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Always Working Towards Advancing Recovery Environments (AWARE)

A project of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives, Inc. (CAADPE)

Mission: To empower and encourage the recovery community, including their families and significant others and to contribute to and actively participate in public dialogue about alcohol and other substance use disorder treatment services.

AWARE is a statewide self-advocacy program which includes those who are in treatment, those who are in recovery and the family members and significant others of those pursuing treatment and recovery. Through AWARE, individuals have the opportunity to share their personal and collective experiences of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery with policy makers and the community at large. AWARE offers a range of strategies to distribute, collect and analyze information that is important to the recovery community. Self-advocacy activities are available to multiple treatment agencies and individuals in the recovery community throughout the state of California. AWARE is unique in that it is the only consumer advocacy program designed for use in treatment settings as a vital component of the treatment process.

Prevention and treatment works, saves lives, and costs less:  

Millions of people are in recovery from addiction and leading productive lives. $7 is saved in medical and societal costs for every dollar invested in treatment.

For every dollar spent on alcohol and drug prevention, communities can save $4 to $5 in future costs for treatment and counseling.

AWARE provides...

1.      Recovery Community Support staff assistance in organizing legislative visits to your treatment center.

2.      Individuals in recovery with the opportunity to provide input to policy makers and legislators about alcohol and other substances through personal accounts and statistical evidence on the importance of recovery.

3.      Individuals in recovery an opportunity to educate the public by providing positive, accurate accounts of recovery and treatment.

4.      A chance to attend an Annual Self Advocacy Conference in Northern and Southern California and meet with others in recovery, policy making, and legislatation.  

5.      An opportunity to give back to the local community by providing a voice for the recovery community, and in turn, strengthening the community!!

Benefits of AWARE membership include: 

- Access to policy makers and the community at large to provide input on alcohol and other drug related issues through surveys,  personal testimony, and focus groups.

-  Participation in Annual Self-Advocacy Conferences.

-  Community Advocacy Training

-  The opportunity to be part of the greater recovering community!

AWARE Handbook


To join:

Northern California
Call: Jennifer Cassulo, 916-329-7409

Southern California
Call: Barbara Spille, 818-996-1051 ext. 1187
Ken Seldon, 818-985-8323



Advocacy Tools

Do's and Don'ts

Advocacy Tips for Writing Legislators

The Nine C's to Effective Advocacy

Calling Your Elected Officials

Providing Public Testimony

What to Do At the Legislative Meeting

Meeting with Your Legislator

Non-Profit Advocacy



State Issues:

CAADPE has taken the lead in the SUD community, announcing its SUPPORT for Governor Brown’s proposal to eliminate the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs.  
In reversing its long-standing position on state governance of substance use disorder programs and services, CAADPE is taking advantage of the opportunity to “conduct business” in a different way under a redesigned state governance structure.  The CAADPE Board of Directors determined that it is time to put aside the field’s long-held fears and mistrust that the legislature, the Governor, and State administrators will allow SUD services to be diminished within a larger department. Read Letter

CAADPE Supports the Coalition of Whole Health's Recommendations-- CAADPE supports the Coalition of Whole Health's recommendations for full inclusion of mental health and substance use disorder treatment services within the Essential Health Benefits framework of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Read more.

Accountable Care Organizations add to the menu of options for providers looking to better coordinate care for patients and will make it easier for providers to deliver high quality care and use health care dollars more wisely. Click for more information

Federal Issues:

Healthcare Reform is now a Reality! Read more about the new law with this Practical Guide for Leaders

Now Federal Law:

The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act.Click here for more information.



CAADPE is a member of the State Associations of Addiction Services (SAAS)

Targeted advertising opportunities are available in CAADPE's widely read newsletter, The Weekly Membership Memo.





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