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Recovery Friendly Workplace Illinois 

The “Recovery Friendly Workplace Illinois” (RFW), challenges stigma and empowers workplaces to provide support for employees in recovery and all those impacted by substance use disorder (SUD).

Did you know non-fatal opioid overdoses happen everyday at work? For every drug overdose that results in death, there are many more nonfatal overdoses, each one with its own emotional and economic toll.

Why Recovery in the Workplace?

  • Companies with highly engaged people outperform disengaged employees by 54% in employee retention

  • Retain talented and skilled employees within your organization​

  • Substance misuse costs employers $81 billion annually (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence) which is ultimately paid for by businesses in the form of impaired productivity, absenteeism, health insurance claims​

  • Per Illinois Dept. of Human Service, the annual statewide economic costs associated with alcohol, other drug, and tobacco-related mortality is in excess of $3.5 billion​

  • Already employing people with SUD or in recovery​

  • 70% of individuals who use illicit drugs and alcohol are employed (National Survey on Drug Use and Health 2018)

Casual Business Meeting

Who would be impacted?

  • Those affected by substance use disorder​

    • May be in recovery​

    • May be seeking help​

    • May be impacted due to a loved one with an addiction​

  • 23.5 million Americans in recovery from addiction (OASAS 2012)​

    • Same study showed the Midwest has the highest prevalence of adults who reported they are in recovery as compared to the South, West, and Northeast.​

  • Over 20 million with SUD employed (SAMHSA, 2018)

Why is RFW needed?

  • In the US in 2020 there were 94,134 overdose deaths

  • In Illinois in 2020 there were 3513 overdose deaths​​

  • By creating a workplace culture which eliminates stigma, promotes recovery, and encourages openness and honesty, you are providing another opportunity for people in recovery to be successful and independent. ​

  • Employers have the opportunity to provide people in Recovery the chance to live a healthy, productive life — and are changing the minds of those who may have thought they couldn’t do so.​

What is RFW? 

Illinois Recovery Friendly Workplaces support their communities by recognizing recovery from substance use disorder as a strength and by being willing to work intentionally with people in recovery.  RFWs encourage a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by SUD. Becoming an RFW will increase employee retention and productivity, improve morale, retain a healthier, more productive, and motivated workforce. The RFW Designation will send a strong, positive message to current and potential employees and customers. RFW Designation will Increase customer loyalty, promote community connection, decrease absenteeism and turnover.

RFW Designated Workplaces will become part of the solution.

Who will RFW impact? 

RFW initiative empowers employers to implement recovery friendly practices within the workplace and provides support for employees and their families in recovery or those impacted by substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health challenges.  Confronting the stigma of addiction and fostering a culture of recovery will help save lives and strengthening families.

When will RFW start? 

Now. We have conducted an orientations for employers and have discussed the impact and importance of this initiative with state legislatures. Employers are currently completing training and will be named as "RFW early adopters," designated as the first cohort of Recovery Friendly Workplace Illinois. Get started today!

Where is it? 

RFW trainers come to you at no cost. People spend most of the day at work, so the idea that work is where recovery support is needed just makes sense. Employers play an important role in a person’s recovery from substance use disorder. Employment provides community, structure, and purpose, all of which can help an individual stay mindful of their health and recovery goals. RFW Illinois will provide training, support, and resources to implement your RFW. The impact of SUD can be from any part of your lives such as children, parents, siblings, extended family, friends, and co-workers. Get started today!

Recovery Friendly Workplace Checklist

Submit a letter of interest to learn more about the Recovery Friendly Workplace. 

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