U.S. Educator of Year in Addictions

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ASU's Dr. Carmela Drake, national "Addiction Educator of the Year," (photo credit: David Campbell/ASU).

ASU’s Dr. Carmela Drake to be Named "U.S. Addiction Educator of the Year"
- Award ceremony recognizes the "Who's-Who" in the fight against substance abuse in America.
By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
Alabama State University faculty member, Dr. Carmela Drake, is the 2023 NAADAC Addiction Educator of the Year. She will be presented with the national award at the the organization's conference on Oct. 9, in Denver, Colo.
Drake, who serves as an associate professor in the University's Department of Rehabilitation Studies (College of Health Sciences), stated that she is “beyond words” to express her gratitude.
"I am so very involved in teaching addiction studies to both our undergraduate students at Alabama State and as an advocate of it at the national level that my gratitude and happiness in being recognized for my professional body of work makes it hard for me to adequately state what this means to me," Drake said, from the John L. Buskey Health Sciences Center. "Beyond me, this award impacts Alabama State University in a most positive way because it names, for what may very well be the first time ever, a minority faculty member as the top addiction educator in the USA since the award was first given."
The chair of the NAADAC awards committee, Dr. Patricia M. Greer, was the first to notify Drake of her selection. She shared that the Addiction Educator of the Year Award is presented to the educator who has made an outstanding contribution to addiction education from among its 100,000 - plus members worldwide.
Greer wrote to Drake: "I am grateful for your outstanding contributions to the field of addiction education, and look forward to learning of your future endeavors. On behalf of the Awards Committee, may you have continued successes." 
Among the criteria necessary to win the award is having a demonstrated history of contributing through academia to the addiction profession through the mentoring of student/student chapters, colleagues, or addiction professionals, as well as having a demonstrated history of research or other contributions designed to grow, enhance, and/or educate the addiction profession.
The chairwoman of ASU's Department of Rehabilitation Studies, Dr. D.H. Stapleton, explains that Drake's award helps make the University's Addiction Studies program "shine."
"I am very excited, as is the entire department, about Dr. Drake's award, which is based on her many successes in addiction studies, community education, and her work with our undergraduate students to both educate them and motivate them to help work on ending the many addictions that affect our society," Stapleton said. "For ASU students, Dr. Drake's recognition by her cohorts sends them and the entire community of addiction professionals a message that Alabama State University has one of the nation's top experts here, which will help us both recruit more quality faculty members, as well as attract additional excellent students."
NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals, represents the professional interests of more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. NAADAC’s members are addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals, who specialize in addiction prevention, treatment, recovery support and education. An important part of the healthcare continuum, NAADAC members and its 53 state and international affiliates work to create healthier individuals, families and communities through prevention, intervention, quality treatment and recovery support.
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.