How and when was FAVOR founded?

A small group of individuals in long-term recovery from addiction began meeting in 1999 to find ways to help more individuals and families find a path to recovery from substance use disorders in the Upstate. They conducted a needs assessment and led a community wide 100-member planning group to find specific solutions to gaps in the system of care.  But this process soon bogged down amid turf-guarding and bureaucracy.

So in 2004, they incorporated FAVOR Greenville as an independent not-for-profit entity to put a public face and voice on recovery as other groups were doing across the country.  They wanted to find ways to remove barriers to recovery and reduce the shame and stigma that they had personally experienced.  They held focus groups, training sessions, annual meetings, and recovery celebrations to bring awareness to the problem and to educate the community about the power of recovery.

In 2010 they began an extensive three year planning process to add the delivery of peer-based recovery support services to the existing advocacy and community education programs.  After a fundraising campaign that netted $ 1.5 million in operating capital, FAVOR Greenville Center opened on July 1, 2013 as the Upstate’s “Welcome Center to Recovery.”

How does FAVOR promote and support recovery in the Upstate community?

A recovery-oriented sanctuary, FAVOR exists: to put a “face on recovery” to reduce stigma and discrimination; to support individuals and families in sustaining a personal path to recovery; and to create innovative ways to address addiction – our nation’s # 1 public health problem.

FAVOR’s recovery support programs, offered in a number of sites in the Upstate, provide effective non-clinical services, at no cost, that help people achieve, enrich, and maintain recovery. Specific services include: a variety of recovery support meetings, personal recovery planning, telephone recovery support, family education and intervention, recovery coaching, outreach meetings, information and referral, volunteer opportunities, community education, awareness tours, and social events and outings. Research shows that a comprehensive array of services assists people in sustaining recovery and that social supports improve recovery outcomes.

What are recovery support services?

The most critical issue in achieving long-term recovery is not how to stop alcohol and/or drug use and manage acute withdrawal symptoms, but how to avoid resuming use in the weeks, months, and years following recovery initiation.  Recovery support services, delivered by trained coaches in recovery, help individuals and families initiate, stabilize and sustain recovery from substance use disorders.

The services are non-clinical and provide linkages to other services and supports in the community.  Recovery support services can be delivered in a variety of settings and throughout the continuum of care.  The relationship of a coach to a participant is strengths-based and highly supportive, rather than directive. It differs from the role of a 12-step sponsor or professional clinical counselor: coaches do not diagnose, provide therapy, or help a participant work the 12 steps.

How is FAVOR’s approach different from other organizations and service providers?

Lip service is routinely paid to the statement that “addiction is a family disease.”  At FAVOR we take this statement to heart.  In keeping with our mission and our research on how people achieve recovery, we are committed to family-centered programming that heretofore has not been available in our community.  We find that when the family gets healthier, the addicted individual often begins to move toward health as well.

FAVOR believes there are many paths to recovery and that one size does not fit all.  Our coaches offer a person-centered, strengths-based approach to recovery planning and support, with an emphasis on what is “right” with the participant, not what is wrong.

We know that long-term recovery is a reality and that recovery is a process of change that takes time and support.  Because addiction is a chronic disease, we are with people for life.  There is no “discharge” from FAVOR.

How is FAVOR governed and funded?

Like similar organizations across the country, FAVOR is an independent, non-profit recovery community organization (RCO) which is led and governed by people in recovery.   A charter member of the national Association of Recovery Community Organizations, FAVOR is one of nine RCOs accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Peer Recovery Support Services (CAPRSS).

Incorporated in South Carolina in 2004 as a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, FAVOR does not charge for services or bill insurance companies.  FAVOR is supported primarily by gifts from private individuals and foundations who invest in FAVOR and see the dividends from their investments in the lives of the people we serve.  At this time, support from governmental entities is less than 5% of our budget.

How many individuals and families have found help at FAVOR since opening?

Since FAVOR opened its doors in July of 2013, more than 30,000 individuals and family members have been engaged in FAVOR’s many services and programs.

Why does the Upstate community need a recovery community center?

Every morning in Upstate South Carolina more than 155,000 people wake up to face another day controlled by their drinking or drug use. Only about 10% of these individuals currently receive appropriate treatment or support for recovery. Research shows that people believe our community lacks a coordinated system of care for substance use disorders and many people are unaware of available services and how to access effective support for recovery.

Our state government spends more than $934 million annually on costs related to the burden of substance use disorders, including criminal justice, social service, healthcare, and loss of productivity each year.  Each person with a substance use disorder negatively impacts the lives of at least five other people: spouse, children, friends, and employers. The personal and emotional costs to individuals and families are incalculable.

Clearly, from these statistics, there is a need in the Upstate for an innovative, cost-effective strategy.  Across the country, the recovery community (in Greenville County there are 29,000 people in recovery) is organizing its “capacity to care” in recovery community centers, where a renewed spirit of service and activism is taking hold.  Locally, with the support of the community and our referral partners, we have a unique opportunity to change lives and save lives through FAVOR.

Isn’t FAVOR a duplication of other efforts in the community? What about collaboration?

Woven into the fabric of our American experience is the unique tradition of individuals and families, affected by illnesses, coming together to provide support and advocacy, resulting in both national organizations with local affiliates and independent local organizations.

FAVOR follows in this tradition by bringing new services to the community that have not been available before. FAVOR exists to mobilize resources within and outside the recovery community to increase the number of individuals who achieve and sustain recovery from substance use disorders.  It serves as the “Welcome Center to Recovery” for the broad community and is the source for “all things recovery” for both individuals and families.  It represents the recovery community and advocates on its behalf.

FAVOR’s recovery support services can be utilized before, during and after clinical treatment and in conjunction with any chosen path to recovery.  Our recovery coaches are not substitutes for, but partners with, professional addiction counselors, therapists and sponsors in 12-step programs.

Since its inception FAVOR has collaborated with all clinical and faith-based treatment providers, mutual-aid groups like AA and NA, Celebrate Recovery, hospital systems, schools, churches and all recovery residences in the area.  It maintains a Resource Center and provides 25 outreach meetings each month to various organizations in the Upstate.

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