Minnesota Recovery Corps

Rationale

Opioid abuse has increased at an alarming rate, causing significant health and financial costs to individuals and society. The number of Minnesotans who died from opioid overdoses grew 500% from 1999 to 2014 and opioid-related deaths are now the leading cause of drug-related deaths in Minnesota (CDC, 2016; Minnesota Department of Health, 2015). Stakeholders across the nation agree—we need a multifaceted approach to reducing this alarming trend.

One viable entry point for intervention is promoting long-term recovery. The risk of addiction recurrence is still extremely high following treatment, with some two-thirds of people relapsing within the first year and one-third relapsing between the second and third years of sobriety (White & Dennis, 2016). Efforts to support those in recovery from opioid abuse are increasing in relevance and hold substantial promise as a means to improve health outcomes. Based on our review of the literature, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity for National Service to play a role in preventing relapse.

The Program

In 2017, ServeMinnesota launched Recovery Corps in partnership with Reading and Math, Inc., and several leaders in the recovery community. Recovery Corps members have direct or indirect experience with recovery, are trained by experts in recovery, and are placed at one of four sites to work with young adults and adults in recovery.

Members assess the “recovery capital” of individuals across a number of key areas known to support long-term recovery. Based on that needs assessment, members provide an individualized plan and support program across at least 4-weeks. The resulting impact of that individualized plan is a stronger sense of safety and connection with the community—a factor known to promote long-term recovery.

Recovery Corps is just finishing its first year and we’ll be updating as we learn more about program impact and implementation.