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Voices for Recovery

Allen McQuarrie (06/17/2013)

Allen McQuarrie

During my 26 years in long-term recovery, I’ve learned that no one in recovery got here without being coached, mentored, and assisted by peers – before, during, after, or even in the absence of formal treatment.  We all have one thing in common:  we were led into recovery by caring, compassionate, and competent peers who got there first, but not on their own.

As part of my long-term recovery, I have become an advocate.  Advocacy is our strongest tool to change policy and be a voice for the recovery community at the local, state, and federal levels.  I chair PRO-ACT (, a well-respected, highly-visible, and vibrant grassroots organization for people affected by addiction and their family members in the greater Philadelphia, PA area.

I am also grateful to have helped my son begin and sustain 13 years in long-term recovery and my brother celebrate 10 years of sustained recovery.  Peer assistance, recovery coaching, and recovery mentoring from reliable professional and recovery resources played a significant role in our recovery.  We had good role models in recovery that enabled us to imitate what they did to be successful.  We each had a minimum of 30 days of residential professional care followed by aftercare and regular attendance at 12-step meetings.  We all found the same pathway:  timely intervention, a continuum of treatment, and recovery support for some time afterwards.

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