In urban, rural, and suburban communities across the country, transportation to services and programs that support recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) is consistently identified as a significant barrier to access. Danny’s Ride, a Pennsylvania nonprofit that provides rides to recovery services for people living with SUD, is working to remove that barrier.
The Danny’s Ride model is designed so that recovery service providers identify the people who need rides to get to critical services and programs that support their recovery and ensures the rider arrives when and where they’re expected to be.
Danny’s Ride uses Roundtrip, a sophisticated, technology-based transportation company that provides 24 hours a day/seven days a week support for all rides and connects ride requests with rideshare operators, including Uber and Lyft. Staff uses the platform to set up rides (Riders are unable to change the ride details). The average ride cost is about $30, with funding for the rides provided by grants, governmental agencies, and fundraising dollars. A standard arrangement for Danny’s Ride includes single county authorities, which then contract with county providers, including treatment and recovery support providers.
Danny’s Ride started in Lehigh County but has expanded to multiple counties across the state. In addition, it is working on a pilot project with the criminal justice system in multiple counties in Pennsylvania. The organization’s intention is to continue to expand to more counties.
Danny’s Ride was founded in November 2020 by Nancy Knoebel, in honor of her son Danny Teichman. Danny died on November 11, 2016, after taking Kratom to help manage the impact of post-acute withdrawal syndrome resulting from stopping his use of buprenorphine as part of his recovery plan. His decision to stop using medication was driven in large part by stigma directed at medications to treat opioid use disorder and, in turn, at him as a person using the medication. He was one week shy of turning 28. Danny was a “ride giver” both in his recovery community and with friends and family.