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What is a Recovery Community Organization?

A recovery community organization (RCO) is an independent, non-profit organization led and governed by representatives of local communities of recovery. These organizations organize recovery-focused policy advocacy activities, carry out recovery-focused community education and outreach programs, and provide peer-based recovery support services. (P-BRSS).The broadly defined recovery community - people in long-term recovery, their families, friends and allies, including recovery-focused addiction and recovery professionals - includes organizations whose members reflect religious, spiritual and secular pathways of recovery. The sole mission of an RCO is to mobilize resources within and outside of the recovery community to increase the prevalence and quality of long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction. Public education, policy advocacy and peer-based recovery support services are the strategies through which the mission is achieved.

Valentine, P., White, W. & Taylor, P. (2007)

What is a peer recovery specialist (PRS)?

Peer support workers are people who have been successful in the recovery process who help others experiencing similar situations. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people become and stay engaged in the recovery process and reduce the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustained recovery process.

In Minnesota, Peer Recovery Specialists are trained and certified in best practices and ethical considerations. To maintain certification, they complete regular continuing education, training and supervision. 

What is the role of a peer recovery specialist?
  • Advocating for people in recovery

  • Sharing resources and building skills

  • Building community and relationships

  • Leading recovery groups

  • Mentoring and setting goals

  • Serving as a role model

  • Being a friend and ally

  • Telling the truth in love

  • Reaching out and engaging peers

  • Encouraging and being a cheerleader

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