Alcohol & Drug Council of Tompkins County is a private, non-profit agency which provides information, education, counseling and referral services for area residents and organizations.  The Council views addiction as a progressive, treatable disease with recognizable symptoms. By providing prevention, education and counseling services to individuals and families, the Council strives to provide people with the support necessary for sobriety and good health.

We recently changed our mission statement to better reflect our identity and purpose. Since we continually strive to prevent and treat alcohol and drug abuse, it is easy to characterize us as behavior managers. However, our work with people goes beyond a change in behavior. We are not simply trying to help people establish and maintain abstinence from alcohol and other drugs. Abstinence is a necessary but insufficient condition for a successful life. The achievement of abstinence is akin to laying the foundation of a house. The construction of a satisfactory and successful life requires a plan of action or blueprint for attainable and well thought out life goals. Without a blueprint, recovery from addiction is unsustainable.

Sustainable recovery from addiction means putting an end to a vicious cycle. It means going beyond behavioral change. To help people end the vicious cycle of addiction, we are turning our attention to treatment outcomes that are hard to measure but indicate success at a deeper level.

Instead of focusing only on important measurable outcomes, such as abstinence from alcohol and other drugs or obtaining a job, we are also looking at qualitative outcomes. These are equally important but hard to measure. For instance, consider the following outcomes that are impossible to quantify or measure but are necessary for a satisfying and successful life: (1) improved intimacy between spouses or between parents and their children; (2) acquired sense of belonging to a community or a sense of fulfillment in a job or career; (3) achieved sense of comfort in life despite its uncertainties. Qualitative outcomes, such as the examples given above, give rise to successful lives. These qualitative outcomes are the driving force behind our mission and our programs.

We offer respect for the whole person and believe in:

  • Hope and the ability of people to change
  • The individual’s potential for health and well being
  • The individual’s right to make choices
  • Helping individuals and families to achieve their own goals
  • Working toward the health and safety of the individual and community
  • Respect for the recovery process

We believe in learning partnerships and are committed to:

  • A strength-based non-judgmental approach to communication and services
  • Relationships that are goal-directed toward effective outcomes
  • Responsive and responsible operation as a community based organization
  • The idea that change is always possible and that there is always hope

Our professional staff includes counselors and educators with diverse backgrounds and training including the basic competencies required by the State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) for chemical dependency treatment. All are required to meet professional standards and the OASAS code of ethics. The Board of Directors and staff hold a deep respect for the diversity of the individuals and community we serve.