What is an RCO?
A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. It’s important for the governing body of an RCO to be made up primarily of people in recovery supported by family members and allies so that they are centered on the lived experience and needs of the people they serve. RCOs organize and host a variety of activities, groups, and programs to support recovery.
5 Core Pillars of RCOs
A recovery community organization provides support groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), other 12 step traditions, faith-based and community-based support groups, and family support groups. These resources within and outside of the recovery community increase the frequency and quality of long-term recovery from alcohol and other substance use challenges and addictions.
RCOs also provide peer recovery support services. Peers who self-identify as people in personal recovery from their substance use disorders provide mentorship and ongoing support to people dealing with a substance use disorder. Peers connect people in recovery with community resources to support their long-term recovery. Peer-based recovery support specialists also train recovery peers to continuously increase and improve the peer recovery programming at an RCO.
Education and Resources
Recovery community organizations are known for sharing recovery-focused promotion and outreach programming in community education. This could be via websites, social media, email marketing, flyers at the organization, community educational fairs, and other methods. Recovery community organizations are a space where the community can learn more about the recovery journey.
Another core pillar of an RCO is organizing recovery-focused policy advocacy activities to foster healthy communities and reduce the stigma of substance use disorder.
At an RCO, participants in activities do not need to be enrolled in a specific treatment, educational, or residential program. All members of the community are welcome to attend such activities. Community members may enjoy participating in holiday meals, educational fairs, fundraising events, and more.
Arkansas’s First RCO: Wolfe Street Foundation
The Wolfe Street Foundation is the first RCO in the state of Arkansas. For forty years and counting, the Wolfe Street Foundation has brought the recovery community together - for regular group recovery support meetings that include AA and lots of other 12 step traditions, faith-based and community-based support groups, and family support groups.
The Wolfe Street Foundation also provides peer recovery support services, helping people find their pathway to recovery and navigate justice, healthcare, treatment, and other systems to rejoin and remain part of the community throughout their recovery.
The Wolfe Street Foundation exists to help people and families survive and recover from addiction. To learn more, visit www.wolfestreet.org or call 501-372-5662.