in research and treatment to help achieve the outcomes identified.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE FINDINGS
What we found:

  • Overall, people prioritized survival and improving their quality of life and placed less priority on completely stopping all drug and alcohol use.
  • As a result of treatment and recovery services they also want improved mental health, to be able to meet their basic needs, increase self-confidence, and connect to ongoing services.
  • Based on our engagement of 882 individuals with lived experience of substance use disorders across the country, through an online survey, focus groups and a National Peer Council, the outcomes from treatment and recovery support services that matter most to individuals are:
    • Staying alive
    • Improving quality of life
    • Reducing harmful substance use
    • Improving mental health
    • Meeting basic needs
    • Increasing self-confidence/self-efficacy
    • Increasing connection to services and supports pandemic, improving mental health replaced stopping all drug/alcohol use as a top priority.  
  • During COVID-19, the majority of respondents want the same top results as they did prior to the pandemic. For the 20 percent of people who prioritized different outcomes during COVID-19, quality of life became less important while connection to recovery support services, and taking care of basic needs, became more important
  • Our study also found differences in priority outcomes across race and gender. In addition, addiction continues to be criminalized, especially among Black and brown communities. It is essential to improve cultural effectiveness of services, and address systemic racism.
    • For example, 25 percent of white respondents selected “stop all drug and alcohol use” as a top priority compared to 13 percent of multiracial respondents.
    • Also, 59 percent of transgender/nonbinary respondents selected “stay alive” as a priority outcome compared to 26 percent of women.

Our Recommendations:

  • Policymakers should increase funding for a full continuum of services, including peer recovery support, and boost harm reduction programs that keep people alive, such as overdose prevention and syringe services.
  • Service providers should clarify each individual’s treatment and recovery goals and adjust services to meet those goals. Mental health supports should be fully integrated.
  • Researchers should investigate which services best achieve the outcomes patients want. They should also stratify this research by race/ethnicity and gender to inform solutions that address systemic inequities.
Contact the project team with questions
Email: TreatmentResults@communitycatalyst.org
Phone: 617-275-2945

NRI Newsletter – April 2021

April 27, 2021

April 2021
Digital Newsletter

National Recovery Institute

Who we are and what we do!

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.

Learn more here!

Technical Assistance – TA

TA is another term for consultation
or at its most simple—help

The National Recovery Institute offers a three-tiered approach to technical assistance to assure the organization requesting have their needs met.   Our main goals are to prepare tools to help improve the quality-of-service delivery and to provide organizations the support they need to improve processes and best practices.

Learn More Here!
Faces & Voices of Recovery is proud to be a NAADAC Approved Education Provider.
Reduced training rates are available for Faces & Voices Affiliates and for Members of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO).
Join Today!

Faces & Voices Update – April 2021

April 27, 2021
April 2021 
Monthly Wrap-up
Digital Newsletter

Federal Policy &
Advocacy Priorities

CARA 3.0

Senators PortmanWhitehouse, and Klobuchar unveiled their “CARA 3.0” legislation at the end of March, which will be the retiring Portman’s last attempt to bolster his landmark legislation from 2016, the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act. The bill addresses several aspects of SUD policy, including prevention, treatment, recovery, and the criminal justice system.

Faces & Voices celebrates this commitment to building recovery infrastructure, but looks forward to additional work on the language of the bill.  In alignment with Faces & Voices legislative priorities, we have requested specific content regarding set-asides for the Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We believe this inclusion would represent a commitment to equity in recovery resources.

More info here
The National Recovery Institute offers competency and strength-based professional development and leadership training specific to the recovery field.

Technical Assistance – TA
TA is another term for consultation or at its most simple help.

The National Recovery Institute offers a three-tiered approach to technical assistance to assure the organization requesting have their needs met.   Our main goals are to prepare tools to help improve the quality-of-service delivery and to provide organizations the support they need to improve processes and best practices.

More about TA here!
The Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS) at Faces & Voices of Recovery works to identify and support excellence in the delivery of peer recovery support services and other activities by recovery community organizations (RCOs).

On April 14, 2021 Faces & Voices hosted a webinar on Peer Leadership, led by Dillon West, Executive Director and Dorothy West, Program Director, from the Center for Recovery and Wellness Resources, a CAPRSS Accredited Organization.

More about CAPRSS Here!
The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery unites and supports the growing network of local, regional and statewide recovery community organizations (RCOs).

During the Month of March, ARCO welcomed back renewing members and welcomed 1 new member. This brings the total of renewing members from quarter one to 83 new and renewing members and 143 ARCO members total!

More about ARCO Here!
The Recovery Data Platform (RDP) is a cloud-based software solution developed and managed by Faces & Voices of Recovery. RDP aids RCOs and Peer Service Providers with the tools and assessments needed to effectively implement, document, and evaluate peer recovery coaching programs.

RDP has launched new assessments, which makes it easier to report data. Expect to see the new assessments button on the Questionnaire tab in RDP next month.

This update is available to all RDP users with the Enhanced layout assigned to their assigned program. Custom forms will still be available in the original format.

Ready to learn more about how RDP can help your organization?
Schedule a demo! Sign up here

More about RDP Here!

Posts from William White

Program Oversight Tip Sheet

October 1, 2021

Peer recovery support service (PRSS) programs should have an established, formal recovery community advisory council or community board, in addition to a Board of Directors.

Board of Directors Tip Sheet

October 1, 2021

Building a Strong Governing Board

A peer recovery support services (PRSS) program benefits from having a strong board that is dedicated to the mission of the organization, representative of the local recovery community, and effectively prepared for their governing role.

Marty Walsh US Secretary of labor video

September 30, 2021

What Does the Future Hold for the Recovery Community?

September 9, 2021

Featured Panelists: Christina Love, Dharma Mirza, and Meghan Hetfield

 

Christina Love, Advocacy Initiative Specialist, Alaska Network on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault (ANDVSA)

 

 

 

 


Dharma Mirza Equity & Justice Fellow at ARHE & Oregon Measure 110 Oversight & Accountability Council Member

Dharma Mirza (she/her) is an artist, activist, policy advocate, and scholar living in Corvallis, OR. Dharma is a Public Health and Gender Studies student at Oregon State University. Dharma focuses her work and research on harm reduction, sexual health, addiction, public health equity, and the intersections of behavioral health and marginalized health populations. Dharma informs her work through intersectional, feminist, and decolonial frameworks and draws on her own experiences in navigating health/harm reduction services as an HIV-positive, queer, biracial transgender woman, Khwaja Sira (Pakistani Third Gender), and former survival sex worker and IV drug user.


Meghan Hetfield, Certified Addiction Recovery Coach and Certified Recovery Peer Advocate

 

As a Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist and a NY State Certified Recovery Peer Advocate and Trainer, Meghan has found purpose in supporting people in their individual pathways of health and wellness. She is a dedicated advocate for Harm Reduction and ending the racist War on Drugs. She believes that radical compassion is needed to heal each other and meet our fellow humxns “where they’re at” without shame or judgement. Meghan is currently working from home in New York’s Catskill Mountains for WEconnect Health Management as a PRSS where she enjoys swimming holes, mushroom club hikes and cooking all her plant & fungi foraging finds.


Description: Recovery belongs to us all. Leading up to the second summit in St. Paul, MN this October 3-6, 2021 – 20 years after the original summit – what do we expect of our future? Three vibrant leaders discuss their perspectives and hopes for the next two decades of the Recovery Community. Through this moderated discussion, we will investigate the need to end gatekeeping and welcome everyone to recovery by lowering barriers to recovery support, creating inclusive spaces and programs, and broadening our understanding of what recovery means for people with different experiences. As we grow in empathy and understanding, we save lives by adding protective factors and building resiliency. Ever reminding us that Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community.

Moderated by: Keegan Wicks, National Advocacy and Outreach Manager, Faces & Voices of Recovery


This webinar series is sponsored by Alkermes.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

August 25, 2021

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs_FVR

Ethics Tip Sheet

April 6, 2021

Peer recovery support service (PRSS) programs require an ethical framework for service delivery. In most cases, simply “importing” a professional code of ethics is not effective. There is a difference between the professional-client relationship and the relationship of the peer leader and the peer being served that warrants an ethical framework specifically tailored to PRSS.

We Have Been (Addiction Lament & Recovery Celebration)

February 25, 2021

Understanding oneself is incomplete when divorced from the history of one’s people. Those with lived experience of addiction and recovery share such a larger history. Over the course of centuries and across the globe, we have been:

Abandoned  Arrested   Berated   Caned   Castigated   Coerced   Confronted   Condemned   Conned   Defamed  Defrocked   Divorced   Deported   Denied Probation   Denied Pardon   Denied Parenthood   Executed   Electrocuted   Electroshocked   Evicted   Expelled   Exploited   Exiled   Feared   Fired   Forsaken   Hated   Humiliated   Incarcerated   Incapacitated   Kidnapped   Kicked Out   Quarantined   Restrained  Ridiculed   Sedated  Seduced  Shunned   Shamed   Surveilled   Tough Loved   Criticized   Colonized   Commercialized   Criminalized   Delegitimized   Demonized   Depersonalized   Deprioritized   Disenfranchised   Eulogized   Euthanized   Glamorized   Homogenized   Hypnotized   Institutionalized   Lobotomized   Marginalized   Memorialized   Miscategorized   Mischaracterized   Monetized   Mythologized   Objectified  Ostracized   Patronized   Politicized   Proselytized   Publicized   Sensationalized   Stigmatized   Scandalized   Sensualized   Sterilized   Terrorized   Theologized   Traumatized   Tranquilized  Trivialized

More recently, through the efforts of recovery advocates and professional and public allies, we are being:

Applauded   Awakened   Celebrated   Defined   Educated   Elevated   Encouraged   Helped   Healed   Enfranchised   Hired   Informed   Inspired   Motivated  Profiled   Reconstructed   Recruited   Redeemed   Rekindled   Renewed   Restored   Represented   Reunited   Supported   Surveyed   Transformed   Uplifted  Utilized  Valued Vindicated   Actualized   Baptized   Decriminalized   Destigmatized   Diversified   Enfranchised   Hypothesized   Idealized   Legitimized  Medicalized   Mobilized   Organized   Prioritized   Professionalized   Radicalized   Randomized   Recognized   Reconceptualized   Revitalized   Secularized   Sympathized Theorized

Through our shared journeys, recovery is gifting us with:

Accountability   Acceptability   Adaptability   Authenticity   Clarity   Collegiality   Community   Dignity   Employability   Fidelity   Flexibility   Honesty   Humility   Integrity   Longevity   Maturity   Opportunity   Possibility   Predictability   Productivity   Prosperity   Respectability  Responsibility  Sanity   Serenity   Sobriety   Spirituality   Stability  Survivability   Tranquility   Visibility   Wellbriety

Is it any wonder given the complexity of these experiences that we struggle in recovery to answer, “Who am I?” We cannot fully understand the “me story” without the “we story.”  Our personal stories nest within the hands of this larger multigenerational and multinational story. Our present circumstances, our shared needs, our individual aspirations, and our future destinies are inextricably linked to this complex, collective past. We can draw upon that past for resolve and inspiration at the same time we rise above it. Personally and collectively, we have fallen, yet like Lazarus, we rise anew.  Personally and collectively, we are moving from pain to purpose.

 

National Standards of Best Practices for RCOs

February 24, 2021

To ensure fidelity to the recovery community organization model, Faces & Voices of Recovery, RCOs across the nation, and stakeholders have identified the following as national best practices for recovery community organizations.

Recovery Innovations: The Well-Fed Social Supermarket

February 18, 2021

I recently discovered a UK-based project that I found so exciting that I solicited the below blog to share with my readers. To me, the Well-Fed Social Supermarket signals a next stage in the evolution of recovery support services: programs that serve those seeking and in recovery while simultaneously benefiting the larger community. For generations, “service work” in the recovery community has reflected the support we provide each other, our mutual aid organizations, and individuals and families seeking recovery. Perhaps the day has arrived when that service ethic will be extended in new and dramatic ways to larger communities and cultures.

–Bill White

 

Recovery Innovations: The Well-Fed Social Supermarket

Dave Higham, Ged Pickersgill and David Best

Background

Recovery is a process that is characterised through the acronym CHIME – standing for Connectedness (the importance of social engagement); Hope; Identity (the growth of positive personal and social identities); Meaning (engaging in activities that give value to each day) and Empowerment (often experienced as positive self-esteem and self-efficacy).

For recovery community organisations, supporting people to achieve sustainable recovery is often about finding ways to promote CHIME that are personalised to individual aspirations and goals, and the stage of a person’s recovery. This means creating access to positive social and community resources that can nurture recovery capital.

In the UK, there have been a glut of recovery cafes, some of which have succeeded and others failed, but an increasing quest for diverse programmes and social enterprises that can both bolster recovery experiences while also contributing to the growth and wellbeing of the local community. This article provides a brief overview of the Well and then will focus on its innovative contribution to recovery pathways and community wellbeing.

The Well

The Well is a not-for-profit, community interest company (CIC) formed by ex-offender Dave Higham in 2012. Dave left prison for the last time in 2007 having spent over 25 years in addiction and in that time spent more time in prison than he did in the community. Since leaving prison in 2007 he has dedicated his life to supporting others with drug and alcohol addiction through both voluntary and paid employment. Dave set up The Well with his own money and with no blueprint to follow. Instead, he used his experience, vision and determination to create what has now become a leading provider of recovery services in the region.

Dave set up The Well when he recognised a gap in the provision of services during  off-hours and weekends for those people who wanted to achieve or maintain abstinence. The first hub was launched in Lancaster in 2012, and a further four sites quickly followed in Lancashire and Cumbria (in the North-West of England).The majority of staff at The Well have lived experience of substance misuse and offending histories.

The Well has always been shaped, designed and delivered by the people it serves and supplemented by the assumption that both the person and their family need to recover and are thus welcomed. The Well is also open to people with prescription drug histories, mental health issues and trauma, and nearly all the people served have experienced CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The Well is based on the assumption that ‘Where we serve our community, we become active citizens in the community’.

The Social Supermarket

A Social Supermarket has been designed as a positive way of supporting those on low incomes, tackling poor diet and overcoming health inequalities, through the provision of surplus stock sold at heavily subsidised prices.

Since store’s opening in November 2019, Wellfed Social Supermarket has had a footfall of over 5,000 people and has also resulted in 279 referrals into The Well Communities through various mechanisms of support.  The social supermarket has also facilitated (including but not limited to ) delivery of over 1500 hot meals to marginalised families, issued over 150 food bank vouchers, issued 17 free flu vaccination vouchers, delivered 37 emergency food parcels, delivered 242 sets of ingredients and recipes, and assisted families with welfare signposting in respect of white goods.

Well Fed social supermarket secures high-quality short dated food from retail and manufacture supply chains that would otherwise be sent as waste to landfill but is fit for human consumption. We sell this food to customers at reduced prices, typically an average of one-third of normal retail prices. Marketing is carefully targeted at residents on the lowest incomes and thus at greatest risk of experiencing food poverty and related health issues.

The social supermarket model innovates further by working with local agencies to provide a range of on-site support services. These are tailored to members’ needs and help them overcome multiple barriers to getting out of poverty. On-site support, signposting and assertive linkage may include money advice, debt counselling, and courses on healthy eating and cooking on a budget, as well as employability and vocational skills training. The Well-Fed Social Supermarket is a non-profit organisation with all monies re-invested back into the local community.

The Well Communities Social Supermarket is a model which enables residents in Barrow in Furness to access the retail aspect of the social supermarket and our Fairshare Model Food clubs and to be included in The Well Communities  Building Better Opportunities (BBO) Project  which helps members benefit from the employment and business opportunities that are arising in Barrow in Furness both now and through the longer term delivery of the BBO programme.

This is linked to the Well-fed Food Clubs which provide a sustainable alternative to free food distribution and foodbanks. Through a £3 per week payment, members receive approximately £10 to £15 worth of food each week while reducing food waste by working closely with fareshare North West by collecting the food from the regional Hub in Preston. The Well has built up a very strong membership of marginalised families; most of the postcode areas we serve are listed in the indicies of multiple deprivation. Over 30 tonnes of surplus food has been distributed to date.

The whole model is based on looking upstream and looking behind the actual need for discounted food. Each family has difficulties which mean they need to obtain goods due to some form of financial hardship; the intention is to determine such reasons and help in some way to alleviate these problems. These are then linked to in-house support mechanisms which Include assertive linkage to local statutory and third sector organisations.

Building Recovery and Community Capital                                                                     

The Well identifies people’s recovery capital, identifies their  passions, and works with them to create enterprises. They have had several successful enterprise ideas, the first being The Well itself, but they have also had some failures or learning that were not so successful. To get to the successful Social Supermarket idea we went through a process of ideas and attempts, the first being a catering trailer business, where the Well bought and renovated a trailer and employed a member of our community as he had experience as a chef, got a pitch for the trailer, but the marketing strategy of announcing that we were recovering addicts and alcoholics was the wrong thing to do as in the first year the project  was working at a loss. The lesson was that the most important factor about a food trailer is the pitch, and let this business go but kept the company name Well-Fed and started up foodbanks.

The other successful business, “Well maintained” used the employment capital and experience within the Well membership, including carpenters, electricians, plasterers and so on, and renovated our Dolton Road Hub which is now the location for The Social Supermarket.

Conclusion

There were false first steps on the road to creating the Social Supermarket, but the commitment to the principles of peer empowerment, community engagement and CHIME have resulted in a number of successes that contribute to the growth, wellbeing and inclusiveness of the recovery community as an active and vibrant part of the local, lived community. Not all of these enterprises will succeed, but the skill base, dedication and creativity of the recovery community will ensure a net gain and a positive contribution to individual recovery journeys, family inclusion and community connections and growth.

2020 Faces & Voices of Recovery Annual Report

February 13, 2021