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 situated in the San Francisco Bay Area.  We have evolved from a traditional bricks-and-mortar model of a non-profit (offering prevention-oriented, direct-services in our facilities), to a virtual model whereby we bring recovery-oriented advocacy, education, and 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.

In line with our founding purpose some 60 years ago, – to meet the unmet needs in our community, we strategically repositioned the organization in 2016 to become an active proponent of long-term recovery from addiction for the the Bay Area and beyond.

What does ‘open recovery’ mean?

Open – is open to interpretation. What it means to us, is that we live our lives in recovery, openly without shame. 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. We are Open to breakdown barriers from negative stereotypes.  We are Open to remove shame which is causing people to die. We are Open to end stigma.  We are Open to live our lives in recovery.

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 traditions 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 membership to a fellowship.  We are an independent, non-profit organization. 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 long-term recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous has been the path to recovery for many alcoholics, including our organization’s founder, Marty Mann, who self-identified as a recovering alcoholic and member of AA. Marty’s relationship to AA and those of founding board members, Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, is part of our organization’s proud history. Yet in no way are we associated with their fellowship.

Center for Open Recovery supports people finding and maintaining paths to recovery; whichever path they take is their own personal choice and right. We do not promote any one path to recovery. We are here to help inspire those who seek help until they find recovery — and when they do, we are here to support them to live out loud and openly so others can see what is possible.

Is this part of NCA-BA or something different?

Center for Open Recovery is an evolution of NCA-BA. We remain grounded in and inspired by the vision and work of our founder Marty Mann, “to help individuals, families and entire communities discover a path of recovery – a life free from addiction to alcohol and drugs.”

Center for Open Recovery is now the name of our organization. NCA-BA remains the name of our well-known DUI and Drug Diversion programs that offer direct services to clients mandated by courts and the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

With the introduction of our new brand we are differentiating ourselves from the many important community services that provide crisis support, and are identifying ourselves as a resource, partner, and champion of the solution of sustaining long-term recovery.

Are you still an affiliate of NCADD?

Yes, Center for Open Recovery remains an independent affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. We are proud of our history and value the continued collaboration with our affiliates and colleagues across the country.

Why introduce Center for Open Recovery now?

Our mission has been, and remains, to meet the unmet needs in the community to reduce the prevalence and consequences of addiction and alcoholism. Many able organizations provide direct services to people in the acute crisis stages of addiction. After decades of work in this area, we have decided to move to another stage on the continuum of care that receives less attention and resources: supporting long-term recovery.

Center for Open Recovery wants to see recovery become an accepted part of community health and wellness. We want to show that it is normal for people to “work” their programs and stay sober through on-going vigilance. Rather than being ashamed of their addiction and silent about their recovery, when people are empowered to share their struggles and accomplishments, they can inspire others to face their addictions and find paths to recovery.

There is a parallel with other diseases. For example, education, advocacy, communication, and involvement have largely erased the fear and shame once associated with having HIV/AIDS with the reality of positive living with HIV.

There also are economic reasons to focus on long-term recovery. Instead of spending public funds on punishing people, we want that money invested in health, recovery, and wellness.

How can I help?

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.