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About the Institute

As the United States continues to be challenged by Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and drug poisonings, the latest research shows that a key component of maintaining SUD recovery is related to meaningful employment. Every day, people with SUD, including those who are maintaining recovery, seeking recovery, or have not yet found recovery, are going to work. While SUD continues to be one of the top health issues in America, we have been slow to address how the workplace can play a significant role in supporting employees who are in recovery or are in need of recovery, as well as employees whose family members are affected by SUD. Despite SUD being a chronic and life-threatening disease, individuals affected by SUD may not be supported by their employers in the same ways as employees affected by other health conditions, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or MS. The “recovery friendly” movement aims to guide employers in supporting employees and their loved ones when managing SUD at any stage.

The 2022 White House National Drug Control Strategy identified supporting recovery as a key component of a long-term response to SUD. An express goal is to create a recovery friendly nation. To advance that goal, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) convened the Federal Recovery [Friendly] Workplace Interagency Workgroup and developed a Recovery-Ready Workplace Toolkit.

In response to this White House effort, the already active grassroots movement of employers, advocates, elected officials, and service providers have joined forces to promote recovery in the workplace.

Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation (GRI), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, has launched the National Recovery Friendly Workplace Institute, the first national public- and private-sector initiative to help equip every employer to be a “Recovery Friendly Workplace”.

A 2023 national survey of full-time employees found that people in the workforce are not only comfortable working with people in recovery, but also are supportive of people seeking recovery. Employees want to be part of a workplace culture in which SUD is treated like any other health condition.

The National Recovery Friendly Workplace Institute’s mission is to engage employers in creating certified Recovery Friendly Workplaces. The Institute will pursue this mission in consultation and collaboration with federal agencies, researchers, service providers, leaders in the recovery community, and most importantly, employers.