Executive Corner – Ryan Hampton

July 16, 2019

The Executive Corner is a new weekly feature of the Addiction/Recovery eBulletin. We send our participants forty questions and ask them to choose twenty they would like to answer. It includes a short profile and a link to their website. We hope you enjoy it.



Over four years into recovery from a decade-long opioid addiction, RYAN HAMPTON has been rocketed to the center of America’s rising addiction recovery advocacy movement. A former White House staffer, he has worked with multiple non-profits and national recovery advocacy campaigns. He is now a prominent, leading face and voice of addiction recovery and is changing the national conversation about addiction. 

With content that reaches over 1 million people a week, Ryan is breaking down cultural barriers that have kept people suffering in silence and is inspiring a new generation of people recovering out loud through his Voices Project. He’s also advocating for solutions and holding public policy makers accountable.

He was part of the core team that released the first-ever U.S. Surgeon General’s report on addiction in 2016 and was singled out by Forbes as a top social entrepreneur in the recovery movement. Ryan connects a vast network of people who are passionate about ending the drug epidemic in America. He has been featured by—and is a contributor to—media outlets such as USA Today, MSNBC, Fox and Friends, the New York Times, NPR, HLN, Vice, Forbes, Slate, HuffPost, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal, and others.

A former aide to President Bill Clinton, Ryan has received praise from Democrats and Republicans alike for addressing addiction as a trans-political issue—crossing the political spectrum to build an inclusive coalition focused on solutions. He worked closely with President Trump, Senate Democrats, Republicans and U.S. House leadership in crafting the historic HR6, the SUPPORT Act, signed into law by the President in October 2018. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich has lauded that “Ryan’s story gives government leaders on both sides of the aisle smart commonsense solutions to consider.”

In 2016, Ryan created the web series Addiction Across America, documenting his 30 day, 28 state, 8,000 mile cross-country trip visiting areas hit hardest by the addiction crisis. 

His first book, “American Fix — Inside the Opioid Addiction Crisis and How to End It” published by St. Martin’s Press, was released in August 2018. 

Q. If you are in recovery, what was your Drug of Choice and when did you discontinue its use?
A. Opioids, February 2, 2015.

Q. At which of the schools you attended did you learn the most?
A. MAST Academy, high school in Key Biscayne, FL

Q.Do you believe leaders are made or born?
A. Both. 

Q. Which film have you watched the most?
A. The American President 

Q. Who is your favorite celebrity in recovery?
A. Anyone who’s in recovery is a celebrity to me. My favorite musical artist in recovery is Macklemore.

Q. If you ever retire, would you prefer to live by the ocean, lake, river, or mountaintop, or penthouse?
A. Ocean

Q. What is your favorite hotel or resort?
A. The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, FL

Q. Where do you go to “get away”?
A. Anywhere a good Broadway show is playing.

Q. What is your biggest or littlest pet peeve?
A. Biggest pet peeve is tardiness. 

Q. How do you measure success?
A. Love.

Q. Who was your biggest influence throughout your life?
A. Bill W.

Q. What is your current hobby?
A. Writing.

Q. What prominent fe/male figure would you most like to date?
A. I’ve only dated one person in my entire life. And I’m marrying him in 2020. Sean Henry O’Donnell.

Q. If you were giving a dinner party for your 3 favorite authors, Living or dead, who would they be? (choose 4 if you think one might be too drunk or stoned to attend.)
A. Hunter S. Thompson, J.R.R. Tolkien, JK Rowling.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Radio show, news show, podcast?
A. Anderson Cooper 360.

Q.   What is your FAVORITE APP?
A. Facebook

Q. What is your FAVORITE TV/cable/digital series?
A. The Crown on Netflix

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Director?
A. Aaron Sorkin

Q. What is your FAVORITE Museum?
A. Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

Q. What is your FAVORITE Band/composer/musical artist?
A. Macklemore

Q. What is your FAVORITE Broadway musical/play?
A. Wicked

Q. Who is your FAVORITE Psychologist or what school of thought as related to psychology?
A. John Locke

Q. What is your FAVORITE Sport to watch? To play?
A. I can’t stand sports. But if I must…basketball. Definitely basketball.

Q. What is your FAVORITE Snack?
A. Rice Krispy treats

Q. What is your FAVORITE Cuisine? 
A. Spaghetti & meatballs

Q. What is your FAVORITE Restaurant?
A. Miceli’s on Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood

Q. What is your FAVORITE City?
A. Los Angeles

Q. Have you ever been arrested and, if so, what for?
A. No.

Q. Do you have any children?
A. No.

Q. Do you think the U.S. should adopt the Portuguese Decriminalization Model?
A. Yes.

Q. What books are you reading now?
A. How Change Happens by Leslie Crutchfield

Q. Do you take work home with you?
A. Yes

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A. Be patient.

Q. What is the best piece of advice you’ve given?
A. Be patient.

Q. Do you think addiction is an illness, a disease, a choice, or a wicked twist of fate?
A. Disease

Q. What are five things you always carry with you?
A. I Phone, vape, debit card, my 2-year Heroin Anonymous chip, gum/breath mint 

Q. What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?
A. starting The Voices Project

Q. What is the proudest moment in your life? 
A. The day I got sober

Q. Is there a favorite “Quote” you would like to share? 
A. “For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” –Teddy Kennedy

Q. What is your favorite Weekly News Bulletin?
A. Any bulletin with a mention of Mackenzie Phillips.