Eliminating stigma is paramount to tackling the addiction crisis in our country. Given the majority of people impacted by substance use disorders are employed and in every segment of the workforce, Open Recovery recognized that employers have a unique opportunity to address and mitigate the risks and costs associated with untreated substance use disorders before they lead to crisis and to support openly recovery helping employees to be healthier, happier and more productive.
Go Further to Support Recovery
What’s more, companies today can go even further to offer readily accessible education, tools and resources within the workplace that support employees' health, wellness and safety within a recovery-conducive environment. Open Recovery @ Work is a suite of programs and services that helps organizations to do just that.
Our unique offerings include:
Confidential information-gathering and fact-finding via anonymous surveys and self-selecting conversations with employees provide a more accurate picture and therefore understanding of the prevalence of workplace challenges and potential employee needs associated with stigma, substance use and recovery.
We offer intimate and engaging workshops designed to support impacted employees seeking to build recovery-friendly community, enhance their own or a loved one’s health journey and strengthen recovery-conducive work environments. Topic examples include: Integrating Recovery at Work and Beyond; Exploring Recovery Modalities; Dealing with Relapse and Shame; and Developing Recovery-Incentives, and more.
We offer a series of fresh, provocative and motivational talks delivered by dynamic and experienced speakers from a variety of sectors and demographics who have been personally impacted and meaningfully transformed by their experiences with substance use, addiction and recovery. Examples of messages can include: Cultivating Personal Courage; Transforming Fear into Fearlessness; Owning Our Narratives; Recovery as a Super-Power, and more.
Subject matter-experts can conduct half-day to day-and-a-half trainings for designated professional groups to familiarize them with the sub-populations of employees impacted by addiction and recovery and educate them about the unique complexities faced; facilitate a discussion on how best to identify, reach and meet the needs of these employees and their teams; as well as provide greater education on substance use disorders, why they are challenging to overcome, the role of stigma and other related topics.
In partnership with a designated company liaison/team, we will conduct an Open Recovery Audit of current company policies, benefits, management practices, diversity and inclusion efforts, cultural norms, environmental settings, and internal communications to assess opportunities to strengthen and expand recovery-oriented and wellness initiatives. This process can also identified opportunities to mitigate risks as it can help eliminate incongruent messages and unintended scenarios that that may have inadvertently been perpetuating a culture of using, isolation, shame, stigma, discomfort, and/or discrimination.
We provide one-on-one, confidential coaching sessions for employees with experienced recovery coaches, most of whom are themselves in recovery and have worked in corporate settings. Sessions offer employees skills and strategies that strengthen work-life balance and help employees navigate the personal and professional complexities associated with integrating recovery into their work life and daily health practices.
We offer broad and specific educational classes about substance use disorders, brain health and overall health for the management and the general employee population. Employees’ ability to make informed decisions affecting their own health and well-being are enhanced as they are introduce to multiple wellness paths available to find and sustain healthier lifestyles. Educators include professors, scientists, medical doctors and subject-matter experts.
We convene a diverse panel of experts to curate an informed and provocative discussion (engaging audience participation) exploring of-the-moment, relevant health and recovery-related topics such as East-versus-West Medicine, Health & Wellness Practices; Recognizing & Tackling Addiction Beyond Substances; Self-Disclosure & Stigma; etc.
We review employee benefits and wellness programs to identify gaps and opportunities to expand and augment primary and supplemental health and wellness offerings to better support the long-term wellness and comprehensive care of employees and their families. This can include the creation of a comprehensive map of healing and wellness recovery modalities available near employees and on-line to provide employees the right resources at the right time for the right price.
We facilitate the process of developing a company credo in collaboration with a cross-section of company employees and HR professionals that can articulate the organization’s commitment to supporting employees’ behavioural and mental health – including those impacted by substance use disorders. The credo, framed around company values, can address issues of parity, access, cultural shifts, supervisor trainings, needed environmental changes, new philosophy, employee support, social responsibility, etc.
Scaling & Customizing Services
All of our programs and services are customizable to meet our corporate clients’ needs and circumstances. Classes, Panels and coaching sessions can be conducted on-site or virtually (through live conferencing and online modules) to accommodate organizational size, geographical dispersion, scheduling, language preferences, and participant accessibility.
Recovery-conducive workplaces & recovery-friendly employers are synonymous with company, community and employee health and wellness
With Open Recovery @ Work, companies will be able to improve employee health and address the costs of lost productivity, reduce the risks of a toxic work environments, and signal to employees that they are committed to being at the forefront of employers addressing behavioural health, substance use and recovery as the seminal health issues of our generation.
Employees Need Help But Aren’t Utilizing EAPs
While upwards of 40% of the workforce is directly impacted by substance use disorders – the employee’s, a family member’s or a colleague’s, on average less than 1% of employees turn to their company’s HR department for related help. Outside of work, only 10% of people across the country needing treatment for a substance use disorder will find support this year. This means the majority of people negatively impacted are struggling with consequences without help. The manifestation of this problem in the workplace includes lost productivity (absenteeism and presenteeism), accidents, errors, harassment, lowered morale, and costly employee turnover. Meanwhile, 81% of employers indicate they do not feel well prepared to deal with alcoholism and the drug addiction crisis, even though 67% believe substance use is one of the key issues their organization must face. (i)
Of employees said their own productivity had been affected because of a co-worker’s drinking. (1)
Of people with substance use disorders will not find help. (2)
Of individuals with an alcohol or illicit drug use disorder are employed. (3)
Of all adults have a family history of alcoholism or problem drinking. (4)
1. According to a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the Surgeon General, Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. Washington, DC: HHS, November 2016.
3. Safety Council, a research and advocacy organization’s 2017 survey. How the Prescription Drug Crisis is Impacting American Employers. National Business Group on Health, An Employer’s Guide to Workplace Substance Abuse. August 2009. P.14
4. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, “Facts About Alcohol”. July 25, 2015. Ncadd.org
Cost to Employers
When employees with substance use disorders (and their loved-ones) are not supported to get help or sustain recovery or when the disease of addiction progresses, companies face a myriad of consequences including:
• Legal: defending against suits
• Legal: fines & settlements against the employer
• Workplace accidents
• Recruiting new employees
Diminishing Organizational Health
• Mistrust of management
• Reduced loyalty, commitment, cooperation
• Increased incidence of harassment (sexual and otherwise)
• Resentment of under-performing colleagues
• Impacting current employees and potential hires
• Impacting customers
• Impacting investors
Reduced Productivity by Affected Individuals and Their Teams
• Impaired effectiveness
• Unexpected departures of key employees
• Higher turnover
Recognizing Impacted Employees
Open Recovery recognizes that the people adversely affected by substance use goes well beyond just those who have the disorder. To be proactive as well as responsive to the unique needs of employees impacted by stigma, struggling with substances or adversely affected by the behavior of someone else, we have identified five sub-populations as follows:
Employees currently struggling with alcoholism and/or other substance use disorders – estimated to be 10 % of the adult population. (1)
Employees who are actively dealing with the impact of their loved ones’ substance use disorders – estimated to be 46 % of the adult population. (2)
Employees who have overcome or are actively working to overcome their drug and/or alcohol use disorders – estimated to be 10 % of the adult population. (3)
Employees whose productivity and/or safety are jeopardized by a colleague’s substance use – reported to be 21 % of the workforce. (4)
Employees who lack understanding about or experience with substance use disorders and therefore have little empathy for, recognition of or skills to asses/respond to someone in need. Guessing this subpopulation could constitute 50% + of employees.
1. Christopher Ingram, “One in Eight American Adults is an Alcoholic, Study Says”, The Washington Post. August 11, 2017. Based on results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. 16.3 million had an alcohol use disorder and 6.2 million had an illicit drug use disorder. Rachel N. Lipari, Ph.D., and Struther L. Van Horn, M.A.,”TRENDS IN SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS AMONG ADULTS AGED 18 OR OLDER”, The CBHSQ Report. June 29, 2017.
2. Pew Research Center Survey 2017.
3. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Study. March 6, 2012.
4. Robert Yogoda, “Addiction in the Workplace: Tips for Employers”, U.S. News & World Report.August 4, 2016. Based on findings from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
Organisations we’ve helped
Led by Open Recovery Executive Director, Fay Zenoff in collaboration with Open Recovery Board Members, we work with a team of subject matter experts to lead and facilitate classes, programs, sessions and workshops. Most of the experts and coaches with whom we work are themselves in recovery. Our team of experts include:
Fay Zenoff is a nationally respected addiction recovery advocate whose views, personal experiences and professional work have been the subject of articles and interviews in The New York Times, Bloomberg Business Week, National Public Radio News, to name a few. Since 2014, she has served as Executive Director of the Center for Open Recovery and has been the driving spirit behind the emergence of this virtual, social-impact, non-profit aimed at ending the stigma of addiction. She has been in recovery from addiction since 2007.
Fay has been an educator with CIGNA’s 2018 Substance Use Series; a panelist at a UCSF Medical School addiction education series; a keynote speaker for the 2018 California Society of Addiction Medicine State-of-the-Art Conference; and recipient of Constellation Behavioral Health’s Courage Award for her work in the mental health field.
Over the course of her 25+ year career, Fay has worked in both the private and public sectors – in the fields of education, finance, public health, technology and consumer products. Her professional roles have included consultant, coach, private wealth manager, advancement and executive director for organizations including Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Goodwill Industries, Select Quote, GAP, American Friends of The Weizmann Institute, BrandeisHillel Day School, and Fibronics.
Fay graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a BA degree, and from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University with an MBA degree.
Open Recovery Disrupts Addiction Stigma: Read the article >
The following are articles where Fay has been interviewed or authored.
“Fay Zenoff “
Published June 2017.
Read Online >
“Let’s Open Up About Addiction and Recovery.”
Published November 4, 2017.
Read online >
“Q&A: This Recovery Leader is Very Open About Her Addiction.”
Published March 9, 2018.
Read online >
“Nonprofits Can’t Afford San Francisco.”
Published November 14, 2014.
Read online >
“How to Opioid Crisis is Changing How We Deal with Addiction – and Pain.”
Published March 27, 2019.
Read online >
“Working with Addiction: A Nationwide Crisis.”
Published February, 2019.
Read online >
“Open Recovery Disrupts Addiction Stigma.”
Published August 10, 2018.
Read online >
“Substance Addiction: No Workplace is Immune.”
Published November 20, 2018.
Read online >
Sharone Abramowitz, M.D.
Sharone Abramowitz is a recognized national expert in addiction medicine. She is known for her engaging consultations and trainings, which translates the science of addiction and teaches empathic methods to engage those impacted by addiction illnesses. She has chaired national addiction medicine conferences, given many plenary presentations, developed medical curriculums, given grand rounds, authored papers, and trained organizations. Sharone has a passion for helping systems compassionately respond to those impacted by addictive illnesses, which led her to begin the California Society of Addiction Medicine’s Integration and Access to Systems of Care Committee. She is also a member of their board.
She spent over 25 years directing behavioral health and addiction training for an internal medicine residency. There she trained young physicians in how to empathically counsel patients, and developed the nation’s first premedical student health coach program. She is a UCSF trained psychiatrist, certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, fellowship trained in integrative health, and a fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine. She is also a longtime member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. Motivational interviewing is an easily learnable, brief counseling method that helps people resolve their ambivalence about making healthy behavior change.
Learn more about Sharone by visiting her website.
Terrie M. Carpenter, PT
Terrie began her career in 1967 when she graduated from the Army Medical Specialist Corps as a physical therapist and first lieutenant. She continued her service as a physical therapist in the army until 1969 and attained the rank of captain. Ms. Carpenter has had a long and diverse career in the field of physical therapy. During her career she has been a clinician in many settings, educator, mentor, innovative program designer Ms. Carpenter founded Allies for Change, a collaborative practice specializing in pain management and sustainable recovery.
Under that umbrella she has:
- Developed a highly successful non-medication model for the treatment of chronic pain.
- Redefined the term chronic pain and developed a treatment model for Prolonged Pain Complex.
- Developed a Lifeskill© based model of Sustainable Recovery©designed to offer wrap around care and long-term support for those healing from pain and addiction.
- Consulted to and collaborated with multiple residential treatment programs as their pain management specialist.
Ms. Carpenter has combined her education, clinical experience, and personal growth process and created The Change Model©, a foundational piece of the philosophy and practice at Allies for Change. She is also an author and speaker.
“It is my firm belief that every individual has within them the capacity to change and heal, if they are given adequate knowledge, healthy life skills, and the kind of support that facilitates lasting change.”
~ Terrie Carpenter
Helen (Py) Driscoll, M.D.
Dr. Py Driscoll is board certified in both Internal and Addiction Medicine.
She completed her residency at Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, CA and currently continues to work there part-time as a hospitalist. She has worked there since 1996. She instructs a team of residents, interns, and medical students. She has cared for over 8,000 patients suffering from medical complications caused by addiction. She’s also a consultant at Alta Mira Recovery Program in Sausalito, CA, a residential recovery program for co-occurring substance use and psychiatric disorders. Dr. Driscoll serves as the primary consulting medical physician and is responsible for the detoxification and medical needs of the clients.
Dr. Driscoll earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and Bachelor’s in Human Biology at Brown University. She is a member of American Society of Addiction Medicine and California Society of Addiction Medicine, ASAM and CSAM. She has been on the annual conference planning committee for CSAM for the past 5 years. She lives in Marin County with her husband, son, daughter and dog.
Randi Hepner, LMFT has dedicated her career to substance use and co-occurring disorders. While running a successful private practice, she was an adjunct professor at JFKU where she taught a generation of therapists in the chemical dependency department. Additionally, she placed students in their external field placements where she cultivated relationships with a multitude of Chemical Dependency Recovery programs. During the last two decades, she worked at Kaiser where she was a primary therapist then moved into leadership positions including developing regional guidelines for patients needing residential treatment and managing Kaiser’s largest day treatment program in northern California working with those with the most severe substance use disorders.
Depending on the individual treatment needs, referrals to appropriate placements were made working collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team, the patient and their family.
Randi’s warm and supportive approach to treatment combined with her passion for the work has helped many navigate the complex and nuanced road to recovery.
Abby Medcalf, PhD
Dr. Abby Medcalf is an organizational psychologist with over 25 years of experience working with both the private and public sectors. Due to her diverse background in counseling and business, Abby brings a unique perspective to all relationship issues, both work and personal. Best known for combining the latest research with her hands-on experience, Abby synthesizes large tracts of information into easy-to-follow techniques and practical tools that anyone can use to bring about crucial change in all their relationships, including those with supervisors, subordinates and coworkers. Abby has been interviewed as an expert on ABC, CBS and Fox News; and is a keynote speaker. Clients include Google, Apple, PG&E, American Airlines, Kaiser, United Airlines, Chevron, Clorox and AT&T.
Bill is the CEO and Founder of Constellation Behavioral Health. Bill founded Constellation to pursue his passion for helping others turn their lives around and find joy through a life in recovery. Having experienced several treatment programs both personally as well as a family member, Bill felt there was an opportunity to “raise the bar” on the standard of care in the addiction treatment industry. Today, Constellation is nationally recognized for its high quality of care, state-of-the-art psychological testing and comprehensive approach to treating addiction, psychiatric and co-occurring disorders. Prior to Constellation, Bill worked for eight years as a Wall Street research analyst focusing on consumer Internet/media businesses.
Most recently, Bill was a Partner and Senior Research Analyst at ThinkEquity, where he re-launched their Internet and media franchise. Prior to ThinkEquity, Bill was a Managing Director at JPM Securities and a Senior Associate at Salomon Smith Barney. Before working as a research analyst, Bill worked for Bowman Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and Platinum Healthcare, a Chicago-based healthcare software startup. Bill holds a BA from Colgate University and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Stephen Pfleiderer is an addiction recovery specialist and the founding director of SF Intervention, which provides consultation, intervention and recovery support to people and families with substance abuse problems. He was personally trained by the famed psychiatrist David Burns, MD, author of the bestselling book Feeling Good. Stephen has particular expertise in working with adolescents and young adults in their 20s and 30s. He also focuses on addressing addiction problems in the workplace, on which he was recently interviewed as a guest on NPR. Stephen holds a Bachelor’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati. He is available for motivational speaking, educational presentations, and interventions worldwide.
Brad Pope is a financial services executive with over 25 years of professional experience in all aspects of financial management. He has served in senior leadership roles covering portfolio management, investment strategy, marketing, communications, client service and product development. Brad is the co-founder of Dobot, an app to effortlessly save, invest and give from your phone. He was a Managing Director with BlackRock where he led iShares Sales Strategy Global Investment Communications. A native of Texas, Brad lives in Marin with his wife and their two sons. Brad is grateful to be in long-term recovery.
Steve H. Simon
Steve H. Simon, is a founder of Simon Equity Partners, LLC and has been a managing member since January 2007. From February 1997 to December 2006, Steve served as president and chief executive officer of Melvin Simon & Associates, Inc., a privately-held real estate and investment company. Steve also serves on the board of directors of the Pacers Basketball Corporation, Yes To, Inc., and Coalision. Steve is a director for the Herbert Simon Family Foundation and serves on the boards of the following non-profit organizations – Conscious Alliance, Simon Youth Foundation and HeadCount. Steve holds a degree in General Studies with a concentration in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University.