Business Team Seminar Corporate Strategy Concept

Telling Your Recovery Story

Welcome to the “Recovery is Real” storytelling training. This training module is brought to you by Faces & Voices of Recovery in partnership with the Opioid Response Network (ORN).

About the Opioid Response Network

ORN is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It provides technical assistance and helpful resources to states, organizations, and individuals as they tackle the opioid crisis and stimulant use disorders, both in their communities and nationwide.

Expert-led technical assistance is available to support evidence-based prevention practices, treatment, and recovery from Substance Use Disorders (SUD).

ORN builds on existing, skillfully honed strategies for mitigating the damage substance use disorders cause. Rather than recreating the wheel, ORN fills gaps and aims to stem further loss and devastation.

If you think your community could benefit from ORN’s services, you can head to and select “Submit a Request”.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 1H79TI085588-02 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

About Faces & Voices of Recovery

Faces & Voices of Recovery (F&V) is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization (NPO) dedicated to advocating for policy reform that includes and supports recovery, organizing grassroots campaigns for peer services in underserved communities, and de-stigmatizing substance use and mental health disorders.

We work with lobbyists and other key players on Capitol Hill to push policies that can positively impact regulations or direct crucial funding to addiction. We also provide training and technical assistance to boots-on-the-ground organizations that serve communities with historically inequitable access to peer support, connection, education, and resources.

Addiction is not faceless. It is not voiceless. It is someone you love; it is a family in pain; it is an isolated community; it is me; it is you.

We are here to humanize addiction. And with humanity comes progress.

To learn more about our work and to join the national recovery movement, please visit our website at

  • Describe the three main characters in a story​
  • Develop a central idea that suits the audience​
  • Describe the elements of story structure​
  • Identify effective storytelling techniques

Recovery storytelling is so important to advocacy and messaging work in the recovery field. This training gives you the key elements of storytelling and guides you through the process of crafting an effective recovery message.

We will describe the three "main characters" that help you tell a compelling story and connect with your audience. Part of that is figuring out how to develop a central idea that is individually-tailored to the audience. Within this framework, we explore the elements of story structure that will enable you to deliver your message meaningfully.

The structure is the what of your message -- the challenge, the action, the turning point, etc. These elements are the bones of the story.

The techniques are the how of the messaging -- how you tell the story (with clarity, with vulnerability) in a way that connects authentically with your audience.

Est. Time1 hr 17 min

Table of Contents

The Power of Story
Three Steps to Creating an Impactful Story
What Makes a Good Story?
Share Your Story
In Conclusion
ORN Storytelling Assessment