Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) are independent, nonprofit organizations led by local recovery allies. Allies may be people in long-term recovery, their families and friends, recovery-focused professionals, or simply concerned citizens with an interest in providing support. Ultimately, RCOs create a culture that supports and sustains recovery for individuals and their families. While there are more than 200 in the U.S., there are few more than a baker’s dozen in New York State. In an effort to realize FOR-NY’s vision of an RCO in every county throughout the state, we’ve created a comprehensive RCO Toolkit to assist local recovery advocates in developing one in their own communities.
In practice, achieving recovery deals with the short-term treatment of addiction, whereas sustaining recovery brings in the long-term process of developing healthy and meaningful lives. According to the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces and Voices of Recovery, RCOs “help to bridge the gap between professional treatment and building healthy and successful lives in long-term recovery. They increase the visibility and influence of the recovery community and engage in one or more of three core activities:
- Educating the public about the reality of recovery,
- Advocating on behalf of the recovery community,
- Delivering peer recovery support services.”
The FOR-NY RCO Toolkit is written for individuals and family members, friends and other allies of those impacted by addiction, who want to engage community-based groups, public and private organizations, as well as local, state and federal government agencies. While it is written to advance addiction recovery advocacy, it can be equally useful to individuals and groups addressing other public health and social issues.
This comprehensive, user-friendly guide is available for download here.