Building Recovery Capital: Mining, Defining and Utilizing

Rita Notarandrea

September 13th 10:50am- 12:30pm Round Room


How do you make the recovery community part of the broader community?

Currently, the barriers for building a recovery capital producing platform are stigma, and the silos between researchers, academics policy advisors and those with lived and living experience, as well as the lack of resources for recovery communities. As advocates, we seek to create a closed cycle of ongoing recovery capital by mining, defining and then utilizing what we know to better support recovery communities.

It is time to shift the conversation from those in recovery to the broader community. This presentation will outline the need for the recovery community to build a strong public presence and the need for national, provincial and regional partners to engage and support recovery communities, and their efforts to improve collaboration.

Building public recovery communities enables the substance use disorder community to work in partnership with researchers, academics, policy advisors and the broader public community. By creating a closed cycle communications platform, we can transform experience into knowledge and knowledge into actionable recovery capital.

Furthermore, addressing and eliminating stigma through public discussions about recovery will lead to the creation of public recovery communities. To aid this process, we are creating, for the first time, opportunities for direct engagement with academics, researchers, and policy advisors.

Garnering wide public support for the initiatives and actions that are developed as part of this cooperative work is key. Recovery involves everyone and families, employers, service clubs, faith based organization and civil servants – including politicians – need to be engaged in a dialogue. The general public plays a critical role in influencing the level of social change, and corresponding funding, they demand and to gain their support we must show the value of meaningful cross-engagement and collaboration.

This presentation will also include overviews of CCSA-published resources that aid the recovery community including the Finding Quality Addiction Care in Canada Guide, the Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada Report, the Life in Recovery from Addiction in Canada Communications Toolkit, and the Moving Towards a Recovery-Oriented System of Care Resource.

Learning Objectives:

1. Show the importance of publicly available peer services and recovery communities in building sustainable recovery models.

2. Demonstrate how stigma can prevent those with a substance use disorder from accessing recovery community organizations and highlight the importance of recovery allies in breaking down stigma, and providing new sources of recovery capital.

3. Drive engagement between the recovery community and the broader community, and normalize dialogue around recovery and substance use disorders.


As well as CCSA research we used these resources

The Community as the Patient: How to Promote Community Recovery


Rita Notarandrea was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) in 2015. She works with all levels of government, as well as the not-for-profit and private sectors, to ensure that problematic substance use and addiction remain on the national agenda as significant health, social and economic issues. Under Rita’s direction, CCSA provides national and international leadership, and harnesses the power of evidence to galvanize collective action to reduce alcohol- and drug-related harms to Canadians.

Prior to joining CCSA, Rita held a number of senior leadership positions with major health service organizations, including the Royal Ottawa Hospital where she was Chief Operating Officer. She holds a degree from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and the University of Toronto where she received a Masters in Health Sciences/Health Administration. Rita proudly serves as a member of the Clerk of the Privy Council’s Contact Group on Mental Health.