NAADAC’s first-ever hybrid conference was a success! Over 100 NAADAC members, federal representatives, NAADAC leaders, and addiction professionals from across the country connected in person and virtually on March 8-9, 2023 for the 2023 Advocacy in Action Conference and Hill Day. Virtual and in-person attendees participated in briefings on legislation, learned about important advocacy issues, and received robust training on effective advocacy on Wednesday, March 8. On Thursday, March 9 over 50 addiction professionals traveled to Capitol Hill for in-person meetings with legislators!
NAADAC’s first-ever hybrid Advocacy in Action Conference was held at the Bethesda Marriott hotel in Bethesda, MD on March 8 while concurrently being live-streamed for those who wished to attend virtually. This immersive educational experience brought together industry leaders and experts for an agenda full of presentations, discussions, and mock Capitol Hill visits. These sessions illuminated the latest advocacy trends and issues while preparing attendees to be powerful advocates on behalf of the addiction profession and those it serves. Attendees earned over 8 CEs by attending in person or up to 6 CEs by attending virtually.
During the day of advocacy sessions, NAADAC also presented the 2022 Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Tess Reasor, CPRC-Supervisor, CPSS, CYSS, and the 2022 Sen. Harold E. Hughes Advocate of the Year to NAADAC Public Policy Committee Member Thomas D. Stuber, MS, MBA, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, in recognition for their outstanding public advocacy for the addiction profession.
The Advocacy in Action Conference featured speakers from government agencies and private organizations such as the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD), the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA’s) Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW), and even a former member of Congress!
During Hill Day on March 9, dozens of attendees gathered on Capitol Hill for a briefing featuring remarks from The Honorable Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) regarding the importance of advocacy on behalf of the addiction community. Attendees were then briefed for meetings with legislative representatives by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Sr. Public Health Advisor June S. Sivilli, the Addiction Professional Association of California President and Options Recovery Services Executive Director Justin Phillips, MA, LMFT, MAC, NAADAC President Angela Maxwell, PhD, CPS, and NAADAC Executive Director Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP. During the briefing, The Honorable Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and The Honorable Rosa Luisa DeLauro (D-CT) were recognized as the 2022 Legislator of the Year awardees for their demonstrated commitment to addiction professionals and the individuals they serve.
When the briefings concluded, attendees conducted over 50 meetings with Members of Congress and their legislative representatives. In these meetings, advocates brought attention to the issues that concern addiction professionals, such as the need for national credentialing, the need to ensure Medicare coverage includes a full continuum of care for SUD treatment services, and the need to consider addiction professional perspective regarding legalization and decriminalization of cannabis.
NAADAC would like to thank our impressive lineup of featured speakers and panelists during the conference, including Israil Ali, MPA, Anne Herron, Elizabeth Kittrie, DrPH Candidate, Sherri Layton, LCDC, CCS, John Lisy, LICDC-CS, OCPC, LISW-S, LPCC-S, Angela Maxwell, PhD, CPS, Cynthia Moreno Tuohy, BSW, NCAC II, CDC III, SAP, Robert I. L. Morrison, Julie Shroyer, MSW, June Sivilli, Thomas D. Stuber, LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, The Honorable Alan Wheat, and Melanie Whitter.
NAADAC also would like to thank our family of sponsors and exhibitors who made this conference possible. Thank you to our platinum sponsors, Denials Management Inc., Faces & Voices of Recovery, OakTree Collaborative, and Zoobook Systems LLC. Thank you to our gold sponsors, Safe Space Pictures and The 50, and our bronze sponsor, Bold Steps Behavioral Health. Thank you as well to our custom sponsors, AZZLY, Inc. and Rise Recovery. A special thank you to our exhibitors, Bold Steps Behavioral Health, Faces and Voices of Recovery, Oaktree Collaborative, Pure Support, and Zoobook Systems LLC.
Photos from this year's conference are available for viewing on NAADAC's Facebook page and the NAADAC website.