The Redesigning Wellness Podcast

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193: The Impact of Substance Use Disorder on Your Workforce with Peter Loeb & Ashley Loeb Blassingame, Co-founders of Lionrock Recovery

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Peter Loeb & Ashley Loeb Blassingame

If employees aren’t engaging in substance use while on the clock, why is it so imperative that employers champion substance use disorder recovery? “The research shows that 180 billion dollars are lost annually in productivity, turn over, and health care costs in untreated substance use disorders,” says Peter Loeb, one part of today’s father/daughter guest duo – Peter Loeb and Ashley Loeb Blassingame, co-founders of Lionrock Recovery.

Together, along with their third co-founder Iain Crabb, they have pioneered the path into telehealth for substance use disorder (SUD) recovery, using technology to make treatment more private and attainable to people who could not otherwise get help. With employees in nearly every state, Lionrock Recovery has been convincing the world that virtual treatment is effective far before COVID19 forced us online.

In this episode, Peter shares some of the background in founding Lionrock, and Ashley touches on the benefits of using a platform like Zoom in therapy. They define SUD and discuss why employers should care about recovery, how workplace cultures feed into SUD, and what employers can do to help. 

Lastly, Ashley shares a few personal stories to humanize SUD, and they each leave us with a tangible tip we can use to help further the discussion of recovery in our own companies and lives.

This episode is sponsored by University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management, offering online bachelor’s and master’s degrees in wellness management. You can visit for more information.  

Graduates of the program have launched successful wellness careers with healthcare systems, wellness program vendors, community agencies, insurance providers, even the military. Here are some really cool things about UW Health and Wellness Management:

  • Courses are designed and taught by distinguished faculty from the University of Wisconsin, many of whom actively work in the field.
  • UW Health and Wellness Management is also supported by an advisory board, industry experts from corporations such as Children’s Wisconsin, Willis Towers Watson, and the Wisconsin Department of Employee Trust Funds, who offer advice on changing trends in health and wellness so that students are learning the most up-to-date methods.
  • Students often say the flexible, online format is a big factor in their ability to earn a degree. (Our recent situation is an indication of the advantages of online learning.) Although the program is online, you’ll make strong connections with peers and faculty, just as you would on campus.


UW Health and Wellness Management bachelor’s and master’s degrees provide the skills you need to manage comprehensive employee well-being programs that foster healthier lifestyles and promote the value of staying well.  

Turn your passion for wellness into a healthy career with University of Wisconsin Health and Wellness Management. Visit or contact an enrollment adviser by phone, 1-877-895-3276.

Interview Highlights (with timestamps):
  • [8:40] Founding Lionrock
  • [13:57] Using Zoom in group therapy
  • [15:46] Defining Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
  • [26:43] Predisposition to SUD
  • [30:49] Why companies should care about SUD
  • [38:33] What employers can do to help
  • [43:08] Workplace culture and substance use
  • [48:28] Substance use recovery benefits from the employer
  • [52:33] Humanizing SUD
  • [57:43] Peter’s and Ashley’s tangible tips
Mentioned in this episode:
Full Bio:

Peter is the co-founder and CEO of Lionrock Recovery, the pioneer in telehealth services for Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Peter turned his personal experience as a close family member of people struggling with substance use disorder into a professional mission: to improve access to treatment and continuing care services for the over 50 Million people who need substance use disorder treatment or who are living in recovery across the country.

With his co-founders, Peter has pioneered telehealth services for Substance Use Disorder, and built the only company delivering treatment at robust levels of care on a national scale. An experienced entrepreneur and executive, Peter served as CEO/co-founder in several venture-backed technology startups, including eBay auction house, AuctionDrop, and music companies BivWak Digital Music and Tambourine. He was also an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital. Before forging his own path, Peter held vice president and general manager positions at Electronic Arts and SEGA.

Peter is an experienced presenter, addressing issues as far-ranging as entrepreneurship, the impact of substance use disorder in the workplace, and the power of treatment and continuing care for people with SUD.

Ashley is a co-founder and chief people officer for Lionrock Recovery, the pioneer in telehealth services for Substance Use Disorder (SUD). She is also the host of The Courage To Change: A Recovery Podcast, a popular podcast dedicated to sharing stories of people who have the courage to embark on a recovery journey. Ashley effortlessly guides the guests through the most vulnerable parts of their story and has everyone belly- laughing by the end. Be prepared for laughs and tears!

With employees in nearly every state (45 states), Ashley has a reputation for building strong, productive virtual teams. And, as a co-founder of Lionrock, the first company of its kind in the US, has helped build the business by convincing others, from people with substance use disorder, licensed counselors, terrified family members and other professionals, that virtual treatment is effective. Today, over 80% of Lionrock’s clients are abstinent at 15 months post treatment – a tremendous success rate by all accounts.

Ashley is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor-II, a Certified Relapse Prevention Specialist, and a Certified Arise Interventionist. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles and is an MBA candidate at Johns Hopkins University: Carey Business School with a concentration in Healthcare Management. Active in the Los Angeles Health Innovation community, Ashley co-directs the Healthtech Women LA Hub, a global syndicate of formidable women in health and technology.

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