A Long-Standing National Affiliate Changes Its Name Locally, But Not Its Mission


Dr. Beverly Wohlert, CEO


The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) has been battling alcoholism and drug addiction in the Valley for over 60 years, yet many people are still not aware of the impact they have on the families in our community. Although, NCADD of Greater Phoenix will be changing its name, officially, on October 1, 2020 to the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center, it will continue to draw from its nationally rich history of alcoholism for inspiration and guidance as they move into the future. 

Nationally, NCADD and its affiliates has served as a leading force in bringing help and hope to local communities throughout America. In 1944, Mrs. Marty Mann — the first woman to achieve sustained recovery within Alcoholics Anonymous, had a vision of changing the publics’ perceptions and policies toward alcoholism through education, advocacy, and action. The need for this vision remains critical even after 72 years since the agency’s inception. 

Two Arizona affiliates joined NCA, with today’s NCADD of Greater Phoenix being established in 1960 to conduct family assessments and provide community information and referral. In 1986, our local NCADD, of Greater Phoenix begin providing direct addiction treatment to men and women. In 1987, all NCA affiliates being expanding their mission to include other drugs, but the official name change to NCADD was not complete until 1990, which affected more than 200 affiliates in 38 states through the U.S. At this time, NCADD Phoenix began to recognize the importance of long-term treatment, specifically for women. 

In 2003, NCADD Phoenix opened their first of 4 housing programs for pregnant and parenting women, known as Weldon House thanks to a grant from the Watson Family. What started as a supportive housing program for 6 women has expanded to serving the treatment and housing needs for over 40 women and 40 plus children in the valley. 

By 2006, NCADD Phoenix, using evidence-based practices was able to acknowledge the gravity of gender-specific treatment, mental health assessments, trauma-informed care, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, peer support, parenting education, and career counseling as a catalyst to long-term sobriety. It was at this time, that the agency discontinued its men’s programming to focus solely on women, more specifically the needs of pregnant and parenting women. The focus moved from short-term direct care to long-term, relational and skill building treatment of the entire family as a gateway to breaking the cycle of addiction, homelessness, and abuse in families.  Thus, prevention was being passed to newer generations by supporting the recovery of the single mother.

Over the next decade, NCADD Phoenix remained committed as a national affiliate, supporting the efforts of advocacy, de-stigmatization, education about the wounds that alcohol and drugs inflicts upon individuals, families, and communities, and offering real life stories as living proof that addiction recovery is a reality. Despite the impact NCADD Phoenix has had on valley’s families for over 60 years, they continue to hear the mantra that they are a “best kept secret.” 

In 2018, the national NCADD affiliate merged with another organization and became known as “Facing Addiction.” This national change opened the opportunity for NCADD Phoenix to put their energies into carrying out their mission, rather than explaining who they are and why hadn’t anyone heard of this life changing organization. NCADD’s mission to provide services to women with substance use disorders, enhancing their lives through comprehensive, women-centered, evidence-based programs, remains the mission of the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center. 

The name was actually recommended by a child of a staff member who was born at Weldon House and now is entering 9th grade as a healthy young man, who has only known his mother as a healthy, educated, and sober parent. The success stories of this organization are endless and the staff and its leadership remain committed to the vision of eradicating the cycle of addiction for the women and children of Arizona. If you would like to learn more about the programs offered by the Arizona Women’s Recovery Center (formerly NCADD), please call 602-264-6214.


History obtained from “National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, INC: 60 Years of Leadership and Service; 1944-2004.