About the NCADD


Welcome to the NCADD, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, website. Whether you’re seeking information, guidance, or support for yourself or someone else, you’ve come to the right place. The mission of NCADD is to increase public awareness, provide education, and advocate for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery services to support individuals and communities affected by substance use issues.

Recovery is not only possible but embraced by nearly 20 million individuals and families. For over eight decades, NCADD has served as a beacon of support for countless people on their recovery journeys. Our visionary founder, Mrs. Marty Mann, who found support in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935 with the guidance of AA
co-founder Bill Wilson, was dedicated to educating society about substance use issues and preserving the dignity of every individual.

In 1944, Mrs. Marty Mann, the first woman to achieve
long-term recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), founded our organization as the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism (NCEA). Our primary mission was to educate the public about alcohol use disorder as a disease. In 1950, to reflect a broader scope in addressing alcohol use through education, advocacy, and support services, we became the National Council on Alcoholism (NCA).

Recognizing the interconnected nature of alcohol and drug use, we expanded our focus in 1990 and adopted the name National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD). These changes highlight our evolving mission and expanding focus, adapting to the changing landscape of substance use and public health.

In 2024, as we celebrate 80 years of providing education, support, and advocacy to millions of people, we also enhance our Member Affiliate network across the country. We acknowledge that the changes in our organization’s name reflect our ongoing commitment to resist stigma through conscious language choices. While we honor our history by maintaining our name, NCADD, we recognize the critical role that language plays in our mission and future.

We have integrated this understanding into our website, communications, and marketing materials to ensure that we use positive language that combats stigma and supports those affected by substance use issues.

NCADD remains dedicated to fostering compassionate and understanding environments for all individuals impacted by challenges related to alcohol and drug use. As we look to the future, we will continue to leverage the power of positive language to promote awareness, support recovery, and reduce stigma.

Now that you’ve found us, let us guide you to valuable resources, from basic information to personalized assistance and community connections. Remember, help, hope, and healing are within your reach.


Established in 1944 by Mrs. Marty Mann, the first woman to achieve long-term sobriety in Alcoholics Anonymous, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD) is dedicated to offering education, information, assistance, and hope to the public. NCADD is a network of Member Affiliates focused on providing information, education, and advocacy on substance use disorders.


The vision of NCADD is that all individuals and families have access to accurate information and quality treatment for substance use disorders. Through education, advocacy, and support, NCADD aims to empower communities to address the challenges of substance abuse and promote healthier, more informed choices in recovery.

NCADD Timeline: Tracing the Evolution of Alcohol and Substance Use in America

For over 80 years, significant events have greatly influenced the perception of alcohol and substance use in the United States. This timeline showcases key moments in the history of NCADD, depicting the evolution of treatment nationwide.


Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. founded Alcoholics Anonymous.


Marty Mann founded the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism, today known as the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD).


Passage of the Alcoholic Rehabilitation Act of 1947 – the first federal legislation to recognize alcoholism as an illness.


NCADD helps Con Edison, DuPont, and other companies to develop Employee Assistance Programs (EAP).


Lois W. founds Al-Anon.

Marty Mann’s “Primer on Alcoholism” is published.


AMA first defines alcoholism.

R. Brinkley Smithers establishes the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation.


AA publishes the Twelve Steps.


Ruth Fox, MD establishes the New York City Medical Society on Alcoholism, today known as the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). 


AMA develops a landmark resolution advocating for the widespread acceptance of individuals with alcoholism in general hospitals and urges hospital administrators to offer adequate and appropriate services.


E.M. Jellinek publishes “The Disease Concept of Alcoholism.”


AMA passed a resolution identifying alcoholism as a “complex” disease and recognizing that medical components are medicine’s responsibility.


Marty Mann retires as Executive Director of NCA.


President Johnson signed the “Public Services Amendment Act of
 1968” which provides $22 million in federal matching funds to build
and staff specialized facilities in community mental health centers
for the prevention and treatment of alcoholism and other drug addictions.


Congress passes the “Comprehensive Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism Prevention Treatment and Rehabilitation Act,” known as the Hughes Act for its sponsor in the Senate, Harold E. Hughes, a person with alcohol use disorder.


American Journal of Psychiatry and Annals of Internal Medicine published the “Criteria for the Diagnosis of Alcoholism.”

The Association of Labor-Management Administrators and Consultants on Alcoholism, now known as the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, meets for the first time.


NCADD’s The Alcoholism Report, the first newsletter devoted exclusively to the field of alcoholism, begins publication.


U.S. investigators first describe in published reports fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), the common pattern of birth defects observed in children born to mothers with alcoholism. 

The Association of Labor-Management Administrators and Consultants on Alcoholism, now known as the Employee Assistance Professionals Association, meets for the first time.


Congress creates the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


NCADD conducts Operation Understanding, a news conference in Washington, DC where 52 prominent individuals publicly acknowledge their recovery from alcoholism.


Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a grassroots advocacy program, was formed.

Marty Mann died of a stroke on July 22, 1980, at the age of 75. 


Former First Lady Betty Ford lends her name to a treatment center for alcoholism and other drug addictions.

NCADD calls for increased alcohol taxation, a national minimum age of 21 alcohol purchase law, and health warning labels for alcoholic products (goals that were all achieved by 1990).


The National Minimum Drinking Age Act requires all states to make the purchase or public possession of alcoholic beverages illegal for anyone under the age of 21 or lose federal funding for highways. 


Partnership for a Drug-Free America launches nation’s biggest public service advertising effort.


AMA declares that all drug dependencies are diseases, and their treatment is a legitimate part of medical practice.

NCADD initiates a toll-free Hope Line that receives more than 30,000 calls per year seeking information and referrals.



Mandated by federal law, warning labels began appearing on all alcoholic beverage containers.


NCADD name change goes into effect, reflecting the inclusion of drug dependence into NCADD’s mission.


Journal of the American Medical Association publishes the definition of 
alcoholism revised by NCADD and ASAM. 

The Americans with Disabilities Act extends job protection to individuals with alcohol and substance use disorders in the private sector, except in safety-sensitive positions.


NCADD originated a prevention program narrated by Meryl Streep, “What Should I Tell My Child About Drinking?”


NCADD honors Senator Paul Wellstone and Representative Jim Ramstad for their sponsorship of legislation prohibiting private health insurers who offer addiction treatment coverage from imposing discriminatory limits on these benefits.


NCADD joins other advocacy organizations to successfully oppose an NBC-TV proposal to air alcohol advertising on network television.


NCADD celebrates 60 years of Leadership and Service at the annual Conference of Affiliates.


NCADD is the Founding Partner of the Whole Health Campaign to bring alcohol, substance abuse, and mental health disorders into discussion of health care reform.


NCADD successfully advocates the passage of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Second Chance Act.

NCADD introduces Hope, Help and Healing: Personal Stories of Recovery public education campaign.



10,000 attend the NCADD and A&E TV National Recovery Rally in New York City.


NCADD successfully advocates the passage of the Affordable Care Act which includes “Parity” and benefits for access to prevention and treatment.

NCADD partners with Hallmark Hall of Fame “When Love Is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story,” starring Winona Ryder and Barry Pepper.


NCADD publishes “Consumer’s Guide to Medication Assisted Recovery.”


NCADD holds an Inaugural Gala in New York City, supported by leaders in fashion, media, and business.


NCADD celebrates 70 years of helping millions of individuals and families face the challenges of alcohol and substance use disorders.


NCADD celebrates 80 years of providing education, support, and advocacy to millions of people and enhances its Member Affiliate network across the country.

NCADD launches a new website.