Join Us Becoming a RFW

Becoming a Recovery Friendly Workplace

Every year in this country, drug and alcohol abuse are major contributors to workplace injuries and fatalities, plus they drain employee productivity and costs employers billions in lost productivity and health care. That bottom line is coupled by the fact that more than half of the approximately 19 million Americans with substance use disorders (SUDs) are active in the workforce, according to the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (an estimate by the National Council on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse suggested that 70% of Americans who use illegal drugs are employed.)

1 in 10 Rhode Islanders has resolved a problem with alcohol and other drugs. By becoming a Recovery Friendly Workplace, you are supporting your employees and creating a healthier environment for them. Your commitment shows customers and community members that your business is a proactive, valued community partner. Workplaces that implement evidence-based health and safety policies and programs recruit and retain a healthier, more productive, and more motivated workforce.

There is no cost associated with participating in this initiative, including various RFW trainings, connection to resources, support and access to a Recovery Friendly Advisor (RFA).

Initial Required Components

  • Submit a Letter of Interest to learn more about the Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) Initiative. By submitting a Letter of Interest to the R.I. Governor’s Office, you are simply expressing your organization’s desire to learn more about the initiative. A representative will meet with you and help walk you through the process while keeping in mind what is best for your organization’s individual needs. 
  • Ensure senior management and human resources personnel receive RFW orientation provided by the Program.
  • Make a declaration to employees stating your workplace’s commitment to RFW principles and its participation in this initiative. SAMPLE: “ABC Company is committed to creating a healthy, safe, and stigma-free work environment through our participation in the RI Governor’s Recovery Friendly Workplace (RFW) Initiative. RFW’s encourage environments where employers, employees, and communities can collaborate to create positive change and eliminate barriers for those impacted by addiction. In order to achieve a high level of employee health, safety, and productivity, we invite and encourage all employees to reach out for help and support.”
  • Receive RFW designation by Governor Dan McKee.

Additional Required Components

To be completed within one year of RFW designation with assistance from the RFA’s.

  • Provide employees with information and resources to promote health, well-being and recovery for themselves and their family members.
  • Establish connections with local recovery support organizations as a resource for employees.
  • Ensure supervisors receive education on existing alcohol, tobacco, and other drug policies (ATOD) upon hiring and on an annual basis thereafter.
  • Ensure supervisors and employees receive annual training and education on substance misuse, behavioral health and addiction, as well as overdose prevention education.
  • Complete and submit RFW checklist and application with assistance from your Recovery Friendly Advisor (RFA).

Optional Components

  • Develop RFW Task Force or incorporate RFW focus into an existing health, wellness, or safety committee.
  • Participate in one community-based prevention or recovery focused activity annually.
  • Work with your RFA to determine additional, customized workplace policies and/or training related needs.


  • Designated Recovery Friendly Workplaces Will: 

    • Receive recognition from Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee
    • Receive a distinctive Recovery Friendly Workplace Sign for Display
    • Be advertised as a Recovery Friendly Workplace 
    • Enjoy continued access to a Recovery Friendly Advisor
    • Individualized cost assessment of NOT addressing addiction in your specific workplace, provided by the National Safety Council
    • Designees will receive free Narcan and a free Naloxbox; a solution to protecting and providing access to lifesaving naloxone in an easy to recognize cabinet (over $300 value) 

Turn Your Business into a Recovery Friendly Workplace