[Guest blog post by Mara Gray, NAADAC Government Relations Associate.]
A once-a-year event is about to be upon us. One (hopefully not too cold!) weekend in March, addiction professionals, students and treatment providers will gather together in our nation’s capital for a single purpose – to advocate for change. This one-of-a-kind gathering is
Advocacy in Action, a 23-year-old conference produced now co-sponsored by
Advocacy in Action starts Sunday, March 8 and ends Tuesday, March 10. It offers three main benefits to participants:
- Policy briefings about the most current addiction policy issues from experts in and out of government.
- Trainings on advocacy techniques and communication strategy that can be used to effect change from the local to the national level.
- The opportunity to put newly sharpened advocacy skills into practice by building relationships with your members of Congress by meeting face-to-face.
Conference sessions touch on the hottest issues in Washington, including addiction's place in health care reform, what comes next for insurance parity, health information technology, whether it's wise to re-think the drinking age and the federal funding needs for treatment. Eight CE's and 7.5 Business Hours are offered.
Visiting your members of Congress in their D.C. offices is one of the most important advocacy actions you can take. It shows legislators that you're dedicated to your issues and that they should pay attention because it matters to constituents back home. It's also a skill that anyone can nurture--YOU can advocate effectively with your member of Congress face-to-face.
This conference is not just all work and no play though. We plan to party like (or should I say with?) a rock star as well. Jimmy Destri, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer most famous for his founding role in the band “Blondie” will be at Advocacy in Action. Jimmy will be sharing his story of stardom, addiction, recovery, and why he is now an addiction professional working in New York City.
Wondering “how do I sign up?” It’s easy! Click Here for the conference program and registration form, which you can mail or fax. Registration is only $150 for NAADAC or NAATP members and $200 for non-members.