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Transforming Tragedy Into Advocacy With Gary Mendell

Sep 15, 2021

Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit focused on reversing the addiction crisis in America. Gary’s son, Brian, tried drugs and alcohol which ultimately led to addiction. Unfortunately, Brian died of this addiction disease that affects more than 22 million Americans every day. Gary discusses the warning signs that families should look out for, when worried if their child may be using substances. Tune in to this episode of Beyond the Balance Sheet as Gary talks all about Shatterproof and how they are changing the country’s consciousness around addiction.


  • [02:25] Gary shares his journey and his experience as a family with his son. 
  • [07:20] Advice Gary gives families who are worried about their children using substances.  
  • [16:45] How financial resources can help or hinder the process of recovering from addiction. 
  • [21:20] Shatterproof is looking to help people with substance use disorder get the chance to find recovery.
  • [24:10] How the field of recovery will look in the future. 


  • Addiction is a treatable chronic illness. Every person with a substance use disorder deserves the chance to find recovery.
  • There were more than 93,000 fatal overdoses in 2020.
  • 80% of people say they don’t want a friend, colleague, or neighbor with addiction. We need to reverse the shame around addiction. 
  • Addiction is not a moral failing; you need to get the facts about this misunderstood medical condition.






Gary Mendell is the founder and CEO of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit focused on reversing the course of the addiction crisis in America. After losing his son Brian to addiction in 2011, Gary founded Shatterproof to spare other families the tragedy his had suffered. Since founding Shatterproof in 2012, Mr. Mendell has been a national leader in the addiction space creating solutions that will create more access to treatment for Opioid and Substance Use Disorders including the creation of the Shatterproof National Principles of Care to guide providers, payers, and patients to quality treatment. He advocates for state and federal policy changes, and most recently launched a national strategy and call to action to address stigma related to Opioid and Substance Use Disorders.


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