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Challenge

Four years ago, as the opioid crisis continued to grow with the proliferation of fentanyl, FMG recognized the need to improve the resourcing and support of recovery programs for the more than 22 million Americans in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD).

Process

FMG leveraged its internal resources to support systems change and engage in social impact to improve SUD recovery resources. FMG has dedicated more than $2 million in in-kind services to combat the stigma associated with SUD and strengthen the infrastructure of recovery services across the country.

In partnership with the Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation (GRI), FMG held the first-of-its-kind virtual SUD Recovery Research Summit in 2020, bringing together a diverse group of more than 200 participants—including recovery researchers, academic institutions, private funders, corporations, and senior government officials from HHS, ONDCP, CDC, SAMHSA, and NIH—to identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities to advance the field of recovery.

FMG also made a multiyear pledge to conduct a Substance Use Disorder Annual Trends Study to measure national public opinion on aspects of SUD stigma and the role that companies should play in supporting employees in recovery from SUD. Specifically, the study will assess the current stigma associated with SUD, attitudes related to recovery, the need for employer-based recovery services, and consumer affinity to brands based on knowledge of supportive workplace SUD policies.

Our commitment to breaking the stigma of SUD is not just an external initiative, but an internal commitment, as well. With approximately 9% of all employed adults currently struggling with a substance use disorder, we understand that our own employees may be impacted. To support these individuals and those already in recovery, FMG developed a Workplace-Supported Recovery Program (WSRP) to help employees find treatment and recovery resources tailored to support their unique situations.

Impact

SERV’s partnership with Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation (GRI) to host the first Recovery Research Summit in 2020 influenced the Biden Administration’s 2021 national drug control strategy—most notably with a proposed 10% set aside in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) funding for recovery support services, a recommendation for the first-ever Office of Recovery at SAMHSA (which is now operational), and an increase in federal funding designated for recovery research. Read more about the recommendations that came out of the summit here. In partnership with GRI, FMG will be hosting the second SUD Recovery Research Summit during National Recovery Month in September 2022.

We will also be conducting an annual Substance Use Disorder Annual Trends Study as part of our corporate engagement effort to combat the stigma surrounding SUD, increase awareness of what it means to be in recovery, and drive adoption of corporate recovery workforce programs nationwide. After conducting an initial sampling on public opinion of SUDs in the fall of 2021, we found that: 

  • 81% of people not in recovery believe that most employers would be cautious of hiring someone who has been treated for an SUD. 
  • 70% of people in recovery felt that a job interviewer wouldn’t hire them if they mentioned their substance use history in a job interview.  
  • 67% of people not in recovery believe that most people think less of a person who has been in treatment for an SUD. 
  • 93% said it was important for employers to support substance use recovery programs for their employees. 
  • 92% of people said that they would purchase a product from a brand that supports addiction recovery.

The initial 2021 results of the SUD study can be viewed here.

Additionally, in 2021, FMG launched its Workplace-Supported Recovery Program (WSRP) to create a stigma-free, compassionate environment for employees struggling with SUD. The WSRP aims to:

  • Educate all FMG employees on SUD, and specifically on recovery; 
  • Train all supervisors on how to best support employees from diagnosis to full recovery; 
  • Provide, as part of the FMG benefits package, recovery coaching to any employee;
  • Offer education and support for family members (including dependents and non-dependents). 

Through SERV, we will continue to leverage FMG expertise and resources to reduce SUD stigma and improve recovery services for those who are seeking help.

Partner with FMG

Matt Escoubas headshot

Matt Escoubas

Director of Special Initiatives

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