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Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care

Fostering and developing Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care is a priority of SAMHSA/CSAT. In support of this priority, PFR held five regional meetings across the country to assist States and communities in developing, strengthening, and implementing Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care. The purpose of the regional meetings was to build on the work initiated at CSAT's National Summit on Recovery, which provided a forum to establish a framework for recovery and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care. Each State was invited through the Single State Authority (SSA) for substance abuse services to send a four-member team to the regional meeting. State teams consisted of the SSA or designee; treatment provider association representative or a treatment provider; representative of a recovery organization or of the recovering community or faith-based provider; and a researcher. Participants have the authority to affect change within their State. The goals of the meetings included: to inform individuals about the National Summit on Recovery; to provide resources related to the operationalization of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care to allow States and organizations to share lessons learned; and to provide a venue for individual State team planning.

Several resources were developed and disseminated through the regional process to advance recovery-oriented approaches and provide information on Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care. Resources include:

  1. National Summit on Recovery Conference Report (119pp, PDF, 735KB)
  2. Approaches to Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care at the State and Local Level: Three Case Studies (36 pp, PDF, 908KB)
  3. Provider Approaches to Recovery-Oriented Systems: Four Case Studies (48pp, PDF, 1.MB)
  4. Access to Recovery Approaches to Recovery-Oriented Systems: Three Case Studies (40pp, PDF, 1MB)
  5. Guiding Principles and Elements of Recovery-Oriented Systems:What do we know from the research? (68pp, PDF, 1.6MB)


  1. Four draft white papers were disseminated at the regional Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care meetings and are now available on the PFR website.
  2. Five regional meetings were conducted: Western Region, Portland, Oregon, April 2007; Southwest Region, Dallas, Texas, July 2007; Central Region, Chicago, Illinois, September 2007; Northeast Region, Newport, Rhode Island, October 2007; and Southeast Region, Charleston, South Carolina.
  3. Evaluations from the meetings were overwhelmingly positive and participants felt that the meetings were extremely beneficial in advancing their States' Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care.

The next National Summit on Recovery from Substance Use Disorders was held in Washington, D.C., on September 14, 2010. It was intended to assess the progress made since the 2005 Recovery Summit and the remaining work to be done. This event solidified a commitment to integrate recovery principles across multiple systems. Multiple Federal partners participated in the Recovery Summit, representing 20 Federal agencies and national organizations. More than 150 Summit participants from 36 States assembled to create an energized environment for discussion and the exchange of ideas on recovery, resilience, and wellness for people with substance use and mental health disorders. The majority of Summit participants identified themselves as people in recovery. The target audience for this event included change leaders in recovery from substance use disorders, mental health consumers and policymakers, providers, and advocates within the recovery community.

The outcome of the Recovery Summit can be summarized as a call for a National Recovery Agenda that provides a unified message to Federal, State, and local agencies about and in support of recovery. Further, to advance the agenda the Recovery Summit participants offered suggested areas that they felt were essential to address. These areas can be categorized as follows: collaboration and coordination, standards, measures and outcomes, innovative practices, social inclusion, and training and education. PFR assisted in planning the meeting, preparing materials, facilitating and recording break-out group sessions, and writing the final report. For more information, see the report on the proceedings of the National Summit on Recovery from Substance Use Disorders (61pp, PDF, 1.5MB).

Health care in the United States is evolving, and Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care form an integral part of the new health care environment. State and local policy makers, as well as treatment and recovery service providers, require up-to-date information to implement and align Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care with health care reform. To assist policy makers and providers in their endeavors, PFR developed a comprehensive "Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care (ROSC) Resource Guide" (30pp, PDF, 1.1MB). Both organized and user-friendly, the Resource Guide connects the benefits, framework and history of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care to the tenets of health care reform. The guide also facilitates access to a wealth of informational resources that can assist readers with conceptualizing and developing a Recovery-Oriented System of Care.

To further support the implementation of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, PFR developed two PowerPoint presentations to communicate and disseminate information to a broad audience. The first Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care presentation was presented at NASADAD's Annual meeting in June of 2008 and the second presentation was presented at NADAAC's Annual meeting in August of 2008.

Both presentations highlight the principles and elements of Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care, identify its benefits, and encourage NASADAD, NAADAC and others to become involved in its adoption.

To view the presentations, please access them below:

In addition to adopting a Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care approach, the PFR initiative encourages the adoption of a public health approach to recovery which relies on data and evidence-based practices, emphasizes prevention and wellness, applies interdisciplinary methods, and promotes building partnerships. To outline PFR's view on adopting a public health approach, PFR developed and presented "It's Time for a New Approach" (22pp, PDF, 834KB) at the National Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC) Conference. The presentation highlights and addresses the need to adopt a public health approach for treating substance use conditions and achieving and sustaining recovery. The presentation concludes with ideas for change; targeting policies, practices, and resources as ways to support the adoption of a public health perspective.

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