recovery support services
“Auntie Em: Help us out today and find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble!
Dorothy: A place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain…
my brief history with recovery support began in 2005 when i took a position to co-facilitate a substance use treatment group. that position surprisingly lasted 1 1/2 years. the group was 6 persons when the therapist and i began and it was well over 20 when i left. i learned first hand how working with others strengthened my sense of recovery and i also learned how impactful relevant support could be to treatment engagement.
i volunteered for a recovery organization here in denver for a couple of years just after i was given an advocacy award by that same outfit (my grandfather’s term). i learned quite a bit, but its mission seemed shortsighted and self-serving. i then implemented a peer support element at a methadone clinic where i was employed. once again, the group attendance and engagement in activities as well as education and discussion of recovery increased exponentially. sadly the management transitioned after the 2nd year of implementation, and the idea that patients could and would recover took a back seat to managing bodies, billing, and behavior became the sole purpose. i felt very much like mary poppins then and realized that my work was done. i grabbed my umbrella and let the wind carry me onward.
that wind blew me to connecticut for a recovery coach training. i had, by that time, become familiar with the concept and perhaps a little adept at working with other. i completed the training and the tot(train the trainer) so that i would be able to train others to see the secrets that the magical organization in connecticut had summoned from our heavens. the training was exemplary. it was like witnessing an all star game. the players were as varied as the types of tulips growing in the countryside of holland. but the work was the same. one person in recovery working with another and asking real questions and sharing real time life lessons and all that truth creating permission for realness to go deeper.
good coach trainings are full of laughter and tears which normalizes the process of change and even encourages it. learning boundaries, reminding each other that “no” is an appropriate answer are just part of the gift left behind. a bigger gift is the renewed understanding that lives and experiences are so different from our and with that difference comes empathy and wonder.
3 years later, i am still frolicking in empathy and wonder. and i’m feeling lucky to have found ccar- it is my own emerald city. the freshest news and the sincerest of stories. i continue to be enthralled with the storytelling ritual whose roots in our culture are justified and ancient.
the historical timeline below is reposted from Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery’s website at www.ccar.us
CCAR was founded in 1998 when Bob Savage, a long-time state employee, set out to answer two questions:
Where are the people in recovery when policy decisions are made?
Can the recovery community be organized?
Many years later, thanks in large part to his early vision and dedication, the organized recovery community is at the table (locally and nationally) and our presence is growing. In the early years, CCAR focused solely on advocacy and because of the influence of the recovery community, then evolved into providing recovery support services. Seventeen years later, and its amazing to see how CCAR has come.
CCAR holds Connecticut’s first Recovering Community Organization meeting
Connecticut Community for Addiction Recovery officially named
5 founding members spoke at statewide CT Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) conference, publicly for the first time putting a face on recovery, resulting in initial funding from DMHAS
Mailing list topped 100
Awarded an original CSAT Recovery Community Support Program (RCSP) grant
Awarded funding from DMHAS
60 members attended 1st Legislative Day at State Capitol
1st Board of Directors meeting held
15 members spoke at CSAT Public Hearing in Hartford “Changing the Conversation, A National Plan to Improve Substance Abuse Treatment”
140 attended CCAR Conference” In Celebration of Recovery!”
1st video “Putting a Face on Recovery” released
5 people in recovery selected to serve on DMHAS State Advisory Board, 2 appointed by Governor
Recovery Support Services Concept Paper submitted to CSAT for conference grant
Co-presented with Advocacy Unlimited, a mental health advocacy organization, on the “Recovery Basic Premises and Recovery Core Values” (Note: these values ultimately served as the basis for the DMHAS Recovery-Oriented System of Care)
Hosted 2nd Legislative Day, over 100 people attended
Started “Legacies” support group for parents who had lost children to addiction
Hosted training – Racism of the Well-Intended, Slaying the Dragon
700 attended first annual Recovery Walks! at Bushnell Park in Hartford
“Putting a Face on Recovery” video distributed to 700+
1st edition of The Recovery Herald newsletter published and distributed to 6500+
112 people attended 1st Annual Meeting & Awards Dinner
1st of 7 Chapters established giving CCAR local and regional presence
200+ people attended 3rd Legislative Day, 36 legislators sponsored the event with 3 talking about their own recovery
Non-profit 501(c)3 status granted
10,000+ Recovery Posters distributed nationwide
Website http://www.ccar-recovery.org goes live
“Putting a Face on Recovery” video updated; 2000+ distributed nationwide
Awarded CSAT Recovery Community Support Program (RCSP) Track II grant
2000+ participated in 2nd Recovery Walks! held 5 days after terrorist attack of 9/11
16 members testified at Informational Forum at the invitation by CT Legislature Judiciary Committee issues relating to felony conviction and sustained recovery
200+ people attended CCAR’s trauma/recovery forum “Recovery Speaks in the Shadow of 9/11” in New London
Membership topped 2000
3000+ participated in 3rd annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford
200+ attended 2nd trauma/recovery forum in Bridgeport
Code of Ethics established
Shifted successfully from Recovery Community Support Program to Recovery Community Services Program
1st of 42 trainings in the “Recovery Training Series” delivered
New video “Healing Power of Recover” completed
3000+ participated in 4th annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford
Staff invited to “Innovator’s Meeting: Strategic Planning for Peer Recovery Support Services” SAMHSA/CSAT Access to Recovery (ATR) Program
First audit for year ending June 30, 2003 completed and earned a non-qualified opinion
CCAR involved in development of state ATR proposal
200+ people attended Grand Opening of Windham Recovery Community Center
First Family Support Group met in Windham Recovery Community Center
Transition of leadership to new Executive Director
Executive Director Co-chairs state team with DMHAS Commissioner at National Policy Academy on Co-Occurring Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders
Formal Volunteer Management System implemented
Awarded CSAT Recovery Community Services Program (RCSP) Track III grant
3000+ participated in 5th annual Recovery Walks! in Hartford
New London Recovery Community Center opened
Recovery Housing Project developed state-of the-art internet database to include 100 independently owned, privately operated recovery houses covering 1069 beds
Recovery Housing Coalition of Connecticut (RHCC) established
RHCC established standards for independently owned, privately operated recovery housing
Recovery Housing Project training “So… You Want to Open a Recovery House” generated 7 new recovery houses totaling 70 new recovery beds
Prison Support Groups established in Enfield and Bridgeport
Comprehensive Volunteer Management System implemented
An article on Recovery Walks! appeared on the cover of the inaugural edition of Rising Recovery in Action, Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR)’s national magazine
Recovery Walks! model replicated in several other states
Recovery Walks! drew 2000+, Honor Guard established for first time
Executive Director served on CSAT Summit Planning Committee
Established Recovery Capital Tool and Recovery Friendly Tool for evaluation purposes
Hosts recognition dinner in honor of CCAR founder, Bob Savage
The WRCC attracted 10,000 visitors
More than 350 individuals attended Recovery Training Series
CCAR represented at historic Faces and Voices of Recovery summit in Washington, DC
Executive Director presented at CSAT Summit
Begin series of Oldtimer (20+ years of recovery) Retreats and Focus Groups
The 50th ‘Hooked on Recovery’ article penned
2006 – Annual_Report_2006
Core Elements of a Recovery Community Center written
Volunteer Coordinator hired
Telephone Recovery Support became CCAR’s first “fee-for-service”
Article published on Telephone Recovery Support in Addiction Professional magazine
New London Recovery Community Center held successful comedy night/pasta dinner event
Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin received the Dr. Edward Brown Humanitarian Award for her work in support of recovery in Willimantic.
Executive Director traveled to AZ to serve as consultant to a sister Recovery Community Organization
Hosts 1st Annual Volunteer Recognition dinner with comedian Mark Lundholm, 144 registered CCAR volunteers invited, Keith Sawyer earns Presidential Award with over 1200 hours
Legacy of Hope: Recovery Elders Video Project launched
CCAR staff ran workshops, served on panels and introduced speakers in statewide DMHAS Recovery Conference: Vision to Outcomes
Bridgeport Recovery Community Center opened (#3)
Purchased a 3-story Victorian on 198 Wethersfield Avenue in Hartford to house the Hartford Recovery Community Center and the administrative offices
Individual Giving campaign launched
Recovery Walks! held for the 7th consecutive year, a lead event for Rally for Recovery, banner for 46 other events held nationally on same day
Executive Director Phillip Valentine received America Honors Recovery award from The Johnson Institute at the National Press Club, Washington DC
Executive Director presented on CCAR, recovery support services and promotes the RCSP at congressional briefing in Washington, DC
WRCC attracted more than 15,000 visitors
Hartford Recovery Community Center opened (#4)
Technology grant received from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Hosted HBO “Addiction” premier at St. Francis Hospital Chawla Auditorium for 125 persons
Hosted 2nd Annual Volunteer Recognition dinner with comedian Mark Lundholm, more than 200 registered CCAR volunteers invited, 17 Presidential Awards given
The CCAR experience highlighted in interviews published on Faces &Voices of Recovery website, Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center (GLATTC) website, Recovery Solutions magazine
Hartford Recovery Community Center launched with Grand Opening for more than 200 people
CCAR leased space to Columbus House “Road to Recovery” program on 3rd floor of the HRCC
New author Richard Anthony (his pen name) began new recovery column that goes out on CCAR website and list serve, “Reflections of a 10th Leper”
Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin celebrated 20 years of recovery
Legislative breakfasts held in each of the Recovery Community Centers
NLRCC held 2nd successful Comedy Night
CCAR presents at CCB conference on co-occurring disorders
Executive Director presents at NASADAD (National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors) on the CCAR experience in Burlington, VT
Senior Peer Services Coordinator Michael Askew retires and moves to North Carolina
Executive Director is lead author on a paper titled,” The Recovery Community Organization: Toward A Working Definition and Description” with Bill White and Pat Taylor
CCAR won $270,000 DMHAS grant to provide Telephone Recovery Support to 2500 recoverees
Staff expanded from 10 to 15.
Recovery Walks! held for the 8th consecutive year, Songwriter/vocalist Paul Williams keynotes, first time weather bad, yet sun breaks out during Honor Guard
Senior Peer Services Coordinator Kim Haugabook represented CCAR at a Whitehouse Roundtable in Washington, DC
Senior Peer Services Coordinator Diane Potvin presented at New England Association of Drug Court Professionals in Boston, MA
Executive Director represented CCAR at CSAT Regional Recovery Summit state planning meeting
Executive Director served on a consensus panel for a Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) TIP (Treatment Improvement Protocol) on Relapse Prevention
Volunteer Manager Normajean Cefarelli presented on the CCAR Volunteer Management System in Kentucky
Long time Office Manager Pat Howard retires
CCAR completed a strategic planning process
Executive Director Phillip Valentine celebrated 20 years of recovery
Volunteer hours served topped 10,000
CCAR formed the Recovery Technical Assistance Group (RTAG) to provide consulting, technical assistance to recovery community organizations and other entities
Held the 3rd annual Volunteer Recognition and Celebration dinner with Mark Lundholm. 221 people attended, 123 of them volunteers and 21 Presidential awards were given. The CT Attorney General also signed certificates for each of the Presidential Award recipients
CCAR won 4 DMHAS Innovative Recovery Initiative one-time grants totaling $139,000 – Oldtimers Conference, Legacy of Hope 2, Women In Recovery through Enhanced Designed (WIRED) and Recovery Coaching
DMHAS Commissioner Thomas Kirk attended a CCAR Board meeting and the discussion focused on sustainability
CCAR collaborated with a treatment provider, ADRC (Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center) and won a state grant to provide Recovery Oriented Employment Services (ROES)
With the CT Certification Board (CCB), CCAR assisted with the Recovery Support Services Conference: Promoting Recovery with Recovery Support Services. Several CCAR volunteers and staff presented.
Diane Potvin WRCC Manager was voted in as a co-chair of the DMHAS State Advisory Board
United Way contributions to CCAR topped $1,000
The 1st Recovery Coach Academy was held, a 7-day training that drew 30 participants in a “learning laboratory” model
The number of recoverees reached through Telephone Recovery Support tops 1,000
Held the 4th annual Volunteer Recognition and Celebration dinner with Mark Lundholm. 209 people attended, 108 of them volunteers and 27 Presidential awards were given. The CT Attorney General also signed certificates for each of the Presidential Award recipients.
CCAR earned a $100,000 contract form the CT Department of Correction for the Re-Entry & Recovery Project for people in the Hartford parole district.
Michael Askew returned from North Carolina to serve once again as the Manager of the Bridgeport Recovery Community Center.
DMHAS Commissioner Thomas Kirk retired. The CCAR Executive Director served on the committee to interview candidates for the position. Pat Rehmer appointed new Commissioner.
The Recovery Coach Academy was held 4 times, a 5-day training that drew participants from 13 different states.
The Recovery Technical Assistant Group expands – a recovery community organization development contract in Sioux Falls, SD; a Recovery Coach Academy in Des Moines, IA; Telephone Recovery Support TA in VA, TX; numerous speaking engagements (MN, VT, ME, NH)
CCAR had visits from several states interested in our model – Texas, New Jersey, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Vermont. Also, a gentleman from England visited the HRCC.
The number of recoverees reached through Telephone Recovery Support tops 2,000.
Recovery Walks! celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Hartford Business Journal selects CCAR Executive Director Phillip Valentine as Non-Profit Executive of the Year.
Findrecoveryhousing.com became an official e-commerce site.
2010 Annual Report 2010
CCAR Recovery Community Centers welcomes over 15,000 visits.
New London Recovery Community Center closes, leaving 3 Recovery Community Centers in operation.
Telephone Recovery Support enrolled more than 1,218 new recoverees. Our volunteers had more than 6,800 conversations about recovery.
Findrecoveryhousing.com lists over 150 houses from seven states.
The Recovery Coach Academy was held 5 times and trained 62 coaches representing 18 states.
CCAR volunteers continue to be the backbone of the organization; 319 volunteers served over 14,426 hours in 2010.
CCAR honored our volunteers at the 5th Annual Recognition dinner. 34 volunteers were presented with Presented with Presidential awards and one volunteer received a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Shaded Soul wowed us at the 11th annual Recovery Walks.
CCAR staff provided RTAG Recovery Works training for folks in a recovery community organization in Maryland.
Men’s Wearhouse supports CCAR and our recoverees by donating professional attire on a regular basis.
Executive Director, Phillip Valentine, traveled to Wales and the United Kingdom to speak on the power of recovery and the recovery community organization model. Phil attended the grand opening of the Newcastle Gateshead Recovery Centre, a recovery center modeled after CCAR.
CCAR wide strategic plan was conducted outlining agency priorities for upcoming years.
Yoly Lebron was promoted to Director of Administrator/Human Resource Officer role
Recovery Works hires new Coordinator; 203 individuals referred to program, 54 completed it and 56 gained employment.
Ken Aligata, CCAR volunteer and supporter, hired as Community Educator to conduct outreach to providers and individuals in treatment programs. 16 trainings conducted reached 226 participants.
The number of recoverees that received Telephone Recovery Support calls tripled, with volunteers calling nearly 650 people each week.
BRCC supported Keytrain, an initiative that prepared people to become more employable.
CCAR Recovery Community Centers saw more than 35,000 visitors, hosted 38 different trainings, and held 375 other events.
CCAR’s Telephone Recovery Support model expanded to Minnesota, South Dakota, Rhode Island, and the United Kingdom.
The Recovery Coach Academy was held 4 times and trained 124 coaches representing 28 states; 32 scholarships were provided to CCAR volunteers.
Recovery Coach Academy model trained total of 958 coaches nationwide.
317 CCAR volunteers contributed over 20,438 hours of service.
2012 Annual Report 2012
Maine RCO Leader, Deb Dettor, hired as Director of Operations to implement program development based on strategic plan.
Volunteer workforce number lessens slightly, but 291 individuals serve even more hours than previous years, contributing 23,264 hours.
TRS volunteer callers make 34,230 total calls and engage in 12,765 conversations.
CCAR’s Recovery Community Centers saw even more visitors, nearly 50,000 people.
Windham and Bridgeport Recovery Community Centers each doubled their space.
Community Educator expanded outreach to promote recovery posting YouTube Recovery Minute videos and daily Twitter Affirmations.
CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© ran 117 times across the country and trained 2,038 new coaches.
Recovery Walks! celebrated simultaneously with Recovery Walk in Manchester, England with live-feed broadcast.
CCAR technology upgraded thanks to grant from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
2013 Annual Report 2013
CCAR hired first Recovery Coach Academy Coordinator, Stacy Rosay.
Bob Savage Recovery Advocate of the Year Award given to Greg Williams, producer of The Anonymous People.
CCAR Recovery Coach Academy© conducted 121 times across the country and trained 1,741 new coaches.
A new Recovery Coach Ethics training was developed.
Performance Support Learning Communities implemented by consultant/trainer Art Woodard with Recovery Coaches in CCAR Recovery Community Centers.
CCAR sponsored the April sneak preview of the groundbreaking documentary, The Anonymous People.
Volunteer service rose again, with 293 individuals providing 28,427 total hours, averaging 97 hours per volunteer.
CCAR Executive Director teamed with local media celebrity in recovery to host a weekly radio show, Voices of Recovery, on CT’s largest AM radio station.
Executive Director Phil Valentine awarded with thanks for 14 years of Annual Recovery Walks! leadership.
Recovery Walks! celebrated first ever Friday, drawing 1,000 people. CT Governor Dannel Malloy spoke, as first active Governor keynote at a Recovery Walk event.
Rebecca Allen promoted to new Telephone Recovery Support (TRS) Manager position.
Significant rise in CCAR’s Recovery Community Centers activities; 300 trainings ran with 2,438 participants and 1,131 other events drew 24,336 attendees.
CCAR piloted weekly Artists in Recovery; and sponsored first artwork exhibition at Annual Recovery Walks!
2014 Annual Report 2014
2015 Annual Report 2015
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.
firstly, ii would request that all readers also read mark olmsted’s blog regarding the passing of phillip seymour hoffman at question marxist. mark olmsted – aka the trash whisperer- touches on the very core of a major challenge with living in recovery- emotional sobriety. people with addictions – both active and arrested- remains the most complicated and treacherous path that I have walked and that those ii walk with encounter.
What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?
there are moments in which the clarity and cruelty of feeling are so uber-pronounced and omnipresent that frozen only begins to describe the fear and uncertainty that follow. sometimes an exchange of words or ideas will give a glimpse of unknowing that feels just like the chill of a visiting spirit. someone may something to me that ii am not clear how to take and ii will panic- not because of what was said, but more because of the not knowing how to proceed.
it may turn out that I struggle with emotionality for the rest of my days. it gets easier and the frightful crazy part lasts shorter periods of time. but as mark olmsted points out, it is not how we feel that creates problems, but more how we think we should feel.
There is no feeling without a thought. There is no feeling or thought without a corresponding physical response. We are not many. We are one.
It is a mistake for any of us to so divide ourselves into segments that we lose the sense of ourselves as holistic beings. There is no thought without a feeling. However by singling out a specific aspect of how we as people function, in this case the emotions, specific care can be given on that aspect. Feelings have the power to both take us to heaven and pitch us into hell. Feelings are perfectly capable of telling us the saving truth as well as sending us on the road to destruction. Feelings are powerful. As with all powerful things the task is to control and manage that power so it works to the person’s benefit.
Feelings must be understood for what they are and where they originate if the person experiencing them is to gain a life of sobriety, balance and serenity.
Topics covered in our various products dealing with emotional management:
Understanding the anatomy of emotions
Learning to feel long repressed feelings
Discerning if the feeling is telling us a useful truth
Not allowing feelings to be the sole dictator of behavior
Steps to gaining emotional management
words and thoughts by ernie larsen