The Washington Recovery Alliance formed as a response to the lack of an organized voice advocating for recovery issues in Washington state.
State Legislative Advocacy
We held the state’s inaugural Recovery Advocacy Day in 2016 and have returned each year. In 2018, we had 117 recovery advocates participate! The WRA’s 2018 advocacy efforts were focused on:
- Expanding access to recovery support services
- Allocating Medicaid funding for substance use disorder peer/recovery coach services
- Passing HB 1524 to allow Criminal Justice Treatment Account funds to be used for recovery support services
- Allowing peer-run agencies to bill Medicaid
- Increasing Medicaid rates for behavioral health
- Sentencing reform for drug possession charges
A more detailed description of our advocacy priorities is available here: WRA 2018 State Legislative Priorities.
Past State Legislative Advocacy Efforts
2017: In partnership with other organizations, the WRA successfully advocated for $26 million in state funding to extend inpatient substance use disorder treatment stays beyond 15 days for clients receiving Medicaid.
2016: The WRA initiated the state’s inaugural Recovery Advocacy Day on January 26, 2016. In that first year, the WRA led advocacy efforts for the successful passage of Ricky’s Law, landmark legislation which created a crisis treatment system for youth and adults with life-threatening addiction. Information for friends and family about how to use Ricky’s Law is available here.
Bringing Recovery to the Table
The WRA and our regional recovery coalitions are working to embed recovery advocates on state, regional, and local behavioral health policy and planning groups. At present, we have successfully placed advocates on five state-level groups and four local/regional groups. As one of our experienced advocates, Shereese Rhodes says: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, pull up a chair!”