Here are some of the questions we hear most frequently about this change to our identity and mission. If you don’t see your question here, email us and we’ll try to provide an answer.

What is Center for Open Recovery?

Center for Open Recovery is an independent non-profit 501(c)3 organization. We are based in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have evolved from a traditional brick-and-mortar model: we started out as a nonprofit offering prevention-oriented, direct-services in a physical location. Now, we operate with a virtual model that allows us to bring recovery-oriented advocacy, education, and transformative experiences directly into the community, workplaces, and organizations where we work.

While most providers respond to those in addiction crisis, there is a relative void of programs, advocacy, and support services aimed at sustaining and supporting long-term recovery. In fact, the lack of focus on long-term recovery perpetuates the belief that appropriate treatment is a short-term intervention. This is not true. Addiction is progressive and recovery is a process.

To honor our founding purpose, we strategically reoriented the organization in 2016 to become an active proponent of long-term recovery from addiction.

What does ‘open recovery’ mean?

Open means open to interpretation. People in Open Recovery live our lives openly and without shame. We share our recovery status and talk honestly about our addiction. We are not embarrassed by who or what we are.

In Open Recovery, we are called to open doors, hearts, and minds. We will not accept blame or discrimination because of addiction. We are open to celebrate how far we have come and what is possible. We are open to inspire others and to collaborate on solutions.

We are open to multiple pathways in recovery, including harm reduction. We are open to breaking down the barriers of negative, inhumane stereotypes. We are open to removing stigma, which is causing people to die.

How will your recovery grow when you live it openly, with pride?

How does open recovery mesh with the idea of anonymity and the traditions and principles of AA?

Center for Open Recovery sees no conflict with our work and the tradition of anonymity fostered by Alcoholics Anonymous and other fellowships. We focus on supporting people to live openly in recovery.

We do not ask people to identify as members of any group or to disclose their membership to a fellowship.

We are an independent, nonprofit organization. Our organization’s founder Marty Mann self-identified as a recovering alcoholic and member of AA. Marty’s connections to AA and founding board members Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith are part of our organization’s history. However, we are not associated with their fellowship. We do not represent nor are we allied with AA or any other peer-based fellowship.

We respect and recognize that there are many paths to recovery. Our work is focused on ending the stigma and shame associated with addiction so more people can find sustained recovery.

Center for Open Recovery supports people who seek and maintain their own paths to recovery. The path a person chooses is their own personal decision and right.

We do not promote any one path to recovery. We are here to help empower and embolden those who seek help until they find recovery. When they do, we support them to live out loud and openly, so others can see what is possible.

How can I get involved?

We welcome and value your support. Please consider making a donation, sponsoring our events, or offering pro bono or in-kind help.

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By supporting Center for Open Recovery you will be helping those in our community affected by the disease of addiction—including people who are actively addicted, people in recovery, and their families and friends. You will be helping San Francisco save potentially huge sums of money by changing the status quo of how addicted people are treated from costly and reactive to cost-effective and humane.

Please do what you can to help, and be a part of the evolution from shaming to understanding, accepting, supporting and celebrating recovery.