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Recovery Friendly Hamilton County

What is Recovery Friendly Hamilton County (RFHC)?

RFHC began with a vision at Hamilton County Public Health: equipping local employers with the tools & resources necessary to address substance use disorder (SUD) among their personnel. It is estimated that over 75% of Americans with a SUD are a part of the workforce (Goplerud et al., 2017). Whether they realize it or not, Hamilton County employers are incurring the cost of substance misuse through decreased productivity, absenteeism, turnover, and other critical losses. How much is your workplace losing?

The human and economic toll of SUD is far too great to go unchecked in the workplace. RFHC is a progressive initiative designed to help Hamilton County workplaces treat SUD among their personnel and join the fight to end the stigma of addiction and recovery.

Hamilton County Public Health formally adopted Recovery Friendly Hamilton County via a resolution passed by our Board of Health on April 11, 2022. Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman subsequently made a formal declaration of commitment to the initiative for his employees on April 20, 2022.

What Does it Mean to be Recovery Friendly?

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.  Recovery Friendly Workplaces encourage a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by substance use disorder.

Our Logo—What Does it Mean?

The checkmark symbolizes our endorsement of a business as meeting our recovery friendly requirements. The road within the checkmark symbolizes the “Road of Recovery,” an important visual metaphor for people who have overcome substance use disorder. Recovering citizens are resourceful, resilient, and ready to work! We want our symbol to bring them a feeling of pride for their strength and tenacity.

Why do Recovery Friendly Practices Matter?

They Help Fight the Stigma of Addiction & Recovery

23 million Americans are in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

23 million Americans who’ve gone head-to-head with their personal demons, their naysayers, and their brain’s own biology.

23 million Americans who’ve fought for their health, wellness, and the chance to reclaim the reins from addiction.

They’ve fought. They continue to fight. They win.

Recovering citizens are our friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues. They are resourceful, resilient, and ready for the challenges that lie ahead. Make them your next asset.

They Improve Your Bottom Line

Do you know the economic toll that substance misuse has on your workplace? This Substance Use Cost Calculator—presented by the National Safety Council—will help you determine the cost of unaddressed substance misuse in your workplace based on the size of your employee base, industry and state.

75% of americans with a SUD are part of the workforce

Individuals in recovery miss less work than the general workforce

1 in 12 workers has and untreated substance abuse disorder

In 2023, Hamilton County Public Health (Recovery Friendly Hamilton County) was awarded a Workforce Champion Award for outstanding Collaboration in the region’s workforce ecosystem!

Recovery Friendly Employment

Our designees are hiring! Thanks to our partners at Workforce Innovation Center, our designees can signify their Recovery Friendly status as a career perk on an active job board.

(Link) Visit the Workforce Innovation Center Job Board

For more information about Workforce Innovation Center, reach out to Audrey Treasure at

Recovery Friendly Hamilton County Partners

Recovery Friendly Hamilton County would not be possible without a strong pillar of community partners.

Logo for Addiction Services Council. Their tagline is "navigating the path to lifelong recovery"

“Addiction Services Council is a non-profit, community-based organization with the conviction that alcoholism, drug addiction, and other addictive disorders are treatable illnesses, that those affected, including family members, can and do recover, and that quality recovery resources should be accessible and affordable to everyone in need of help. We are dedicated to fighting the Nation’s #1 health problem – alcoholism and drug addiction and their devastating consequences on individuals, families and communities. We have been helping clients to navigate recovery by providing professional resources on alcohol, tobacco, and drug-related issues; programs and services aimed at improving the quality of life for the residents of Cincinnati and surrounding areas.”

Logo for Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition

“The HCARC is a group of community members, leaders, advocates and experts dedicated to ending the opiate epidemic in our community. We are a collective force of resources that provide access to care, when and where people need it most. We connect prevention options to treatment specialists to public health officials to law enforcement – bringing together the right resources for real results that make a real difference. Together, we deeply and holistically treat this illness, and address its impact on Hamilton County. Together, we save lives and strengthen families. And together, we fight addiction for the health and wellness of all.”




Logo for united way of greater Cincinnati

“United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a registered 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to building long-term solutions and aligns systems to help families in our community thrive. We do that by bringing people and organizations together to solve problems holistically, using family input and data-driven decisions.

Our services and solutions focus on quality education, health and basic needs, which are the building blocks to financial sustainability and economic mobility. Like the challenges people face, we view these areas as unique and interconnected, with no one single solution.”

Logo for Talbert House. Their tagline is "building a stronger community, one life at a time"

“Talbert House is empowering children, adults and families to live healthy, safe and productive lives. The agency’s network of services focuses on prevention, assessment, treatment and reintegration. Services are provided at multiple sites throughout Southwest Ohio.  

The organization has a culture of innovation that thrives on the creation of new services to meet the complex needs of clients, their families and the community while maintaining effectiveness, excellence and professionalism. Talbert House values an integrated system of high-quality care focused on best practices, easy access to services and providing a full range of services in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Recovery Friendly Hamilton County Workplaces

Ambassador Designees

The following 15 workplaces were the first to receive Recovery Friendly Hamilton County designation. We thank them for their early partnership, which was instrumental to the development of this program.

Logo for Torn Light Records

Logo for Talbert House.

Logo for the Hamilton County Government

Logo for Sunrise Treatement Center

Logo for Refresh Collective Print Shop and Embroidery

Logo for Addiction Services Council

Logo for JBM Packaging

Logo forWood Fundi Paving LLC

Logo for Resurge Recovery

Logo for United Way of Greater Cincinnati

Logo for Cincinnati Wood Collaborative

Logo for Caracole

Logo to Easterseals Redwood

Logo to Mary Magdalen House

Logo for Hamilton County Public Health


We value the partnership we have with all our designees. You can join them today!

Logo for Bru Brothers Cincy

Logo for 3 CDC Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation

Logo for The Health Collaborative

Recovery Friendly Across the Nation

Recovery Friendly Hamilton County (RFHC) would not have been possible without the invaluable assistance of other recovery friendly workplace initiatives from across the country. The first recovery friendly workplace model—after which RFHC was designed—was created in 2018 by Governor Chris Sununu for the state of New Hampshire. Want to see how they got started? Check out the video below.

"Recovery Friendly" logo. The logo is is a circle with the words "recovery friendly" written beside a symbol that appears to be the head of an arrow pointing right

Our Biggest Supporters

We would like to thank our recovery friendly partners in New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Nevada. Follow the links below to learn more about their efforts.

"Recovery Friendly" Logo

Logo for Recovery Friendly Wilkes County, North Carolina

Logo for Nevda Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative

Advantages of Joining:

We provide all our designees with free resources in the following areas. Our designees are encouraged to use as many (or few) of these resources as they wish according to the needs of their respective organizations.

Icon of a minimalist person using a headset
Linkage To Care
24/7 linkage to care for your employees

Minimalist image of a person pointing to a white board
Training resources to bolster your recovery friendly practices

Minimalist drawing of hands shaking

Access to optional recruitment avenues


Minimalist drawing of a blank bilboard.

Free recognition for your workplace

Minimalist drawing of a hand outstreched with a heartWraparound Services
Employment stability tools for your valuable personnel

Minimalist drawing of a first aid kitHarm Reduction Supplies
Life saving supplies to enhance your workplace’s first-aid kit

Minimalist drawing of two people with a chat bubble above them with a ? in it

Access to a recovery friendly workplace advocate

Minimalist drawing of a paper reportPolicy & Protocol Resources
Policy and protocol examples from recover friendly employers

Minimalist drawing of a piggy bankCost Saving Connections
Reimbursement opportunities for adopting recovery friendly practices

Frequently Asked Questions

According to SAMSHA, recovery is, “A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.” Everyone can relate to that!

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.  Recovery Friendly Workplaces encourage a healthy and safe environment where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by substance use disorder.

No. chances are you already have hired out of the recovery population, and we don’t encourage that you ask people to self-identify in the application or interview process. This program is designed to honor recovery, combat stigma, and provide resource navigation to employees and their loved ones. However, we do offer optional recruitment avenues if you’re interested in hiring from a talent pool of amazing individuals in recovery.

No. Though we are willing to offer you policy and protocol examples from progressive, recovery friendly employers, you are not required to make any changes to your existing policies.

1-2 weeks. However, your recovery friendly coordinator will allow you as much time as you require to complete the onboarding process.

There is no cost to join the initiative, nor are there any annual fees.

Recovery is a frame of mind and a process of improving your physical, psychological and social well-being. Alcohol is an unavoidable element of our culture, and people recovering from substance use disorder have learned to successfully adapt to and overcome their triggers in a variety of ways. Many individuals in recovery—and those suffering from substance use disorder—work in the restaurant and entertainment industry where alcohol is commonplace. We would never want to exclude such workplaces from the services that we provide.

RFHC Requirements

Signing up will initiate your enrollment in Recovery Friendly Hamilton County (RFHC). You will be contacted by a staff member who will walk you through our easy designation process. We understand that you’re busy— so we’re here to help you every step of the way and ensure that your time commitment is minimal. A staff member will walk you through the following requirements:

Initial Requirements

Submit a formal letter of intent to participate in the RFHC Program.
Where possible, your letter of intent should be written on company letterhead and signed by a member of senior management and/or human resources. Sample text can be downloaded below.

Make a written declaration to your employees indicating your participation in the RFHC program.
This usually takes the form of a company-wide email. Sample text can be downloaded below.

Undergo a brief orientation training with your RFHC Coordinator.
This training is designed for senior management and/or human resources and may be conducted virtually or on-site according to your needs.

Post the RFHC Resource List somewhere visible to your employees such as a common area, break room, or bulletin board accessible to all staff.
A digital version of our RFHC Resource List may also be provided to your employees.

Annual Requirements

Ensure supervisors and employees receive education on existing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug policies (ATOD) upon hire and on an annual basis thereafter. It is okay if you do not have these policies in place. While we encourage you to create them—and provide resources to assist—you are not required to do so. This task can be accomplished in a simple email.

Ensure supervisors and employees receive education on the RFHC program and its offerings upon hire and on an annual basis thereafter. This can be accomplished in a simple email update which we will assist you with.

Work with your RFHC Coordinator to submit a completed RFHC checklist. We will coordinate this for you. No need to set reminders.





Optional Components

You may request that your RFHC Coordinator provide a brief seminar for your employees concerning the resources provided through the program.

Create a taskforce to incorporate recovery friendly values into existing health/safety practices.

Participate in one community-based prevention or recovery focused activity annually. Your RFHC Coordinator will inform you about any upcoming events.

Work with your RFHC Coordinator to determine additional, customized workplace protocol and/or training related needs.


RFHC Sign-Up

By submitting this form, I am indicating that my workplace is ready to meet with a representative to discuss the designation process.

**The guidance & insights provided by our Recovery Friendly Workplace Advocate(s) are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a legal or medical professional, or other competent adviser. We encourage our designees to consult with an Ohio licensed attorney for the purpose of resolving any workplace specific legal issues that may arise as a result of substance misuse.