Recovery Community Centers
Non-profit centers for the recovery community that offer local networks of non-medical, recovery support services.
Recovery Community Centers are peer-operated centers that serve as local resources of community-based recovery support. People do not live at these centers, but rather these resources can help individuals build recovery capital at the community level by providing advocacy training, recovery information and resource mobilization, mutual-help or peer-support organization meetings (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous, SMART Recovery, LifeRing), social activities, and other community-based services. They may also help facilitate supportive relationships among individuals in recovery, as well as community and family members. In turn, this increased recovery capital helps individuals initiate and sustain recovery over time.
Recovery Community Centers may also play a unique role that builds on professional services and mutual-help organizations by connecting recovering individuals to social services, employment and skills training, and educational agencies.
Centers are run by a paid director, and in some cases other paid staff. Like mutual-help organizations, volunteering at RCCs is typically encouraged.
- The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces and 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 a commitment to supporting the development of new groups and strengthening existing ones.
WHAT DOES THE SCIENCE SAY ABOUT MUTUAL-HELP ORGANIZATIONS?
Little is known scientifically about the benefits offered by Recovery Community Centers . In the the first ever systematic evaluation of Recovery Community Centers, the Recovery Research Institute is conducting an ongoing, longitudinal National Institutes of Health-funded study. Preliminary data show that Recovery Community Center participants (in recovery for 4 years on average) report that their center engagement has been extremely helpful in their recovery and overall well-being. Center volunteers report the highest levels of perceived helpfulness.
- List of Key Readings
- Haberle, B. J., Conway, S., Valentine, P., Evans, A. C., White, W. L., & Davidson, L. (2014). The recovery community center: A new model for volunteer peer support to promote recovery. Journal of Groups in Addiction & Recovery, 9(3), 257-270. doi: 10.1080/1556035X.2014.940769