Appalachian Commission Awards $12 Million to 33 Projects Supporting Appalachians Recovering from Substance Use Disorder

FY22 Awards for Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) Initiative Will Help Build & Expand Services in the Recovery Ecosystem

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) awarded $12 million to 33 projects through its Investments Supporting Partnerships In Recovery Ecosystems (INSPIRE) initiative, which aims to address Appalachia’s substance use disorder (SUD) crisis with investments in projects that create or expand services in the recovery ecosystem leading to workforce entry and re-entry.

These INSPIRE awardees will support the SUD recovery ecosystem in 11 Appalachian states by developing and deepening cross-sector recovery-focused partnerships, expanding peer recovery support networks, planning and implementing workforce training programs, strengthening community engagement and wraparound services, and more.

“The substance use disorder crisis isn’t solely a health and family issue—it’s also a workforce development issue, and thus a community issue. At ARC, we’re laser-focused on creating a comprehensive network of supports to help individuals recovering from substance use disorder succeed,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “INSPIRE projects are tackling the economic impacts of the substance use disorder crisis to grow the region’s labor force, and more importantly, provide hope and purpose for individuals in recovery. I congratulate the 2022 INSPIRE awardees and look forward to the many ways they’ll help our Appalachian friends, neighbors, and communities thrive.”

“The fight against substance abuse has torn apart communities and families throughout the nation, and the ARC’s INSPIRE initiative seeks to establish a holistic recovery ecosystem that will enable recovering individuals to re-enter the workforce while getting the help they need to heal, to recover, and to turn their lives around,” said ARC States’ Co-Chair Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland. “The disease of addiction affects every community across the Appalachian region, and our all-hands-on-deck approach will positively impact the lives of individuals on their journeys to recovery while bringing more jobs and economic development to the region.”

“Beating the overdose epidemic is a key part of President Biden’s Unity Agenda for our Nation, and I applaud the Appalachian Regional Commission for building the recovery support infrastructure to help more Americans reach and maintain recovery,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. “The President has proclaimed September as National Recovery Month because he knows that when Americans recover from substance use disorder, our Nation becomes stronger and more resilient. That’s why we are focused on expanding the peer recovery support services workforce and eliminating barriers to employment, safe and supportive housing, and education for people in recovery. Today’s funding announcement supports this work, and as the former West Virginia health commissioner, I’m so glad to see this critical investment in the people of the Appalachian states.”

ARC’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council (SAAC) developed initial recommendations to address the disproportionate impact SUD had on the workforce in Appalachia compared to the rest of the country, which resulted in the launch of INSPIRE. Since INSPIRE was established in April of 2021, ARC has invested $28.1 million in 83 projects across 289 Appalachian counties, improving nearly 1.2K businesses and helping prepare nearly 6.5K students and workers for new opportunities in the workforce.

ARC is expecting to issue a request for proposals for the next round of INSPIRE grant opportunities in early 2023. Additional information and resources are available at