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.
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.
For decades, William L. White has been an important author and historian in the addiction treatment and recovery field, and a new website has collected his writings in a virtual resource library. White has been especially influential in his thinking about the new recovery advocacy movement, recovery management, and recovery-oriented systems of care.
The site contains the full text of more than 200 articles, 5 monographs, 30+ recovery tools, 9 book chapters, 3 books, and links to an additional 12 books by White and co-authors over the past forty years. Most documents are available as a free PDF download.
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.