Our Story

A Note from Give America Hope's founder and president​

My father was a gifted entrepreneur...

and my stepfather was a very talented man. Yet, for decades, alcoholism robbed them of everything meaningful in their lives. I felt powerless: frustrated by my inability to help them—feelings that still resonate with me.

The same seeds of addiction emerged within me during college and my early years as a businessman. I somehow changed course before addiction imprisoned me. My businesses grew over time. Grateful for the people I’d met and the opportunities afforded to me, I prioritized giving back by expanding my community involvement and community investments. 

Then, like a wildfire, the opioid epidemic struck. I wept with friends and loved-ones who lost family members. And, one day, the call came for me.

 “Why do so many get trapped in a cycle of addiction and relapse, but so few are able to succeed in long-term, stable recovery?”

After a decade-long struggle with opioids, my godson died of an overdose.

Like so many others, I felt compelled to do something. In the early days of Give America Hope (GAH), my main goal was education. (Read about an early GAH effort here.)  Since then, we’ve been flooded by media coverage of the opioid crisis. Some may consider it old news; however, new problems—like polysubstance use and abuse—have emerged.

As I thought about next steps, I decided to focus on questions that had haunted me since my teenage years: Why was I able to escape addiction when my father and stepfather were not? Why are so many people trapped in a cycle of addiction and relapse? Why do so few succeed in long-term, stable recovery?

Over the last several years, my research has included conversations with policymakers, researchers, service providers, and people who have struggled with addiction.

My team and I have found no clear consensus on the most effective strategies for facilitating movement from addiction and treatment to sustained recovery and little credible evidence on the factors that contribute to a successful, long-term recovery.

As such, GAH seeks to answer the why behind addiction prevention, relapse and recovery by

• providing scientifically-credible evidence, tools and technology that promote both prevention and long-term, stable and sustainable recovery

• encouraging policymakers, institutional and civic leaders to develop and implement evidence-based policies, programs and practices that facilitate recovery-ready communities and systems of care.

I ask you to partner with us on this journey. We believe change is possible—and hope and collaboration are catalysts for change.

We believe change is possible—and hope and collaboration are catalysts for change.