Mission 2019-01-30T19:45:34+00:00

In June of 2016, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, and noted civil rights activist Van Jones teamed up to create Advocates for Opioid Recovery, an initiative focused squarely on promoting the evidence-based interventions that can have a dramatic impact on ending the opioid addiction and overdose crisis in this country. Advocates for Opioid Recovery is dedicated to educating key influencers on how medication-assisted treatment is a far more effective way of delivering long-term recovery than abstinence-only rehab, which has an 80% failure rate.

More long-term opioid addiction survivors

The goal of Advocates for Opioid Recovery is to advance a science-based, evidence-based treatment system that can reduce death and suffering from opioid addiction, and produce more long-term opioid addiction survivors who are positively engaged in their families and communities. AOR’s unique alliance of committed, bipartisan, influential leaders will leverage the infrastructure and systems we have built in year one to continue to change the conversation, shape the solutions, and ultimately break down barriers to evidence-based treatment.

Our current treatment system for opioid addiction in America stubbornly relies on obsolete information and beliefs about addiction and recovery. New science has revealed that opioid addiction is a chemical, DNA-driven disease of the brain. Treating the disease of addiction with medicine has been scientifically proven to save lives and improve long-term outcomes.

We’re actively working to break down the regulatory, legislative and ideological barriers that prevent people from accessing recovery medications. It would be inexcusable to deny those living with diabetes, cancer or heart disease medication that’s been scientifically proven to successfully treat their illness. And it’s equally inexcusable to block patients living with opioid addiction from receiving treatment.

To learn more, contact us or visit our press kit.


Advocates for Opioid Recovery is a nonpartisan effort led by founding advisors Newt Gingrich, Patrick Kennedy and Van Jones. These three leaders have proven records of success in creating meaningful change across the recovery and healthcare landscape.

Newt Gingrich:  Former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives 

Newt Gingrich is widely recognized for his commitment to a better system of health for all Americans.  His leadership as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives helped save Medicare from bankruptcy, prompted FDA reform to help the seriously ill and initiated a new focus on research, prevention, and wellness. His contributions have been so great that the American Diabetes Association awarded him their highest non-medical award and the March of Dimes named him their 1995 Citizen of the Year. Time Magazine also honored him as 1995 Man of the Year. To foster a modern health system that provides better outcomes at lower cost, Newt wrote Saving Lives and Saving Money and launched the Center for Health Transformation in 2003. He continued there in a leadership role until he stepped down in 2011 to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Today, Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor and the author of twenty-seven books, including 14 fiction and non-fiction New York Times best-sellers. He is a Senior Advisor at Denton’s, the world’s largest law firm, as well as a Senior Scientist at Gallup.

Patrick J. Kennedy: Former Congressman (D-RI); Founder, The Kennedy Forum; Commissioner, President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

The Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and the nation’s leading political voice on mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. During his 16-year career representing Rhode Island in Congress, he fought a national battle to end medical and societal discrimination against these illnesses, highlighted by his lead sponsorship of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008—and his brave openness about his own health challenges. He is the founder of The Kennedy Forum and co-founder of One Mind, a global leader in open science collaboration for brain research. Kennedy is also the co-author of A Common Struggle, which outlines a bold plan for the future of mental health and addiction in America, and served as a Commissioner on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.

Van Jones: President and Co-founder of #cut50

Van Jones is president co-founder of #cut50, an initiative of The Dreams Corps to safely reduce the prison population by 50 percent over the next 10 years, and recognizes the connection between effective addiction treatment and reduced recidivism. A Yale-educated attorney who is committed to advocating for social and environmental justice, Van is founder of The Dream Corps, Rebuild The Dream, Green For All, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and Color of Change. He has been honored with numerous awards and spotlighted on several lists of high achievers, including: the World Economic Forum’s “Young Global Leader” designation; Rolling Stone’s 2012 “12 Leaders Who Get Things Done;” TIME’s 2009 “100 Most Influential People in The World;” and the Root’s 2014 “The Root 100.”

Be an advocate and help us rewrite the prescription for opioid addiction treatment

Follow the science and do your part to encourage the use of recovery medication.