NEWTON, NJ – Becky Carlson, Executive Director of the Center for Prevention and Counseling, was named the 2015 Advocate of the Year by Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), the nation’s leading substance abuse prevention organization representing over 5,000 community anti-drug coalitions across the country. Carlson received her award Feb. 5 during CADCA’s 25th annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Md.
The Advocate of the Year award recognizes substance abuse prevention leaders who are exceptional advocates for the drug prevention field, forging relationships and educating their elected officials throughout the year about key substance abuse-related issues and helping to ensure that Members of Congress understand the importance of community coalitions.
Carlson is the Center for Prevention and Counseling’s Executive Director in Sussex County, N.J. She was hired 15 years ago to coordinate the Drug Free Communities grant that first funded the Sussex County Coalition for Healthy and Safe Families. As documented by numerous local, state and national awards and recognitions, she has a unique ability to engage, motivate and train coalition members. With Becky at the helm, coalitions develop into thriving, sustainable forces in their communities, as seen by the success of the Sussex County Coalition and the development of the three Drug Free Communities coalitions she and her colleagues have mentored.
Carlson is one of two coalition leaders in the United States who received CADCA’s Advocate of the Year Award.
“Becky truly exemplifies the meaning of this award. She is a tireless advocate for the substance abuse prevention field and understands the importance of educating lawmakers about effective ways to reduce teen drug use,” said CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean. “We are honored to be able to call attention to some of Becky’s work.”
CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest and premier training event for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 70 courses to help participants learn effective strategies to address drug-related problems in their communities.
The Sussex County Coalition for Healthy and Safe Families was founded by concerned local citizens in 1998 to support healthy youth development and protect against problem behaviors in adolescence by reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors in children’s lives. Over its 14 years of existence, the Coalition has become a well-recognized resource for schools, parents, students, community members and the media looking for information and programs about alcohol and other drugs; including signs, symptoms, effects, and current local and national trends; youth violence; and other prevention tools.
In 2012, the Center for Prevention and Counseling (CFPC) was awarded funds from the New Jersey Department of Human Services to develop regional, evidenced-based addiction and substance abuse prevention strategies that target at-risk groups of all ages.
Through the work of the Coalition, CFPC formed a partnership with Family Guidance Center of Warren County (FGCWC) to serve the entire region. To reflect its new scope, the Coalition changed its name to the Coalition for Healthy and Safe Communities. For more information or to become involved call The Center at (973)383-4787 or go to www.centerforprevention.org