are a group of people from all walks of life who want to change the way
the District addresses alcohol and other drug prevention, addiction, and treatment.
speak with a unique voice that comes directly from the long-term recovery
and carries the weight of our own experiences in and outside of
the addiction treatment system in Washington, DC.
believe the best prevention is early intervention;
we want a coordinated, science-based approach to treating substance use disorders;
and we are working to make sure that addiction treatment
is incorporated into the primary healthcare system.
The nation’s capital has an estimated 60 thousand people with problems with alcohol and other drugs severe enough to need treatment. Coping with the effects of this problem, rather than the problem itself, costs the city an estimated $1.2 billion in direct costs alone. It costs much more in damaged families, lost productivity, private health care costs, and wasted lives. Half of all families have someone with a substance use disorder and most people have a friend, co-worker, or neighbor who still struggles.
The District of Columbia government spends about $7.5 million on treatment services, an amount than has not changed much since 1978. While it had a target to reduce the number of addicts by 25,000 by 2010, it treats fewer than 9,000 a year, and many of them relapse. Federal and local laws make it hard to recover, discriminating against people who are trying to rebuild their lives. Clearly, something better needs to be done.
The DC Recovery Community Alliance is a group of people, many of them with successful, long-term recovery, who want to change public policy and programs so that others can achieve similar benefits.
The Alliance has successfully worked with the DC Council to change insurance laws that not only denied treatment benefits, but even kept doctors from acknowledging the need for recovery.
The Alliance is engaging community leaders in further dialog to improve opportunities for recovery in the District of Columbia.
Our current agenda for change includes:
Early intervention, when the problem is easier to treat:
Implementing Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral programs.
Diversion to treatment instead of jail for non-violent offenders.
Comprehensive care for co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders.
Reduce discrimination that hampers recovery:
Reform Uniform Policy Provision (insurance) Laws.
Reduce barriers to re-entry from prison.
Eliminate hiring/certification discrimination.
Improve Service Delivery and Reduce the Treatment Gap:
Improve Central Intake and encourage intervention and intake by other providers.
Increase the availability of resources for treatment and aftercare services.
The Alliance meets monthly and works through three committees:
Outreach and Events
If you want to help DC’s citizens overcome substance use disorders, we want your help. If you are in recovery yourself, the Traditions of most mutual support groups allow you to “carry the message” on other paths that run along side your personal recovery program.
Please join us:
Call Naomi Long, 202-669-6071, or or Johnny Allem, 202-662-7104, or
Print out, fill out, and mail the form on the next page.
Get involved by speaking out for recovery in your school, workplace, neighborhood, or house of worship and to the leaders of our community. We can show you how.
DCRCA members and Councilman Jim Graham
after a hearing to successfully change insurance laws that served as barriers to recovery.