In 1969, an organization known as the Hope Committee was founded by a small group of compassionate individuals who shared concerns about the abuse of alcohol and its effects upon the Rhode Island community. For sixteen years, this committee operated as a strictly volunteer, nonprofit, information agency. In 1986, the Hope Council on Alcoholism reorganized itself as the Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism. A professional staff was hired and for the first time in its eighteen-year history, priorities were established to expand services and programs. The new direction in 1987 established the foundation for the future of the Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism and, in fact, represented a new era for public education, advocacy, and support services.
RICAODD has been an affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence since January 1988. Two years later, the Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism changed its name to the Rhode Island Council on Alcoholism and Other Drug Dependence to publicly acknowledge its mission to include the abuse of other drugs. Affiliation with the National Council allows RICAODD to serve as a conduit for the dissemination of national information to state and local agencies, further advocating for sound public policy regarding substance abuse. A founding member of the Ocean State Coalition of Recovery Houses, RICAODD was instrumental in creating the organization’s standards ensuring safe and high quality housing for persons in recovery.
In 2012 RICAODD joined forces with Phoenix Houses of New England. Phoenix House provides a broad spectrum of services to adults and adolescents, including: medically monitored detoxification, residential and outpatient treatment, education and prevention services, gender-specific treatment for women, temporary shelter for adolescents, and case management for court-involved adolescents at the Rhode Island Juvenile Drug Court. Phoenix House is dedicated to preserving the name and mission of RICAODD. Together, RICAODD and Phoenix House provide a full continuum of care to those in need of treatment and recovery support.
With a professional staff including the Director of Community Housing, Housing Coordinator, Veteran Case Manager and Administrative Assistant, RICAODD offers a statewide, 24-hour toll-free helpline staffed with trained volunteers. In addition, RICAODD operates eight recovery houses administered through a Revolving Loan Fund. RICAODD is involved in the recovery community through its participation in events in Rhode Island throughout the year. RICAODD works with treatment organizations statewide to provide outstanding recovery housing and support services.