Science of Addiction Recovery (SOAR)


This 1-3 hour symposium’s goal is explaining addiction as a brain condition and that, very much like other chronic health conditions, recovery is a daily health issue that over 25 million Americans successfully manage. Upon completion of the symposium, participants will be able to:

Explain, using plain language, a) why addicts can’t “just quit and stay quit,” and b) the reasons for the message of hope for recovery, both based on neuropsychology;
Describe how alcohol and other drug use affects priorities and behaviors, and why recovery capital and supports are often needed to sustain long-term recovery;
Identify the many pathways to recovery, and where peer and professional help is available for choosing resources that best meet an individual, family, or community’s current needs.
This training spreads the word about recovery and advocates for people who are seeking or in need of recovery. Brief lectures aided by a PowerPoint as supplemented with individual and small group activities, and whole-group discussions. The course content is adapted to the primary audience so that it is appropriate for adolescents, adults, peers/clients, family psycho-education groups, staff in-service trainings, community in-reach events, or community partners’ presentations.
Many healthcare, behavioral health, social service, criminal justice, and recovery community organizations and community groups have used this training as a cornerstone to building or enhancing recovery-oriented systems of care within an organization and in conjunction with other community-based resources.
A subsequent 6-hour training-of-trainers (TOT) symposium will certify participants to deliver the SOAR curriculum – see SOAR TOT (Developed by Faces and Voices of Recovery).
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SOAR Training of Trainers

The Science of Addiction and Recovery Training of Trainers (SOAR TOT) is available for adolescents, adults, peers/clients, service providers, and community members who are in long- term recovery. 

Participants leave the training with access to a complete set of the Faces and Voices of Recovery’s SOAR PowerPoint that includes a script for each slide, SOAR handout templates, and presenter self-assessment tools for developing a mastery level of proficiency and confidence in engaging audiences in discussions about the SOAR. Upon completion of this 6-hour workshop, participants will be able to:
  • Deliver the SOAR presentation to meet its two objectives of explaining: 1) the neuropsychology of addiction and recovery and 2) why the SOAR is important for recovery advocacy and the recovery community,
  • Answer the eight most frequently asked questions during SOAR presentations,
  • Describe three keys to becoming a successful presenter, and
  • Identify six components of an effective presentation.
This training prepares peers to connect science-based facts with the trainer’s and participants’ lived experience for a nuanced and impactful experience. Sharing real stories of life challenges, thinking and emotional reactions and associated recovery triumphs replaces “confronting denial” with listening, validation and intrinsic motivation. Like any skill, this takes practice and TOT participants are invited to intentionally engage in progressive development activities. This growth is further enhanced by participating in the other asset-based community development and appreciative inquiry trainings offered by the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse.

An understanding of the science-based facts, combined with the lived experience of the presenter, together create a powerful tool for explaining addiction and creating environments that are able and willing to support recovery.