The Importance of Professionals and Community Members as Recovery Allies


Family members, friends, neighbors, professionals, and other community members play a critical role as allies in supporting recovery. Research shows that creating a meaningful life in recovery requires access to healthcare, safe and affordable housing, educational opportunities that may have been missed during periods of drug use, and employment that allows people in recovery to support themselves and their families and contribute to society. Recovery capital refers to the resources, both internal and external, that an individual can draw upon in order to overcome substance use and maintain recovery. The session will begin with a presentation on the recovery ecosystem and recovery capital and will then identify real world examples of ways allies in communities have supported recovery by changing the community environment and creating opportunities to boost recovery capital.

Time: 3PM - 4PM Eastern Time


Alison Jones Webb, MA, MPH, has written extensively about recovery from addiction and harm reduction. Her book, Recovery Allies: How to Support Addiction Recovery and Build Recovery-Friendly Communities, lays out practical ways that professionals and community members can support people in recovery. Using in-depth interviews with people in recovery from around the country and recent recovery research on evidence-based interventions, Webb shows readers that there is real hope for people with addictions, and that we all have an important role in helping to support and sustain their recoveries. Webb is a certified prevention specialist, trained recovery coach, Recovery Ambassador with Faces and Voices of Recovery, and a member of the Virginia Recovery Advocacy Project. She is past president of the Maine Association of Recovery Residences. Webb has over 20 years of experience in community and public health.

Learning Objectives
  • Participants will be able to describe concepts of personal, social, and community recovery capital.
  • Participants will be able to identify at least three strategies to engage allies and increase recovery capital at each stage of recovery.
  • Participants will be able to apply three strategies for building recovery capital within the recovery ecosystem such as social support networks, education and employment opportunities, and access to healthcare.
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