WHO WE ARE

Recovery Force is a 501c3 charity organization comprised of a 100% volunteer workforce of people and families impacted by addiction making life better for people and families impacted by addiction in Atlantic City and surrounding area.

Why we are here

Recovery Force was founded to provide advocacy and support to people and families impacted by addiction because the world we live in is ridden with stigma that makes it difficult to always be treated fairly and competently. Without voices that ask questions and get answers and hands willing to knock on closed doors and have them opened, people with substance use disorders (SUD) and their families would have no choice but to accept whatever was handed to them. The system assures that shame will maintain silence and enable unacceptable responses to the needs of people with a medical condition to persist. The work of Recovery Force is the product of the national Recovery Advocacy Movement, created by people in recovery and their loved ones to confront a system that was not effectively treating their condition and was actually mistreating SUD patients. People with SUDs were punished for their symptoms as opposed to being treated for them as if they were voluntary choices. Half the country still believes addiction is a moral failing or character deficiency and not a medical condition. Among that half are doctors, nurses, teachers, law enforcement officers, judges, counselors, preachers, landlords, health care administrators, human resources specialists, mayors, lawyers, journalists, county commissioners and some of the very policy makers responsible for developing a response to the opioid epidemic. Recovery community organizations have been working hard for the past 20 years to protect its own from system failures at the hands of people who have contempt for those suffering and their families due to a SUD. At the heart of our effort is an attack on the addiction stigma and ensuring that the people of Atlantic City and Atlantic County receive the best evidence-based practices for preventing, treating and recovering from substance use disorders.

 

We are made up entirely of trained volunteers comprised of people and families impacted by addiction. We offer a gold-standard Recovery Coach Academy that prepares members of the Force with the skills and modern schools of thought, based on science, for effectively providing peer support to people and families with SUDs and for advocating for their needs. 

 

Recovery Force is an affiliate of the national Addiction Policy Forum (APF) and works to bring their advancements in understanding addiction and preventing and treating it to the families in Atlantic County. Frankly, there is much work to be done in this area as many needs continue to be addressed using obsolete strategies that hardly consider the evidence-based work being performed throughout the country. An entire world of recovery support exists that there remains no sign of in Atlantic County but which drastically improves the outcomes for people and families impacted by SUDs. In the most successful communities, people with SUDs are provided what they actually need to recover following treatment in areas of housing, follow up monitoring and the time and support needed to create a new life after addiction. Getting there is our fight and our passion. 

Like the other 100+ sister organizations around the country that are supported by the national Faces and Voices of Recovery organization, our progress will be in direct proportion to the degree of participation of local people and families impacted by addiction. It is estimated that around 240,000 residents of Atlantic County have been impacted and our work will hopefully benefit every family. We ask all that are able to assist to back our mission through an upcoming membership drive that will allow us to aggressively advocate for positive change with full authenticity. 

The founding of Recovery force

Recovery Force of Atlantic County, Inc

was founded by Bob Catalano, Jr

in honor of his brother Denny Catalano

With 25 years of clinical experience in Philadelphia treating addiction and co-occurring disorders, Bob Catalano, Jr was also part of the City of Philadelphia's behavioral health transformation to a Recovery Oriented System of Care (ROSC). He worked directly with the legendary William White in creating a system that started before treatment episodes and extended well beyond it. This system also changed the culture to put people first and industry after, and applying new schools of thought based upon research on recovery success. Bob discovered that Atlantic County was still using the obsolete acute care model of treatment, embracing only 12-step approaches to recovery and not considering new schools of thought based on science. Bob was also part of the New Recovery Advocacy Movement. Following his brother's overdose death in November, 2013 Bob left his position as a hospital administrator in February, 2015 and returned home to Atlantic CIty to share his expertise and bring a movement to the place he loved, in honor of the brother he loved.

Bob Catalano, Jr.

Denny Catalano

The Recovery Advocacy Movement

The Anonymous People chronicles the "movement" over the past several decades and concludes where we must pick up in south jersey. With the assistance of Greg Williams, the producer of this award-winning documentary, we hope to greatly expand the community's viewing of the full piece in 2020. Please enjoy the trailer as a preview.