This week, FOR-NY and the Long Island Recovery Community Association (LIRA) traveled to Washington DC to participate in the 2017 Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) Leadership Academy, at Faces & Voices of Recovery. Almost 100 recovery community organizations (RCOs) around the country participated in training that covered a wide range of topics. Addiction Recovery Management (ARM) – a non-clinical recovery support program facilitated by Peer Recovery Coaches (PRCs) who support individuals with addiction through strength-based mentorship and recovery management planning, was led by Becca Brown and Mary Jo McMillen from Utah. Richard Jones, from Faces & Voices of Recovery Greenville South Carolina presented on the importance of family recovery and emerging issues related to family recovery, and the use of peer coaches in supporting family recovery. Jessica Nickel from the Addiction Policy Forum, moderated a panel on the federal response to the opioid epidemic, which included presentations from government partners from the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the National Institute of Drug Abuse, Substance Abuse & Mental Health Administration, and the Department of Justice.
FOR-NY’s Community Asset Mapping Training – recently unveiled in New York City (and further discussed in this issue of Recovery Talk) – was well-received at the ARCO Leadership Academy. The training, which focuses on assessing and maintaining inventories of strengths, assets and other resources that are beneficial to building partnerships with the recovery community, offered attendees strategies for engaging with allies of the recovery community. In addition, the training gave representatives and innovators from RCOs across the country the ability to hear how their colleagues are creating positive social change, building recovery capital, and playing a critical role by engaging with their communities. Ideas were shared for collaboration that build on the collective success of RCOs who participated.
A practical, strategic discussion on using the Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health was another presentation co-facilitated by FOR-NY. Tom Coderre – scheduled to serve as a keynote speaker at this year’s FOR-NY/ASAP New York State Recovery Conference – led the team that produced the Surgeon General’s report. He provided context about the creation of this historic, science-based document and walked attendees through Chapter 5: Recovery. Participants discussed ways in which the recovery community can take the report’s recommendations and build upon their local efforts to translate these into state and national advocacy.
Back in New York, FOR-NY began the process of unveiling the Family to Family Resource Guide to stakeholders throughout the state. If you have not already seen it, a flyer, distribution tip sheet and sample cover letter were made available to local partners to help promote and distribute the new resource guide in their communities. The guide, which can be downloaded here, outlines what to do if a loved one is struggling with substances, understanding individual and family rights with regards to treatment, recovery, and insurance, descriptions of various types of support and treatment options, and links to helpful organizations, articles and videos. Development of the Family to Family Recovery Resource Guide was a labor of love – written for the families of those who have not yet found recovery, families of people in recovery, and those who have lost a loved one to addiction.
As we gear up for our 2nd Annual Recovery Conference in Albany, we remain steadfast in our commitment to you. We hope you know that the work that you are doing to build recovery capital around New York is invaluable. You are our unsung heroes – the recovery innovators and fierce advocates. Your persistence and passion is what is building and expanding the recovery movement. It is with your help that we will continue to develop the infrastructure upon which individuals and families affected by the chronic illness of addiction can proudly and permanently stand.