Recovery to Practice (RTP) Situational Analysis

Summary of Situational Analysis Findings

NAADAC’s Situational Analysis described a snapshot of how the addiction profession currently views and uses the concepts, services, and practices of recovery, as well as the barriers, strengths, and contextual conditions related to full integration.  Through the curriculum, NAADAC will build on the opportunities and challenges discovered in the Situational Analysis to create a recovery-oriented training curriculum that is treatment and recovery community oriented, culturally sensitive, trauma-informed, person driven and hope filled within systems of care to better serve the client/consumer.

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Read more about the Recovery to Practice (RTP) Initiative

Recovery has always had a stronghold in the addiction profession and its workforce. The addiction profession, founded by individuals in recovery, laid the groundwork to provide addiction services within a recovery orientation. Through the Recovery to Practice (RTP) Initiative, NAADAC was asked to determine the extent to which recovery-oriented concepts, values, and practices exist within all aspects of the addiction profession in order to develop a recovery-oriented training curriculum for the workforce.

Using SAMHSA’s definition and guiding principles of recovery, NAADAC determined that recovery-oriented concepts, values, and practices are widely accepted and practiced within the addiction profession, but there is room for improvement in many areas.

In general, members of the addiction profession understand recovery-oriented concepts, utilize recovery-oriented practices, and have recovery-related opportunities for education, training, literature, certification, and licensure. There are some gaps in these areas, and many states are still in the early implementation stages of formally shifting to a recovery orientation. The response of the addiction profession to recovery concepts is generally enthusiastic whilst being met with apprehension from the workforce.

Many economic and political challenges to integrating a full recovery orientation within the addiction profession were discovered (funding and policy issues). In addition, social challenges (e.g. workforce resistance to change) and technological barriers (e.g. lack of full electronic records) also impede the adoption of a recovery orientation. However, there has been progress towards a recovery orientation, and there are many economic, political, social, and technological advances on which the movement can rely as it progresses. These challenges, barriers, and strengths are discussed in greater detail in the appropriate sections of this analysis.

As development of a recovery-oriented training curriculum for the addiction profession proceeds, special attention will need to be paid to improving the understanding and competency of trauma-informed care, cultural diversity, medication-assisted treatment, co-occurring disorders, and the role of peer recovery support specialists (PRSS). There are many challenges and opportunities present to developing a training curriculum for the addiction profession. It is essential to be solution-focused, instead of problem-focused, and encourage progression of the recovery movement within the addiction profession with a strengths-based approach. This means relying on the strengths for implementation and working to remove barriers and challenges where possible. Using this approach, it is possible and necessary to fully implement a recovery-oriented model of care.