Our Beginning: National Council on Alcoholism

Our story begins in 1935 with the courage of one woman. Marty Mann started her journey to recovery with a fledging group called Alcoholics Anonymous, where her sponsor was AA cofounder Bill Wilson. After Marty got sober in 1940, she was inspired to encourage others—especially women—to do the same. Looking beyond her own sobriety, she wanted to eliminate the stigma and tackle the ignorance that surrounded alcoholism.

With the founding of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) in 1945, she made two critical policy decisions. The organization would:

  1. Approach addiction as a medical issue.
  2. Change attitudes and create understanding by changing behavior.

Marty Mann courtesy of NCADD.

NCA then began offering direct services at the local level through independent affiliates.

In 1957, a group of volunteers formed the Bay Area affiliate of NCADD; which became known as The National Council on Alcoholism and other Drug Addictions – Bay Area (NCA-BA).

Our purpose has always been to respond to the unmet needs in our communities to reduce the prevalence and consequences of alcoholism and drug addiction.

NCA-BA pursued that purpose in San Francisco since 1957 through providing direct services such as its well-known DUI and drug diversion programs for individuals who are mandated by courts and the California Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as through counseling, prevention education, and other community outreach.

In 2015, inline with NCA-BA’s founding purpose, the board and management team decided to reposition the organization to become the San Francisco Bay Area’s key proponent of long-term recovery from addiction.

Today: Center for Open Recovery

Our purpose today is both an evolution from, and a recommitment to, Marty Mann’s vision: “to help individuals, families and entire communities discover a path of recovery.”

Center for Open Recovery exists to end the stigma of addiction and champion solutions that support long-term recovery through community advocacy, bold media, and empowering personal experiences in community.

The goals of our projects, programs and events undertaken with the support of our partners and community members is to end the opioid overdose epedemic and addiction crisis in America so we all can experience healthier lives, healthier families and healthier communities.

We hope you will join us on a path to recovery. Get involved, sign up, volunteer, donate, share and connect. Any way you can help makes a difference.