Hazelden Publishing Celebrates 70th Anniversary

While self-help pioneer evolves into cutting-edge digital solutions, sales of original meditation book continue to climb, topping 10 million
Learn About Hazelden Betty Ford

Center City, Minn. (May 8, 2024) – As the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024, it is also marking another significant milestone: the 70th anniversary of Hazelden Publishing, a division that helped infuse substance use disorder treatment and recovery into the mainstream of American culture and continues to support millions of people on their recovery journey – and the field of professionals who care for and support them. 

"Our products and services are ubiquitous in the world of behavioral health and in the personal lives of people around the globe, thanks to Hazelden Publishing," said Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation President and CEO Joseph Lee, MD. "Hazelden Betty Ford, the gold standard of care we came to represent, and the movement of treatment and recovery in America owes a great deal to the influence of Hazelden Publishing. For 70 years, it has been providing inspiration and lifting up best professional practices, the wisdom of lived experience, and breakthrough ideas to advance societal understanding of addiction and recovery-oriented solutions."

This important legacy began on June 1, 1954, with the publication of Richmond Walker's Twenty-Four Hours a Day, more affectionately known throughout the world as "The Little Black Book." The meditation book—featuring a reflective and inspiring reading for each day of the year—appeals to a broad range of people and still enjoys immense popularity, recently topping 10 million copies sold. 

In 70 years, Hazelden has published approximately 1,300 books, including 65 meditation books (45 still in print) and bestselling personal empowerment titles like Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown. Adding in pamphlets, video, audio, apps and other media, the pioneer of the self-help genre has published nearly 5,800 total products. In addition, it is the publisher of many evidence-based curricula for schools and behavioral health professionals—including Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR), the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program and Living in Balance. It also publishes widely used professional tools such as The ASAM Criteria® and the Hazelden Betty Ford Behavioral Health Resources Center, and provides a number of other services and solutions as well.

"Today, Hazelden Publishing is a diversified $37 million business that creates and disseminates books, professional curriculum, training and consultation services, content platforms, and related resources for individuals, families, schools, professionals, workplaces, and entire communities," said Publisher Joe Jaksha. "We also license our extensive content through a variety of partnerships and embed it into Hazelden Betty Ford's own national system of care, which enables us to reach all corners of our industry."

In 2023, Hazelden published and distributed print and digital versions of the first volume of the new 4th edition of The ASAM Criteria®, the most comprehensive and widely used set of national standards for conducting assessments and determining the appropriate level of care for patients who have substance use disorders. Hazelden Publishing also built learning content into the digital version, developed a subscription-based digital learning and resource center, and offered consulting and training opportunities to serve the field of professionals who use the criteria. 

"The ASAM Criteria is a great example of our modern approach to meeting consumer and professional needs through integrated solutions," Jaksha said. "The digital platform we built to power the integrated ASAM Criteria solution can also now be leveraged as a foundation for other robust projects, and we're excited about what that means for our future and the future of those we serve." 

Traditional books are still in the mix, too. One highlight in 2024 will be a new memoir from national recovery advocate William C. Moyers: Broken Open: What Painkillers Taught Me about Life and Recovery, which will be distributed by Simon & Schuster and hit shelves in September during National Recovery Month—just ahead of several Hazelden Betty Ford 75th anniversary events. 

Penguin Books published Moyers' first memoir, Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption, in 2006. One reason Moyers says that he wanted Hazelden to publish the sequel is to be part of the rich history of healing and hope that started with such a simple and humble book, Twenty-Four Hours a Day, in 1954. 

"To this day, and for most of my 35-year recovery journey, I have started my mornings reflecting on a passage in Twenty-Four Hours a Day or another Hazelden meditation book," said Moyers, who is also a vice president for the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. "I know firsthand how meaningful the content produced by Hazelden Publishing has been, and continues to be, for millions of people like me. It's a gratifying honor to add my new book to that expanding legacy, especially in this anniversary year."

Learn more about the history of Twenty-Four Hours a Day, which also has a companion app by the same name, making Richmond Walker's inspiring thoughts available to people anytime, throughout the world. 

Learn more about Hazelden Publishing and the many products and services it offers today.  

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation

The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation is a force of healing and hope for individuals, families and communities affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs. As the nation's leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive inpatient and outpatient addiction and mental health care for adults and youth, the Foundation has treatment centers and telehealth services nationwide as well as a network of collaborators throughout health care. Through charitable support and a commitment to innovation, the Foundation is able to continually enhance care, research, programs and services, and help more people. With a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center, the Foundation today is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in its services and throughout the organization, which also encompasses a graduate school of addiction studies, a publishing division, an addiction research center, recovery advocacy and thought leadership, professional and medical education programs, school-based prevention resources and a specialized program for children who grow up in families with addiction.