Healing Hearts and Minds: Treatment, Prevention, and Recovery

Welcome to Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies.





The Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (ASADS) is preparing for another well-attended and highly informative annual conference on March 18 – 22, 2024. ASADS’s 48th Annual Conference will take place at the Bryant Conference Center on the campus of the University of Alabama. This year’s theme is “Building Resilient Communities: Engaging in Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.” You can look forward to vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over emerging and relevant topics.

ASADS is hosted annually by numerous state agencies, treatment/prevention programs, community partners, and primary health care providers. This year ASADS will offer a special plenary speaker each day, over forty courses throughout the week, and the presentation of the Carl Nowell Award.

The ASADS Board consists of up to twenty-three members, which plan and operate the annual conference. Planning is conducted for twelve months to provide the best workshops possible for attendees. Registration fees, exhibit fees, and corporate sponsorships are used to pay for the faculty and expenses of the conference. Included in registration fees are workshop content, conference materials, logistical support, and breaks. Members of the Board serve as volunteers to coordinate the conference.

ASADS wants to ensure that our event will be safe for all attendees. ASADS will follow the Bryant Conference Center guidelines and observe all health and safety precautions that the site requires.

ASADS Board of Directors




Call For Presentations

Quality workshops are scheduled to provide a quality educational experience that will enhance both professional growth and job performance. Do you have a presentation that you would like to offer for next year’s school? The submission deadline for the 2025 conference is October 1, 2024.

Learn More

Carl Nowell Award Recipients

The Carl Nowell Leadership Award is presented each year to honor a person who embodies the following characteristics:

  • A person who shows dedication and persistence through leadership in the field of prevention and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse services on a local, state, and national level.
  • A person who displays steadfast commitment through relentless effort, competence, and planning to improve those services and programs.
  • A person who operates with a team mentality and recognizes that significant change is achieved only through the action of many individuals working together.
  • A person who shares a vision for exciting possibilities and possesses an absolute belief in his/her ability to make extraordinary things happen.

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2024 Carl Nowell Award. The deadline for submission is Feb 28, 2024.


Conference Location
Bryant Conference Center
240 Paul W. Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487

Host Hotel
Hotel Capstone
320 Bryant Drive
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
Phone: (205) 752‐3200



ASADS exist to foster and maintain the integrity of alcohol and substance abuse related services for consumers and provide continuing education and educational programs for professionals working with populations affected by alcohol and substance abuse.

In doing so, we wish to coordinate between federal, state and local agencies to enhance the development of comprehensive educational programs focusing on alcohol and substance abuse issues. This will set a high standard of professional education and training through educational conferences and programs of continuing education.


To provide affordable quality education to the community on substance abuse treatment, prevention, and other areas of shared concern.


To lead the effort in promoting a broader understanding and acceptance of the process of addiction.


Our Board



Continuing Education Units - CEUs

ASADS is excited to offer our conference participants CEUs.  Click the button below for ASADS CEU information.

CEU Info

2023 Platinum Sponsors

2023 Gold Sponsors

2023 Silver Sponsors

2023 Patrons


    Call for Presentations

    ASADS is in the process of planning our 48th school to be held in 2024 and would love for you to consider applying to be a speaker/presenter. The school will be held March 18-22, 2024 at the Bryant Conference Center on the campus of the University of Alabama.

    ASADS offers a unique opportunity for professional development, information exchange and networking. It is designed to address the need for knowledge and skill development through advanced training. We have a proud history of providing education encompassing the fields of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery for over forty (40) years.

    We expect participants to come from a variety of settings and possess a range of skills and experience. Attendees may include prevention practitioners, treatment, recovery and youth development practitioners, state and community leaders, agency directors and staff, juvenile justice and adult corrections practitioners, people in recovery and their allies, public health practitioners, educators and faith-based groups.

    If you are interested in supporting ASADS by becoming a presenter, please complete this form including the required attachments. Early submissions will be greatly appreciated.

    Suggested Topics are listed below but not limited to the following:

    Prevention Topics include, but are not limited to, HIV/AIDS, prevention ethics, managing disruptive behavior, sustainability planning, cultural competency and addressing behavioral health disparities underage drinking, community-level change strategies, coalition building/development, prescription drug abuse, prevention advocacy, marijuana prevention education/legalization, mental health promotion, suicide prevention, prevention programs geared toward specific populations (youth, college, military, etc.) and impact on the workplace.

    Youth Development Topics include, but are not limited to, evidence-based practices in working with youth, relationship between youth development and prevention, treatment and/or recovery, youth voice and choice, youth led campaigns, high-impact activities, creating youth friendly spaces, understanding the teen brain, and building effective relationships with youth.

    Treatment Topics include, but are not limited to, abstinence based treatment, addiction counseling competencies, treatment addressing the need of specific populations (veterans, adolescents, collegiate, gender, LGBTQ, young adults), co-occurring disorders, ethics, evidence-based programs, strategies for family treatment, medication-assisted treatment, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention, senior population and substance use, technology based therapeutic tools, trauma, clinical supervision.

    Recovery Topics include, but are not limited to, recovery support services, role of peer based recovery support, forensic peer specialists, youth peer support, creating a culture of recovery, medication in support of recovery, recovery community organizations (funding and making the business case), science of addiction and recovery, creating the expectation of recovery, role of family and community in recovery, and addiction advocacy in local communities.

    Wellness for Professional Topics include, but are not limited to, personal wellness for substance abuse counselors, doing our own work: a parallel process, impairment prevention, setting boundaries for self-care, identifying risk factors, life balance, self-checkup, finding renewal, cultivating habits of self-care, career-sustaining strategies, burnout, coping skills, stress management, practicing mindfulness, and wellness activities-cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual.

    Leadership and Organizational Development include, but not limited to, effective leadership strategies, running efficient organizations, leadership development, promoting wellness and employee satisfaction and sustainability, quality improvement, branding, and marketing in the mental health care arena, teamwork, data and outcome measures for organizational success.


    2023 Award Recipient

    Pamela Butler

    Previous Winners

    Dr. Darlene Traffanstedt (2022)Christopher Retan (2021)Carol Potok (2020)
    Gwen Thomas-LeBlanc (2019)
    Sarah Harkless (2018)Patrick Tidwell (2017)
    Foster Cook (2016)
    Richard Bonds (2015)
    Theodore Mitchell (2014)Kathy House (2013)
    Callie Dietz (2012)Kent Hunt (2011)
    Susan Reid (2010)Elana Parker (2009)Carl Nowell (2008)

    ASADS is currently accepting nominations for the Carl Nowell Leadership Award to be given during the 2020 Annual School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. All nominations in the area of substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery are welcomed.



      Kathy House President Opioid Response Network
      Debbi Sims Metzger Vice President Dept. of Mental Health
      Vanessa Goepel Treasurer University of Alabama
      Lucy Douglas  Parliamentarian Veteran Military Crisis Line
      Rachel Kiefer Secretary Dept. of Mental Health
      Brandi Brown Board of Dir. Dept. of Rehab Services
      Roderick Chambers Board of Dir. Bureau of Pardons and Paroles
      Scott Holmes Board of Dir. Federal Bureau of Prisons
      Jackie Hill Gordon Board of Dir. VA Medical Center-Tuscaloosa
      Gail Hooper Board of Dir. Drug Education Council
      Sandy Johnson Board of Dir. Montgomery Family Court
      Shona Johnson Board of Dir. Walker Recovery Center
      Lonnie Layton Board of Dir. Alliance Health Center
      Rodney Maiden Board of Dir. Troy University
      Abby Migliore Board of Dir. Board of Nursing
      Donna Oates Board of Dir. Administrative Office of Courts
      Greg Snodgrass Board of Dir. Cumberland Heights
      Sheree Logan Towne Board of Dir. NAADAC
      Shannon Weston Board of Dir. Dept of Youth Services
      Advisory Board
      Elana P. Merriweather Chair Dept. of Mental Health
      William Bomar Advisory Board VA Medical Center-Tuscaloosa
      Carmela Y. Drake Advisory Board Alabama State University
      Savannah Fell Advisory Board Walker Recovery Center
      Rhonda Lawless Advisory Board Rhonda Lawless Consulting, LLC
      Curt Lindsley Advisory Board Alabama Alliance for Recovery Readiness
      Derek Osborn Advisory Board Turning Point Treatment Facility
      Sharmen Rutherford Advisory Board All Things New Counseling Services, LLC
      Tom Mihokanich Advisory Board ASADS Business Manager, WTM & Associates
      Jaime Vazquez Advisory Board WTM & Associates

      The list below is CEUs that were offered for the 2023 conference. We are working to verify CEUs for the 2024 conference.

      Organization Detail
      AADAA AADAA: Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies conference has been approved by AADAA. 


      Alabama Psychological Association (aPa): This program is sponsored by the Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies (ASADS) and the Alabama Psychological Association (aPA). The Alabama Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Alabama Psychological Association (aPA) maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. This program is approved for number (numeral) credit hours for psychologists by the Alabama Psychological Association (aPA). Partial attendance, late arrival, or early departure will preclude the issuance of CE credits.


      AL Board of Examiners of
      Nursing Home Administrators
      Alabama Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators: This program has been approved for 27 hours of continuing education by the Alabama Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.


      NAADAC: ASADS is an approved provider of continuing education by NAADAC Provider number 111584.
      Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners: Chosen courses must meet Alabama Social Workers requirement 0502.
      NBCC: Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP # 6600. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Alabama School of Alcohol and Other Drug Studies is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.
      Alabama Board of Nursing: ASADS is an approved provider of continuing education by the Alabama Board of Nursing ABNP1475, expiration date 2/01/2025.
      ADRS: The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services is approved by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) to sponsor continuing education credits for counselors. Provider number 00060639.
      CRCC: CRCC acknowledges it is the responsibility of the participant to actively participate in a program for the benefit of furthering their professional education. However, CRCC encourages all providers of continuing education to actively monitor participation in a program or activity prior to awarding credit to certificates.