September is National Recovery Awareness month. To help increase awareness and promote education, we’re sharing the powerful story of Stephen D’Antonio, Executive Vice President for Shatterproof, a featured OpenSesame publisher offering educational materials addressing addiction.
On the surface, Stephen D’Antonio had all of the markings of success. With a BA in Economics from Dartmouth College, an MBA from Harvard University, and a thirty-year career at Morgan Stanley, he had achieved much. But despite having what many would consider an ideal life, his family, like so many out there, was touched by the darkness of addiction.
His youngest son struggled with alcohol, almost losing his life four times. Stephen came to a critical juncture in his life. He could either continue his high-profile role at Morgan Stanley or dedicate himself to helping his son and others affected by addiction. He made the decision to leave his role and devote himself to helping his son and spreading awareness about the truths about drug and alcohol abuse.
He began by learning everything he could. He took graduate-level classes at Harvard in psychopharmacology, neuroscience, and public health. Stephen then launched a podcast in 2017 with the goal of supporting others whose families were also struggling with addiction.
The podcast series is really useful for parents that are actually in the middle of addiction and who are struggling to understand what’s going on with their child.Stephen D’Antonio
Stephen’s path in learning about the science behind addiction, producing the podcast, and tending to his own family, lead him to his current role as Executive Vice President for Shatterproof. Shatterproof is focused on educating companies and communities about addiction, as well as the research-backed treatments that are available today. Shatterproof is also actively engaged in removing the stigma that comes from the misperceptions people have about those suffering from addiction. They deployed a program in Pennsylvania focused on changing how people think about addiction and those suffering from it. It has so far reached 4 million people, with plans to launch in more states.
Shatterproof’s reach also extends to online learning. Right now on OpenSesame you can find “Addiction: Six Essential Lessons” 20-30 minute long classes that cover the signs and symptoms, risk assessments, as well as how to prevent drug and alcohol abuse. This type of coursework is essential for any L&D program that wishes to help employees deal with issues of addiction in their own lives.
25% of families are dealing directly with addiction in their household. While it’s a niche topic, there’s really not great education that’s out there in a big way, hopefully, we’re changing that with OpenSesame and these lessons.Stephen D’Antonio
Stephen’s drive, intellectual curiosity, and strategic thinking not only helped him in his career at Morgan Stanley, but also made him the perfect fit for his role as Executive Vice President for Shatterproof. He understands both the more analytical aspects of helping run a company and the human toll of addiction. With plans for Shatterproof to be the biggest presence in the non-profit space related to addiction, there’s no doubt that they will succeed.
Check out the interview we did with Stephen in episode #42 of the Learning Unlocked Podcast to hear more about his personal and professional journey or keep an eye out for Shatterproof’s upcoming webinar on 9/30, hosted by Stephen, that will further explore alcohol and drug abuse and how it impacts our lives.