What is a “recovery-to-work ecosystem”?
Substance use disorder (SUD) is a growing issue in the U.S., affecting not only those suffering from SUD, not also their families, friends, communities, employers, and more. Recovery-to-work ecosystems are emerging as a tool that regions can use to address this issue: by coordinating stakeholders such as treatment providers, workforce and economic development, and employers, regions can help ensure those suffering from SUD can get and keep jobs.
Through the Recovery-to-Work Cohort Learning Academy, DDAA has refined the concept of a “recovery-to-work ecosystem” by assisting four regions in ecosystem development. The lessons from the Learning Academy are now found in “Addressing Appalachia’s Substance Use Disorder Crisis Through Recovery-to-Work”, which introduces the “Recovery-to-Work Ecosystem Framework”: a series of goals, challenges, solutions, and action items that regions can undertake to support recovery-to-work ecosystems. This Framework provides a “menu” of possible activities that a region might prioritize in building their ecosystem. It includes examples of different activities from several regions, lessons from the process, and deep dives into issues including housing and transportation.
The Cohort Learning Academy process itself provided a glimpse into the on-the-ground process of building a recovery-to-work ecosystem, resulting in two supplemental reports. The “Recovery-to-Work Cohort Learning Academy Final Report” discusses the Learning Academy process including how the Learning Academy was developed and descriptions of the activities and facilitation provided during the Learning Academy. “The Four Regions of Cohort I” looks at each regions history with substance use disorder, the composition of their team, their action planning processes, and how they worked to implement the plans developed during the Learning Academy.