Passionate about helping people with addiction and mental health concerns, Ashton Brisolara founded the Committee on Alcoholism for Greater New Orleans in 1960 in order to increase public awareness of alcoholism as a disease, a concept which was not commonly accepted at the time. The Committee’s goals were:
To improve treatment standards and facilities in cooperation with other health and welfare organizations, and
To work with the Louisiana State Alcoholic Treatment Center in New Orleans to promote the development of a community program addressing alcoholism.
In 1970, the agency expanded its mission to address drug abuse, changing its name to the Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans.
In 1991, a new board and executive director were established with several Jr. League members as directors. Later that year, the organization’s mission changed to function as an umbrella agency in order to address the problems of alcoholism, drug abuse, and mental illness in the Greater New Orleans area through education, prevention, information, and referral. In 2003, the agency name changed to the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for Greater New Orleans (CADA).
Today, CADA (pronounced kay-duh) is a community-based, nonprofit, 501(c) 3 organization that serves children and adults in the Greater New Orleans area. Over the last 50+ years, CADA has received grants from prestigious private foundations as well as government entities including the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (DHEW), the Governor’s Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) Grant, Children’s Trust Fund Prevention Grant, Louisiana Highway Safety Commission, Office of Juvenile Justice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (SAMHSA) and the United Way. CADA is a Partner Agency of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana and the United Way of St. Charles.
1973 - Received the first federal grant from DHEW to fund collaboration for education in several alcohol abuse treatment centers
1983 - Began providing substance abuse prevention education in schools
Early 1990’s - Started Early Intervention Programs and began providing all services in Spanish
1995 - Played instrumental role in raising Louisiana’s drinking age from 18 to 21
Late 1990’s - Began Substance Abuse Assessments Program
2005 - Started pre-release program (Project Transition) at Coleman Correctional Facility in St. Charles Parish with funding from the United Way of St. Charles
Late 2000’s - Began DWI Education Classes
2013 - Began Project Reconnect, which provides intensive case management for citizens returning from incarceration while they
undergo addiction treatment
2015 - Began Project Uplift, which expands access to substance abuse treatment for minorities at high-risk for HIV/AIDS
2017 - Introduced HERO Kids an evidence-based curriculum to help kids in Orleans Parish schools overcome adverse childhood experiences and prevent substance abuse
Began CBI Initiative which provides HIV & substance use prevention services to high risk youth in New Orleans
2018 - Started Intensive Outpatient Program to provide an accessible substance use treatment program in New Orleans
Received supplemental funding for CBI Prevention navigation services
2019- Began providing mental health counseling services