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

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!

Public Policy Update – April 2021

April 22, 2021
April 2021
Policy Update

On the Hill…

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.

What that means…

The bill calls for an investment in recovery community organizations on a scale unlike anything we have seen in the past. The total is $250 million. $200 million of that would build a national infrastructure for recovery support services to help individuals move successfully from treatment into long-term recovery. The goal is to build connections between recovery support services and networks, including treatment programs, mental health providers, treatment systems, and other recovery supports. Funds may also be used on efforts to reduce stigma associated with substance use; to develop recovery wellness plans that address barriers to recovery, including social determinants of health; and to use telehealth to support recovery in rural and underserved areas. Another $50 million is authorized in grants for peer recovery services to provide continuing care and ongoing community support for individuals to maintain their recovery. These organizations are nonprofits that mobilize resources within and outside the recovery community to increase long-term recovery and that are wholly or principally governed by people in recovery who reflect the community served.

Other programs in the bill include a national youth and young adult recovery initiative, with $10 million authorized annually to provide substance use recovery support services to youth and young adults enrolled in high school or an institution of higher education, and to build communities of support for youth and young adults in substance use recovery; and an Excellence in Recovery Housing program, which requires SAMHSA, along with national accrediting entities and reputable providers of recovery housing services, to develop guidelines for states to promote the availability of high-quality recovery housing.

The “CARA 3.0” legislation faces a very long road through Congress and is likely to be altered significantly before the final product is voted on. Faces and Voices had significant input into the first draft, and will continue to try and improve the bill to provide even greater benefits to the recovery community.

More Info Here

In Action…

Drug Policy Priorities for year one

On April 1, 2021, President Biden and Vice President Harris released their administration’s Drug Policy Priorities for the upcoming year. President Biden has made clear that addressing the overdose and addiction epidemic is an urgent priority for his administration.

Priorities include:

  • Expanding access to evidence-based treatment
  • Advancing racial equity issues in our approach to drug policy
  • Enhancing evidence-based harm reduction efforts
  • Supporting evidence-based prevention efforts to reduce youth substance use
  • Reducing the supply of illicit substances
  • Advancing recovery-ready workplaces and expanding the addiction workforce
  • Expanding access to recovery support services

What that Means…

The plan cites the need to identify a research agenda to examine existing recovery-ready workplaces. Recovery research has always been a high policy priority for Faces & Voices of Recovery. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) will request agencies to support training for clinicians in addiction with special emphasis on community-based services in underserved areas, such as federally qualified health centers, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Indian Health Service. The White House will seek to identify authorized, evidence-based vocational programs that can expand the addiction workforce but that have not yet secured appropriations. Also, they will seek to produce guidelines for federal managers on hiring and working with people in recovery from a substance use disorder.

ONDCP acknowledges that as we seek to expand the continuum of care to address the chronic nature of substance use disorders, recovery support services help people build recovery capital to manage and sustain long-term recovery. Recovery support service- to include peer support services and engagement, recovery housing, recovery community centers, and recovery programs in high schools and colleges- are a necessary investment. Scaling up the capacity and infrastructure of these programs will create strong resource networks to equip communities to support recovery for everyone.

Read Full Statement Here

 

RDP Newsletter – April 2021

April 13, 2021

April 2021
Digital Newsletter

New Assessments!

Its here at last!

The new assessments means easier reporting for all. 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.

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.

To enable this feature for your staff by Program simply edit your program layout to Enhanced RDP from Original RDP! This lets you take control of the new view and when you implement it!

Have questions please submit a ticket from the RDP Homepage.

The enhanced view really changed my thoughts and feelings about RDP. Originally I felt that the layout wasn’t very user friendly or functional. Now that we are using the enhanced view everything is so much easier to access. With the new features and layout I am able to quickly get to each function without having to scroll through the whole page to find what I am looking for. I used to spend more time trying to update participant records, completing engagement scales, and RC logs. Now I spend less time and feel really confident and comfortable using RDP while I am engaging with my participants. I am really happy with the changes that I have seen to RDP, and have seen all of the updates I was hoping to see to create a more user friendly space.

– RDP User & Peer Recovery Coach

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 – April 2021

April 6, 2021

April 2021
Digital Newsletter

Virtual Learning Community

Join us on April 14, 2021 at 12:00pm EDT for a webinar on Peer Leadership.

This month we are fortunate to have Dillon West, Executive Director and Dorothy West, Program Director, from the Center for Recovery and Wellness Resources, a CAPRSS Accredited Organization.

Register Here!

Dillon West

Dillon is our founding Executive Director and has been in long term recovery since 1992.  His over 25 years of work experience in the substance use disorder field has included work in a variety of program management and counseling positions at Texas Criminal Justice treatment facilities and other addiction treatment programs.  For eight years Dillon served as the Board Chair of the Houston Winner’s Circle Peer Support Network which assists formerly incarcerated individuals with substance use disorders as they reenter the community. He later served as board chair for the statewide Winner’s Circle with 20 chapters across the state.  Dillon serves as Texas’ lead statewide training facilitator and has trained 20 other recovery coach trainers from across the state.

Dorothy West

Dorothy serves as Program Director as well as a Recovery Coach Trainer.  She has been in long term recovery since 1996. She has worked in the recovery field for over ten years.  She developed and established CRWR’s two peer recovery homes for women, “The Secret Place.”  She believes “in giving back what was so freely given to her–another chance at life.”

Upcoming Webinars

Accreditation 101 – May 7, 2021 – 12pm EST

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 EST

Accreditation 201 is designed to give you a deeper understanding of the standards. This session 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

New Resources

Ethics Tip Sheet
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.
Download Tip Sheet Here!

Biden-Harris Administration’s Statement of Drug Policy Priorities

April 2, 2021

On April 2, 2021, President Biden and Vice President Harris released their statement of Drug Policy Priorities for their first year in office.

Please Read below for the full statement.

 

The Biden-Harris Administration’s Statement of Drug Policy Priorities for Year One

Faces & Voices Update – March 2021

March 30, 2021

March 20201 
First Quarter
Digital Newsletter

Save the Date!

Faces & Voices of Recovery is turning 20 this year!

Join us where it all started in St. Paul, Minnesota on October 3-6th. Stay tuned for more exciting updates!

Toolkit is Live!

After months of work in January Faces & Voices of Recovery launched an RCO Emergency Preparedness Toolkit to aid and assist all Recovery Community Organizations nationwide.

The 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.

Resources include:

  • Best Practices
  • Case Studies
  • Communications
  • Technology
  • Treatment Access During Emergencies
  • Resources
  • External Links
  • RCO Toolkit Site

After creating an account and logging into the system you can access and download the complete toolkit for FREE

RCO Toolkit Site

Federal Policy &
Advocacy Priorities

In January Faces & Voices launched our federal policy and advocacy priorities for the next two years.

Take a look and 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. Together we can accomplish amazing things.

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

Adjunct Faculty Opportunities Available 
We draw from a pool of external consultants with expertise in recovery support services, organizational development and much more.
Want to know more?

Please send an email with “Adjunct Faculty” in the subject line along with your bio, résumé, subject matter expertise and letter of reference to Joseph Hogan-Sanchez at jsanchez@facesandvoicesofrecovery.org.

More about NRI Trainings 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).

Any questions on how to get your organization accredited? Please contact info@caprss.org

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).

ARCO links RCOs and their leaders with local and national allies and provides training and technical assistance to groups. ARCO helps build the unified voice of the organized recovery community and fulfill our commitment to supporting the development of new groups and strengthening existing ones.

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.

The Recovery Data Platform continues to grow, and based on your feedback we have created training modules, as well as other helpful resources such as FAQs and other useful tips.

Ready to 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