Peer Support, important element in fight against Missouri’s opioid crisis

Two Recovery Community Centers in St. Louis and Springfield are the first to receive funding. 

[Jefferson City, MO] – Missouri continues to broaden its efforts to combat the growing opioid epidemic. Recovery Community Centers in St. Louis and Springfield were recently awarded funding to provide peer-based, supportive community services for individuals with Opioid Use Disorders (OUDs) and their families.  These centers will develop, expand and enhance services to build hope and support healthy behaviors for people in recovery.  

“Early recovery from a substance use disorder is hard work that requires a variety of resources and options,” said Department of Mental Health Director Mark Stringer. “Recovery Community Centers are an important component of a comprehensive service delivery system.”

Peer-to-peer help is when a person in long-term recovery provides social support to a peer who is seeking recovery or in the early stages of his or her recovery. Both parties are helped by the interaction as the recovery of each is strengthened.  The role of the peer leader is different from a counselor or other professional and is intended to enhance, not duplicate, replace, or compete with, other valuable services available in a community. (SAMHSA, 2009)

Peer support encourages all pathways to recovery including mentoring, support groups, help accessing community health and social services, job readiness training, assisting with transportation and pro-social activities geared toward long-term recovery.

The Recovery Community Centers are The Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery in St. Louis and the Springfield Recovery Community Center in Springfield.  The funding was awarded through a competitive bid process and comes from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Opioid-State Targeted Response (Opioid-STR) grant.  The grant is administered by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Behavioral Health, in partnership with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

Below is the direct contact information for these Recovery Community Centers:

Chad Sabora
The Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery
4022 South Broadway, St. Louis, MO
844-Rebel-Up (732-3587)

David Stoecker
Springfield Recovery Community Center
1925 E. Bennett Street, Springfield, MO

More information on the state’s efforts to fight the opioid crisis is available at the following sites:

Missouri Opioid-STR grant

MO-HOPE Project

Missouri’s State Department initiatives:


Contact: Debra Walker, Director of Public and Legislative Affairs, 573-751-1647 or

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, What are Peer Recovery Support Services? HHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4454. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009.