ARC’s INSPIRE Initiative

The Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative addresses the substance use disorder crisis across Appalachia by creating or expanding a recovery ecosystem that will lead to workforce entry or re-entry. Successful projects will support the post-treatment to employment continuum, which could include investments in healthcare networks that support substance use disorder recovery professionals, recovery-focused job training programs, as well as initiatives designed to coordinate, or link, recovery services and training that support the recovery ecosystem, among others.

In September 2022, ARC awarded $12 million to 33 projects across the region. These INSPIRE awardees will support the SUD recovery-to-employment continuum in 11 Appalachian states by training and certifying recovery specialists, establishing cross-sector partnerships, expanding peer support networks, launching recovery-to-work programs with a full spectrum of coordinated support services, and more.

The recovery ecosystem, within the context of building and strengthening economically resilient communities in Appalachia, is a complex linkage of multiple sectors, including but not limited to recovery communities, peer support, health, human services, faith communities, criminal justice, public safety, housing, transportation, education, and employers. The goal of the recovery ecosystem is to help individuals in recovery access the support services and training they need to maintain recovery and successfully obtain sustainable employment.

INSPIRE’s Impact in Appalachia

Projects Supported
Counties Impacted

Since April 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 85 projects that address Appalachia’s substance use disorder crisis in 289 counties. Together, these projects are projected to improve more than 1,100 businesses and provide opportunities for nearly 6,500 students and workers in creating or expanding recovery ecosystems leading to workforce entry or re-entry throughout the region. 

For questions about the INSPIRE Initiative, please email

Investments in Action

Brooke’s House: Giving New Purpose to Women in Recovery

When Kevin Simmers lost his daughter Brooke to an opioid overdose in 2015, he knew he needed to honor her legacy by carrying out her dream: opening a transitional house for women recovering from substance use disorder.

Appalachians Leading the Way on Recovery

Lisa Bright: Breaking Barriers to Recovery

When Will Bright passed away in 2014 from an overdose, his mother, Lisa Bright, knew she had to turn her pain into purpose. She and her husband, Bill, started the Will Bright Foundation to both honor their son and provide others with a safe, supportive environment for their recovery journeys.

Philip Cooper: Inspiring Change

For Philip Cooper, INSPIRE Coordinator at Land of Sky Regional Council, helping his community recover from substance use disorder is not just a job – it’s a personal, lifelong commitment.

Research and Data Resources