We’ve carefully selected these nonprofits because they’re actively working to educate, inspire, and support people living with addiction and their loved ones. Nominate a notable nonprofit by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Addiction is a chronic dysfunction that can seriously interfere with your daily life. For the millions of people living with addiction, rehabilitation and the nonprofit organizations which back them can help provide the support system needed for optimal recovery.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2009 about 23.5 million Americans needed treatment for some type of drug or alcohol addiction. These are men and women, young and old, people from all types of communities, religions, and ethnicities — all in need of help.
We’ve rounded up the best rehabilitation nonprofits in an effort to bring attention to the organizations leading the charge for recovery.
Gary Mendell founded Shatterproof in the wake of the death of his son, Brian. Brian became addicted to drugs as a teen and wound up losing his battle against addiction years later. The organization that was founded on a father’s grief now strives to change the way people view addiction — to get them to see it for what it really is: a disease. They’ve successfully advocated for legislation to help more people dealing with addiction, and have created educational resources and alliances throughout hundreds of communities.
To Write Love on Her Arms
To Write Love on Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people in the throes of addiction, depression, self-harm, and suicide. The organization was created when founder Jamie Tworkowski met Renee Yohe, a young woman struggling with addiction and depression. He raised money to help her enter treatment and wrote about it on MySpace. That initial story garnered the attention of thousands, and in 2007, Jamie created a nonprofit to reach even more.
Faces & Voices of Recovery
Faces & Voices of Recovery is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting people living with addiction and their friends, families, and allies. The group was founded in 2001 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Now, they host trainings and seminars, advocate for more supportive legislation, and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to support addiction recovery. They also provide support to 95 different recovery organizations in communities across the nation, spreading what they know about the science of addiction and need for support.
Physical activity can help people manage stress and adopt overall healthier lifestyles. Gearing Up uses this premise to support women in recovery, combating drug and alcohol abuse, domestic abuse, and incarceration. It’s a community organization that puts women together in groups where they can find advice and encouragement while cycling. And the bicycles aren’t just about exercise — they can also serve as a transportation option for women who need it.
The Herren Project
Chris Herren is a former professional basketball player, who has been drug- and alcohol-free since 2008 after overcoming a heroin addiction. He continues to share his story — including in the ESPN documentary “Unguarded” — in the hopes of helping others into recovery. The Herren Project works to increase awareness about the dangers of addiction and to help individuals and families as they navigate all that the disease encompasses.
The Amy Winehouse Foundation
Her soulful voice and unmistakable style made Amy Winehouse an icon during her short time in the spotlight. The artist, like many musicians before her, lost her battle to addiction in 2011, at the age of 27. Her family began The Amy Winehouse Foundation to support other disadvantaged young people struggling with addiction. In addition to providing education and treatment support, the organization uniquely supports youth through music therapy.
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Partnership for Drug-Free Kids is a well-known U.S. nonprofit dedicated to supporting families affected by drug addiction. It was founded in the 1980s, during the crack epidemic. Originally known as the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, the organization was most recognized for their “brain on drugs” public service advertisements showcasing an egg frying in a pan. Now, they connect families with the support they need to help youths conquer addiction.
Rosecrance is one of the most widely recognized mental health and addiction treatment centers in the United States, with locations in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The organization provides addiction services including in- and outpatient for adults, teens, and children. In addition to these treatment centers, Rosecrance provides numerous resources on their website, including access to family support groups and a section specifically for parent support.
Natural High was founded in 1994 as the Sundt Memorial Foundation — created by Jon Sundt to honor his brothers Steven and Eric, who both died as a result of drug addiction. The current iteration of the organization focuses on educating teens and children on the importance of finding activities in life that provide a “natural high.” They distribute their education programs to schools for free and focus on character development and unlocking your true potential without drugs and alcohol.
Phoenix House operates more than 130 drug and alcohol treatment programs across 10 states plus the District of Columbia, and has been in operation for more than 50 years. Though the foundation of their efforts rests in inpatient treatment facilities, the organization also offers outpatient care and sober living facilities for those in transition. For teenagers, their facilities offer the unique ability to continue your education, with on-campus courses and GED prep.
Prescott House is a “small town” addiction support program, located in Prescott, Arizona. The program is specifically for men and is designed to help men with drug, alcohol, and sex addiction as well as PTSD, bipolar disorder, and other mental health issues. The organization was founded in 1988 and has experienced great success by supporting men in a holistic treatment environment.