Connect with us


Seattle startup lands $6M from Tony Robbins and others to treat opioid and alcohol addiction



NorthStar Care, led by co-founder and CEO Amanda Wilson, raised $6 million. (LinkedIn Photo)

Seattle-area startup NorthStar Care raised $6 million in a seed funding round co-led by well-known author and business coach Tony Robbins and Chicago-based early-stage venture firm Starting Line.

The fresh cash will help boost its telehealth program that aims to help individuals facing alcohol and opioid use disorders. The program includes addiction-related medication, professional care and oversight, and peer support.

Founded in 2021, the startup offers a program to treat substance use disorders that it claims has an 86% success rate. The idea is to use telehealth to improve access to rehab for patients who would otherwise struggle to participate and to boost retention by removing barriers to entry.

“It’s hard to find companies that are innovating and getting real results in the field of addiction,” Robbins said in a statement. “Addiction is not a new crisis, and past approaches have been extremely expensive and massively ineffective.”

NorthStar was founded by Amanda Wilson, who also launched the Addiction Research and Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that conducts and publishes addiction medicine-related research. She previously co-founded Boulder Care, a Portland, Ore.-based startup using telehealth to treat people with substance use disorder that raised $36 million last year.

Wilson said NorthStar aims to combat high relapse rates in traditional rehab through a comprehensive approach that leverages technology. She said medication and other recovery tools are often viewed as unnecessary.


“Today, we’re treating alcohol and opioid addiction as if peer support were really the core part of the treatment,” said Wilson. “That’s a bit backwards.”

NorthStar offers a year-long program, combining medical supervision, nutrient and medication therapy, and group support. It has 27 employees, including physicians, clinicians, nurses, navigators, and peer guides.

Every patient who joins the program receives a virtual reality headset, allowing them to tune into group peer support or group therapeutic meetings with other patients in the program. Wilson said the startup also uses digital breathalyzers to track patient recovery journeys, with plans to roll out a wearable device that monitors alcohol intake and other health-related data.

NorthStar’s business model is primarily insurance-based, but it has contracts with employers and accepts out-of-pocket payments. The startup also serves both active and retired military personnel. It currently has 40 patients.

NorthStar is in the process of growing its network of insurance providers, part of a broader goal of having 150 million people covered for its care, Wilson said.

“Our vision is to try to get in-network with as many insurers as possible,” she said.

The startup operates both the for-profit clinical group practice and the non-profit research arm Addiction Research and Education Foundation. It has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed journal articles on best practices, buprenorphine treatment for opioid use disorder, and other methods to enhance access to care.


Wilson is joined by co-founder and Chief Science Officer Lisa Chiodo, who is CEO of the Addiction Research and Education Foundation. She is also an associate professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in the college of nursing.

Source: Geek Wire

Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates