The Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA) is a nationally renowned, award-winning, grass-roots, peer-driven and peer-led recovery community organization in Dallas, Texas. (Note: “Peers” is the term we use to refer to our peers, those we serve, who are in recovery from substance use.) In 1998, a local non-profit recovery advocacy organization called Dallas Helps, in association with a dedicated group of peers in recovery from alcohol and/or other drug addiction, formed the association now known as APAA. Over the next three years, this newfound organization grew from infancy and quickly established its mission, vision and values.
APAA established itself as an independent 501(c)(3) agency in 2001 and in 2002 was one of the first organizations in the country to be awarded a three-year Recovering Community Services Project (RCSP) grant from the SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Through exemplary performance in the first grant award, APAA was granted another three-year RCSP award from SAMHSA in 2005.
It was also in 2005, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, that APAA mobilized its staff and volunteers in recovery to work directly onsite at Dallas’ Reunion Arena and Convention Center to help thousands of individuals displaced from their homes in Louisiana. APAA provided emotional support, facilitates support groups, and was instrumental in helping individuals find housing, employment, and mental health and addiction counseling. Many of those helped are staff or volunteers today at APAA. APAA’s work in this crisis also led to grants from The Meadows Foundation and from the City of Dallas to head a team of recovery professionals in surveying the needs of some 5,000 people displaced from Katrina in Dallas and to develop a plan for meeting those needs.
APAA collaborates with a number of local community agencies and organizations to bring peer recovery support services and Peer Recovery Coaching. We also play a major role with job search and job preparation; assistance in locating housing and advocating with housing providers to extend housing to high-risk individuals, including those with a history of legal issues, with recent substance use and/or mental illness; assistance in obtaining IDs, birth certificates, driver’s licenses, clothing, food, childcare, or dental/medical services; and assistance in filing for eligible mainstream benefits.
Today, APAA has evolved into a leader and innovator of Peer Recovery Coaching and other peer recovery support services in the Dallas metropolitan region, in the State of Texas and nationwide. APAA currently serves an average of 1,200 peers annually and sees peers over 26,000 times a year.