Our Organization

Recovery Force of South Jersey is an organization by and for people in recovery, our families, friends and allies. We are organized to protect the interests of people who experience a substance use disorder and their families so that needs are met consistently and adequately. In this role we are advocates and a member of the Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) and affiliate of Faces and Voices of Recovery, the national agency leading the new recovery advocacy movement. 

We are also community educators and an approved instructor for the Addiction Policy Forum, the leading national family recovery organization that has designed an 8-point plan for ending the substance use epidemic together. Educating communities is an ongoing theme in many of the initiatives and translating the science into morsels of easy to understand facts that compel an understanding of addiction as a medical condition is at the basis of this education. 

We are recovery coaches as well, and operate a CCAR Recovery Coach Academy (c) to train community members to become recovery coaches. We oversee a recovery force of volunteer recovery coaches and aim to provide personal recovery coaches upon one's initial attainment of recovery. Our goal is to help each individual attain the goals they set for themselves in living life in recovery mode. We do not prescribe recovery programs and we embrace all pathways to recovery. We abide by a set of values that encourages acceptance. 

A word from the Director

Treatments for mental and substance use disorders help people to place the symptoms of their condition into remission, whereas recovery support services (RSS) help to maintain a state of remission where symptoms are kept at bay for the long-term.  In other words, treatment helps people with substance use disorders to stop using and recovery support services help people to stay stopped! Recovery Force delivers RSS in South Jersey through its recovery coaches.

It is very common for an individual to have multiple treatment episodes, each one resulting in the need to enter the world in a reformed state without practice. Nonetheless, this trial and error way of trying to live life once symptoms are removed persists and treatment investments are marginalized by the absence of any post-treatment engagement. Recovery Force is part of the new recovery advocacy movement aimed to create recovery oriented systems of care to replace the ineffective acute care model. We are a nationally affiliated Recovery Community Organization (RCO)  with a mission to end the revolving treatment center doors by providing comprehensive evidence-based recovery supports following treatment. Recovery Coaching and Office-based Buprenorphine medicine are two such supports that have been wildly successful and will be expanded. Recreation and social events, recovery check ups, Opiates Anonymous meetings (non-discriminatory toward addiction medications), support groups and the development of a well-paid workforce of people in recovery to assist those still struggling are other planned services.

Recovery Force is comprised of people in recovery as well as our families and friends and includes our advocates and allies as well. Very few movements have been successful without those that love and care about the afflicted population. We will not rest until mothers stop burying their children, children stop becoming orphaned, families stop shattering because of their fear and anger and disbelief of the loved one whose brain has become hijacked and their spirit unrecognizable.

We will battle the stigma that creates shame. A shame that prevents families from seeking help. We hold our arms wide open for anyone who wants to join us as we attempt to bring the best thinking and practices to our community. The Addiction Policy Forum drives this for us.

Robert Catalano - Recovery Force of South Jersey Founder and CEO

RECOVERY COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION

Recovery Force of South Jersey is an independent, 501(c)3 non-profit organization led and governed by persons representing the local recovery communities. The recovery community is made up of persons  in long term recovery from a substance use disorder, their families, friends and allies. We belong to a class of organizations known as Recovery Community Organizations (RCO).

RCO's 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). Some other characteristics of a RCO include: 

  • Providing non-clinical services only and are not treatment programs
  • Respecting and supporting ALL pathways of recovery.
  • The majority of board, staff and volunteers are in recovery from alcohol and/or other substance use disorders.
  • routinely engaging people in recovery, their families, and other stakeholders in a participatory process of program decision-making and conducting activities
  • Being a true grassroots program/organization that is active in their communities.
  • The mission statement of an RCO focuses on addiction recovery
  • Some RCO's are hosted under the umbrella of a non-profit fiscal agent.
  • In all cases, the RCO has it's own autonomous governing board/ advisory board where decisions regarding policies, advocacy, staffing, budget, finances and programs are made.

Faces and Voices of Recovery oversees the organization of the various state and local RCO's. They facilitate the Association of Recovery Community Organizations in which Recovery Force is a member.

 

FACES AND VOICES OF RECOVERY

Faces & Voices of Recovery (FAVOR) is the nation's leading recovery advocacy organization promoting policies that are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. Our supporters are individuals who believe that by eliminating stigma and discrimination and removing barriers to recovery more Americans will lead healthy lives in long-term recovery. Together we advance policies that reduce discrimination, and seek solutions that promote access to the treatment and recovery support services necessary to live a life in recovery. We work to ensure that Federal and State policies reflect the hope and resilience found in communities of recovery working to help others through a comprehensive approach to solving the addiction crisis in America. Faces & Voices of Recovery was founded in 2001 at a Summit in St. Paul, Minnesota, the culmination of more than two years of work to provide focus for a growing advocacy force among people in long-term recovery from addiction to alcohol and other drugs, their families, friends and allies. Since then, the addiction recovery movement has exploded – in the US and around the globe. As the nation's leading grassroots recovery advocacy organization, Faces & Voices has become a model for numerous international recovery advocacy movements. The FAVOR recovery movement took root in Atlantic County, NJ in March of 2015. 

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