BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Arizona Women’s Recovery Center Board of Directors meets monthly to discuss issues that affect addiction treatment and recovery programs in Arizona, and the direction of AWRC.
The Arizona Women’s Recovery Center staff is a dedicated group with decades of experience in addiction treatment and social work. They are passionate about helping women and their families learn to live healthy, productive lives.
Arizona Women’s Recovery Center has been working to battle addiction and provide treatment services to women in recovery.
Please contact us for additional information about the programs and services offered at Arizona Women’s Recovery Center. We look forward to hearing from you and to being of service.
Although we have only been operating as the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center since October of 2020, we have been providing alcohol and drug treatment in the valley for decades as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). The decision to change our name was to more clearly reflect our mission.
Nationally, NCADD and its affiliates have served as a leading force in bringing help and hope to local communities throughout America. In 1944, Mrs. Marty Mann- the first woman to achieve sustained recovery within Alcoholics Anonymous- had a vision of changing the publics’ perceptions and policies toward alcoholism through education, advocacy, and action. The need for this vision remains critical even after 72 years since the agency’s inception.
Between 1790 and 1830, consuming alcohol was integrated into nearly every aspect of early American Colonial life, but it wasn’t until consumption increased nearly three-fold during this time period, that leaders began to recognize alcohol use as a potential problem. In the 1840s, institutions started to recognize the need for medical care for emerging alcohol consumption, the impact chronic drinking had on multiple organs, and the loss of control over alcohol use. By the mid 19th Century, the boundaries of this disease were also extended to embrace the social and medical consequences of opium, morphine, cocaine, and sedatives.
During the late 1800s recovery for many alcoholics looked hopeful with the founding of many mutual aid societies, inebriate homes, and treatment institutions. Unfortunately, by the 1920s, many of these support networks had collapsed as the public had lost hope for permanent recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs. Americas strategy for this was to prevent future populations from drinking and drugging by legally controlling the sale of alcohol and the distribution of opium, morphine, and cocaine. These efforts were very short-lived as hospitals and prisons became crowded and prohibition was repealed. Fortunately, this despair inspired the Modern Alcoholism Movement that was sparked by the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, the Research Council on Problems of Alcohol in 1937, the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies in 1943, and the National Committee for the Education on Alcoholism in 1944. The latter grew out of a vision of Marty Mann’s that was modeled after other national organizations that were reducing stigma related to tuberculosis, cancer, polio, and heart disease.
When Mann presented her strategy to Yale, she was awarded a $13,000 budget to begin the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (NCEA) on April 1, 1944. Despite incredible financial challenges and conflict, NCEA was able to branch out to other organizations committed to professional education programs on alcoholism, information and referral, detoxification, and long-term care of alcoholics. In 1949, NCEA severed its relationship with Yale and changed its name to the National Committee on Alcoholism (NCA), reflecting the original goal of moving beyond public education. During the 1950s, NCA worked to gain financial support, most of which was funded by a recovering alcoholic himself, R. Brinkly Smithers who donated more than $35 million to alcoholism related projects, leadership, and the larger alcoholism movement. Later, other financial supporters and vocal community leaders would join NCA’s efforts, such as baseball players Joe Welch and Darryl Strawberry, Leaonard Firestone, Laurence Rockefeller, and Joan Kroc. NCA used its growing stability and 56 new affiliates to educate the medical community and convince the public that alcoholism was a disease. In 1948, only 473 alcoholics received state sponsored treatment, but by 1960, over 26,000 people had received treatment for alcohol.
Two Arizona affiliates joined NCA, with today’s NCADD of Greater Phoenix being established in 1960 to conduct family assessments and provide community information and referral. In 1986, our local NCADD, of Greater Phoenix begin providing direct addiction treatment to men and women. In 1987, all NCA affiliates being expanding their mission to include other drugs, but the official name change to NCADD was not complete until 1990, which affected more than 200 affiliates in 38 states through the U.S. At this time, NCADD Phoenix began to recognize the importance of long-term treatment, specifically for women.
In 2003, NCADD Phoenix opened their first of 4 housing programs for pregnant and parenting women, known as Weldon House thanks to a grant from the Watson Family. What started as a supportive housing program for 6 women has expanded to serving the treatment and housing needs for over 40 women and 40 plus children in the valley.
By 2006, NCADD Phoenix, using evidence-based practices was able to acknowledge the gravity of gender-specific treatment, mental health assessments, trauma-informed care, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, peer support, parenting education, and career counseling as a catalyst to long-term sobriety. It was at this time, that the agency discontinued its men’s programming to focus solely on women, more specifically the needs of pregnant and parenting women. The focus moved from short-term direct care to long-term, relational and skill building treatment of the entire family as a gateway to breaking the cycle of addiction, homelessness, and abuse in families. Thus, prevention was being passed to newer generations by supporting the recovery of the single mother.
In 2007, NCADD drastically expanded its Career Services by starting “Sustain,” an onsite thrift store for job skills development. This program quickly turned into a robust vocational training program meeting the needs of those earning their GED through college and beyond through independent employment.
In 2011, Legacy house opened up which offers a minimum of 120 day substance use programming for women in transition from hospitalization or incarceration and help move them towards independent living or long-term programming.
In 2015, NCADD opened Sally’s Place, named after retired CEO, Sally Lara who had the vision and commitment for comprehensive women’s services. Sally’s place provides housing and long-term treatment for pregnant women who battle addiction and have mental health needs.
Also in 2015, HER House was opened which services 6 single women who have an extensive trauma history and benefit from a longer-term supportive community to promote healing.
During these periods of rapid growth, NCADD Phoenix remained committed as a national affiliate, supporting the efforts of advocacy, de-stigmatization, education about the wounds that alcohol and drugs inflicts upon individuals, families, and communities, and offering real life stories as living proof that addiction recovery is a reality. Despite the impact NCADD Phoenix has had on valley’s families for over 60 years, they continue to hear the mantra that they are a “best kept secret.”
In 2018, the national NCADD affiliate merged with another organization and became known as “Facing Addiction.” This national change opened the opportunity for NCADD Phoenix to put their energies into carrying out their mission, rather than explaining who they are and why hadn’t anyone heard of this life changing organization. NCADD’s mission to provide services to women with substance use disorders, enhancing their lives through comprehensive, women-centered, evidence-based programs, remains the mission of the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center. The name was actually recommended by a child of a staff member who was born at Weldon House and now is entering 9th grade as a healthy young man, who has only known his mother as a healthy, educated, and sober parent. The success stories of this organization are endless and the staff and its leadership remain committed to the vision of eradicating the cycle of addiction for the women and children of Arizona.