What is a Recovery Community Organization?

A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These organizations organize recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carry out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and/or provide peer-based recovery support services (P-BRSS).  

Recovery Community Organizations

  • provide only non-clinical services which differ from treatment programs
  • respect and support all pathways of recovery
  • have their own governing board
  • are led and governed by people in recovery
  • routinely engage people in recovery, their families, and other stakeholders in a participatory process of program decision-making and conducting activities
  • are grassroots programs/organizations and are active in their communities
  • have a mission statement that focuses on addiction recovery

association of recovery community organizations

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.

All RCOs that are led and governed by the recovery community are welcome to apply to join as an ARCO Affiliate.

Join ARCO!

ARCO Leadership Summit

The benefits of membership include the opportunity to participate in an annual 2 day Leadership Summit. ARCO has hosted events in Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington, D.C..

ARCO affiliates come together each year with other leaders to strengthen their ability to:

  • Influence public policy decisions by becoming familiar with initiatives affecting recovery, the players that influence policy and programming, and recovery advocacy strategies to impact policy
  • Explore different aspects of developing and sustaining a recovery community organization
  • Learn current practices in recovery community centers, peer services in diverse settings, and mobilizing community constituents
  • Engage in networking and support - becoming part of a national network of recovery community organization leaders in an ongoing learning community of practice.


The 2018 ARCO Leadership Summit will be held from July 23rd to 25th at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. For more information contact Theresa O'Laughlin at (202) 737-0690.

ARCO Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill July 19, 2017

The ARCO Leadership Summit was held in Arlington, VA (just outside of Washington D.C.) in 2015 and 2016.

Denver, Colorado (2014)

Recovery historian Bill White and recovery leaders Bev Haberle, (PRO-ACT), Joe Powell (APAA) and Phil Valentine (CCAR) at 2013 EDLA in Dallas, TX.

Dallas, TX (2013)

Philadelphia (2012)

Detroit, MI (2011)