The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has long addressed issues of substance abuse through funded community-based interventions, research, and sponsored conferences. Recently, the opioid crisis created a new urgency for cross-sector collaboration among various partners and funders dealing with this issue. This commentary provides an overview of recent efforts by the ARC to convene stakeholders to focus on assisting individuals with substance abuse disorder to access recovery services while pursuing education and training necessary to reenter the workforce and gain employment. Two papers have been prepared to describe this year-long effort. One paper focuses on the participatory methods used to gather ideas and turn them into regional intervention programs. The second paper describes and analyzes the wealth of ideas collected through the process. Both are intended to inform policymakers, researchers, and local leaders in ways to strengthen the substance abuse recovery ecosystem in their own communities.
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Skordas K, Howard A. Appalachian Regional Commission Recovery Ecosystem Background and Overview. J Appalach Health 2020;2(3):10–13. DOI: https://doi.org/10.13023/jah.0203.03