Join Together and CADCA

Backing Up the Front Line

During the 1990s, the creation of many community coalitions to fight substance abuse prompted the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to action in making sure that they succeeded. In 1991 and 1992, the Foundation provided two organizations—Join Together and Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)—with funding to provide technical support for local substance abuse initiatives. This chapter describes the different approaches taken by these programs and how they evolved over time. Their services to community coalitions included advocacy, training and technical assistance, marketing and communications support, finding information, research updates, legislative alerts and public policy support. How best to support local problem solving and collaboration is a difficult and complex issue and is bound to resurface in the future. The authors conclude that the experiences of Join Together and CADCA may offer a useful guide for those who follow in their footsteps.