Recovery Community Organizations (RCOs) are independent, non-profit 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.
The Difference Between Achieving Recovery and Sustaining Recovery
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.”
Recovery Community Organizations in New York State
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 fewer than 20 in New York State.
While these vital organizations are making a difference in their communities, far too many communities still don’t have one of their own.
FOR-NY is committed to helping to develop a Recovery Community Organization in every county across the state. We’re providing technical assistance and support to existing RCOs and helping others to start them in counties where none yet exist. See if there’s an RCO near you or start an RCO in your community.
Looking for even more information about Recovery Community Organizations? Examples of best practices for creating and organizing structure, working with the community and more, can be found in our RCO Toolkit.