Our Beginning

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. NCA encouraged the involvement of the medical and scientific community in its work.
  2. Change attitudes and create understanding by changing behavior. NCA began offering direct services at the local level where people live and need help.

In 1957, a group of volunteers formed the Bay Area affiliate of NCADD; which became known as NCA-BA. Our purpose has always been to respond to the unmet needs in our communities, and to reduce the prevalence and consequences of alcoholism and drug addiction. NCA-BA pursued that purpose through 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 providing counseling, prevention education, and other community outreach.
Our transition to the Center for Open Recovery clarifies our new identity as a resource, partner, and champion of long-term recovery from addiction.

Our Future

Our purpose 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.” We are recreating ourselves as Center for Open Recovery—a name that signals a refocusing of our services and resources on long-term recovery.

Center for Open Recovery exists to champion, explore, and create solutions that support long-term recovery. This includes advocacy, education, and direct service in the community. The end results of our projects, undertaken with the support of our partners and community members, will be healthier lives, healthier families, and healthier communities.

We hope you will join us on this journey, by getting involved or donating.

Events Donate