National NCADD president
lauds local affiliate
By Sandi Pullen
Good things are happening down at the local office of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
The council's national president paid the Northeast Mississippi affiliate a visit, praising the Tupelo office for its growth and achievement, and picking up a key to the city along the way.
"Ms. (Stacia) Murphy is the president of the national office in New York City and has made a special trip into Tupelo to recognize this affiliate as being a national example of what a community coming together can accomplish to fight the war on drug and alcohol addiction," said Dody Vail, head of the local affiliate. "She is touring the new headquarters at 200 North Spring Street, along with its coffee shop, book store and gift shop, and is enjoying a tour of the city."
Several of NCADD's programs were cited, including its Teen Addiction Awareness Program, its jail program, speakers bureau and the coffee shop and bookstore, New Directions, where self-help books and recovery texts can be purchased.
"There's only two affiliates in the state," said David Anthony, president of the council's board of directors. "This is our 16th year. We've done so much in a short time."
Anthony said the program offers literature and information, not only for persons who need help, but for their families as well.
"There's a lot of things we do," Anthony said. "We don't, per se, give treatment, but we connect a person or family with where they can get help."
"Places like the council offer an environment where people can go to be safe," Murphy said. "I've always been intrigued with the (Tupelo) chapter."
Once when traveling through the north Mississippi area, Murphy said, she saw an NCADD billboard, and never forgot it.
"It was a symbol of hope," she said. "It was extremely impressive. When I became president in 1999, I said to myself, I'm going to go visit Tupelo.'
"I like what I've seen so far."
To show support for the council, Murphy was presented with a key to the city by Mayor Larry Otis.
"If you want to get out of New York," Otis said, "come on down to Tupelo anytime."
Also in attendance was Tupelo City Councilwoman Carolyn Mauldin, a longtime NCADD supporter.
"I've been involved for about 17 years," Mauldin said. "I had a family member with a drug addiction, and at that time the stigma was so strong."
Mauldin said she hopes to see the council become so active that people would feel free to call for help if they needed it, and not have to worry about a negative perception from society.
"My next dream is to be able to have an annual fund-raiser," Mauldin said, "so they wouldn't have to always be scrambling for funds."
To assist NCADD, Mauldin said, volunteers can help in the coffee shop, serve on the board or even help participate with TAAP.
"Or they can just call Dody," she said.
NCADD can be reached at 1-800-NCA-CALL; or 841-0403.