Category Archives: Charity

CADA: tackling alcoholism and drug abuse in Santa Barbara

CADA: tackling alcoholism and drug abuse in Santa Barbara

Drugs and alcohol have been a big problem for almost every community in the world. We can consider that nobody is absolutely safe from falling into these addictions. Fortunately, there are many institutions in almost every city in the world that tackle this problem.

Many of these institutions have very controversial approaches to these addictions and they treat them with shock therapies or with other types of therapies that do not help out much with the problem.

Well, in Santa Barbara there has been an organization dedicated to tackling this problem since 1949 and has been helping men and women who fall into this world and have no other choice than to seek for help. Their name: CADA (council for alcoholism and drug abuse) and we are going to take a look at their story and how they have been helping the community with this problem that affects everybody directly and indirectly.

CADA was born in 1949 with the mission of having a better and safer community with the idea of attacking alcoholism and drug abuse and by helping the people involved overcome their addiction and become a better citizen, neighbor, and human being. They use education as their main driver to make people aware of the problem and they Intervene when it is absolutely necessary and when the person shows signs of stress, anxiety, and depression. Here is where they come up with activities, lectures, and support for the people involved.

They also motivate and give special attention to a very well done diagnosis, a proper and accurate treatment and a suitable follow-up of every person and his or her family that suffer from the harsh consequences that alcoholism and any other drug addiction brings to the family environment.

But how is it that they do it exactly? First, they give special attention to the awareness that the community has about the problem. They also pay attention to all the other players in community building processes such as leaders, teachers, doctors, nurses,  and the mass media and they try to educate them on the  alcoholism and other drug addiction topic, how is it medically seen and all the complications they can bring to people’s lives (violence, economic problems, crime, AIDS, health issues and expenses).

Another way they help the community is by gathering all the public information available about the problem they are tackling and how it relates to other types of diseases and social problems. This information is then offered to the community through programs and lectures, training, and special community meetings. After all this, they also provide treatment and relapse prevention for heavy alcohol and drug users.

CADA uses its volunteers wisely and they work in conjunction with a wide range of institutions, groups and many individuals to tackle the problem in the best of ways possible.

On the other hand, CADA is the managerial part of the  Santa Barbara Fighting Back agency which is a collective that also works toward reducing the consumption of alcohol and drugs in South Santa Barbara County.

Their story started in late 1949 when the Santa Barbara Committee on Alcoholism launched the Alcoholism Information Center located at  914 Anacapa Street. Then, after 5 years, another similar center opened its doors to the public at  509 Chapala Street. Then, 4 years later, another center was opened for women who were fighting against alcoholism and it was called the Casa Serena and it was located at 1515 Bath Street

Then, in 1970, the Alcohol Information Center started to distribute information about alcohol and drug prevention in the form of films,  pamphlets, lectures and expert speakers on the topic

With all these centers that were opening their doors, CADA became stronger and had a wider scope to the problem. Now, they could use their work around the whole Santa Barbara county.

They have two amazing approaches to make the community aware of the problem and to educate children on the matter. The program is called CADA Mentor Program and it is a school-based program that addresses young children that are between 3rd and 8th grade who are very vulnerable to the drug and alcohol issue and who need academic, social, and emotional support. The idea is to have 1 meeting per week and match children with tutors who can give them the proper information that will keep them far from drugs and alcohol.

Image courtesy of Trinity Kubassek at

Apart from the mentor program, they have a mentor resource center which is an amazing online resource center that mentors can use to include in the mentor-mentee relationship. This resource center acts as a place where mentors can find everything they need in case the center is closed or there is an emergency or a special case that needs to be addressed.  

Be sure to also read this post about Non-Profit Kinect, a charity who is helping other charities do their job.

* Featured Image courtesy of CADA at

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