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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/or provide peer-based recovery support services (P-BRSS).  

Recovery Community Organizations

  • provide only non-clinical services which differ from treatment programs
  • respect and support all pathways of recovery
  • have their own governing board
  • are led and governed by people in recovery
  • routinely engage people in recovery, their families, and other stakeholders in a participatory process of program decision-making and conducting activities
  • are grassroots programs/organizations and are active in their communities
  • have a mission statement that focuses on addiction recovery


The Association of Recovery Community Organizations (ARCO) at Faces & Voices of Recovery unites and supports the growing network of local, regional and statewide recovery community organizations (RCOs). ARCO links RCOs and their leaders with local and national allies and provides training and technical assistance to groups. ARCO helps build the unified voice of the organized recovery community and fulfill our commitment to supporting the development of new groups and strengthening existing ones.

All RCOs that are led and governed by the recovery community are welcome to apply to join as an ARCO Affiliate.



The benefits of membership include the opportunity to participate in an annual 2 day Leadership Summit. ARCO has hosted events in Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington, D.C..

ARCO affiliates come together each year with other leaders to strengthen their ability to:

Influence public policy decisions by becoming familiar with initiatives affecting recovery, the players that influence policy and programming, and recovery advocacy strategies to impact policy

Explore different aspects of developing and sustaining a recovery community organization

Learn current practices in recovery community centers, peer services in diverse settings, and mobilizing community constituents

Engage in networking and support - becoming part of a national network of recovery community organization leaders in an ongoing learning community of practice.

  • ARCO