Randall Kessler
Standing Committee on Substance Abuse
Message from the Chair
As the incoming Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Substance Abuse, I welcome you to our website. I look forward to your participation and assistance in helping us address the many problems created, enhanced or facilitated by substance abuse in our country and worldwide. Our immediate Past-Chair, Barbara J. Howard, Esq., has served our Committee in extraordinary fashion. Perhaps the most significant achievement of Ms. Howard’s tenure was the successful planning, coordinating and chairing of the Unified Family Court Summit held in conjunction with the University of Baltimore School of Law, Center for Families, Children and the Courts. Rather than "reinvent the wheel," I will steal, or directly quote her opening letter welcoming you to our website written during her term as Chair:

Since its inception in 1990, the Standing Committee has worked to curb the pervasive use and long-term effects of drug, alcohol and other forms of substance abuse on our country's population. The Standing Committee's efforts have largely been a coordinated effort, both with other ABA entities such as the Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs and the Coordinating Council on Unified Family Courts, as well as with groups outside the ABA, such as the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Physicians and Lawyers for National Drug Policy, and many others.

Our efforts at both prevention and treatment have taken the form of truancy court projects across the country, of grant-funded studies on various aspects of the national substance abuse issue, and of hands-on assistance to those seeking to integrate substance abuse treatment and prevention into our national justice system. We are particularly proud of our success in the adoption of substance abuse treatment policies by the ABA House of Delegates. These include anti-discrimination policies for those in recovery who seek the assistance of public benefits, opposition to mandatory minimum sentences, and urging treatment services for all drug-dependent services for those in the criminal justice system. Once adopted by the House, the ABA's legislative counsel is able to work with national, state and local legislators, and with other bar associations in an effort to advance these ABA policies. For more information about the work of the Committee, visit the rest of our website or call 202/662-1784.

Randall M. Kessler, Chair
404.688.8810 - phone
404.681.2205 - facsimile
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