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Our History

Celebrating 75 years of hope for recovery

The Council on Recovery is Houston’s oldest and largest non-profit organization providing prevention, education, treatment, and recovery services to all who are adversely affected by alcoholism, drug abuse, other addictions, and co-occurring mental health disorders. Founded in 1946, we are the leading provider of support, information, and outpatient treatment for substance use disorders in Houston. Here’s a timeline that shows how The Council's work has impacted our community and forever changed the lives of people we serve:

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Year: 1939

Bill W. publishes Alcoholics Anonymous, describing how to recover from alcoholism using the now seminal Twelve Step Program.

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Year: 1945

Only 97 hospitals in the entire United States accept patients for treatment as alcoholics. There are none in Texas.

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Year: 1946

The Council’s precursor, Houston Committee for Education on Alcoholism (HCEA) forms after a speech by Marty Mann, the Executive Director of the National Committee for Education on Alcoholism.

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Year: 1952

After compiling and examining a history of HCEA, an organizing committee decides to form and incorporate a new organization — the Houston Committee on Alcoholism (HCA).

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Year: 1956

American Medical Association acknowledges alcoholism as a disease and urges hospitals to consider admitting such patients with a diagnosis of alcoholism.

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Year: 1960

HCA and HIAP present a two-year pilot program for alcoholic treatment and rehabilitation for homeless, chronic public drunkenness offenders.

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Year: 1966

Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that a chronic alcoholic cannot be arrested and treated as a criminal, though he may be detained for medical treatment.

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Year: 1982

The Houston Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (HCADA) has six employees, yet manages to effectively help the Houston community.

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Year: 1986

The organization establishes HCADA Development Fund, Inc. as its fundraising arm of the agency.

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Year: 1988

The HCADA Development Fund, Inc. receives 501(c)(3) status.

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Year: 1991

The Houston Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (HCADA) has 44 full-time employees and 9 part-time employees.

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Year: 1995

HCADA commissions an Attitude and Awareness Study regarding public opinion of alcohol and drug abuse.

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Year: 1996

The Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse awards HCADA a grant to establish the Prevention Resource Center (PRC).

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Year: 1999

Name changes to The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston, and The Council launches a new brand and star logo and moves into its new home at 303 Jackson Hill.

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Year: 2000

The Waggoners Foundation underwrites the organization and The Council successfully launches The Waggoners Foundation Speaker Series.

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Year: 2002

The Council acquires the Center for Recovering Families establishing it as a new division of The Council with a full range of treatment, counseling, and recovery services.

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Year: 2004

The High Road merges with the Center for Recovering Families.  The Center adds an adolescent outpatient treatment program and substance abuse intervention to its list of services.

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Year: 2007

The Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives: Toward the Next 60 Years capital fund campaign raises $7,303,581 and construction begins on a new campus to house The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston.

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Year: 2010

The Council provides direct services to 64,945 unduplicated clients in schools, community centers, city/county service offices, corporations, churches, senior centers, and at The Council offices.

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Year: 2012

Center for Recovering Families now includes clinical services for adults, adolescents and children, intervention services, intensive workshops, Kids Camp at The Council, the CHOICES prevention program, the Behavioral Health Training Institute, and the Corporate Aftercare Program.

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Year: 2014

The Council contracts MHMRA of Harris County to hire 30 chemical dependency professionals to be co-located at MHMRA facilities to help screen and stabilize dual-disordered clients with addiction issues.

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Year: 2015

The Council on Alcohol and Drugs Houston’s name changes to The Council on Recovery, with the launch of a new brand and star logo.

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Year: 2016

The Council’s Choices prevention and education program is now in 6 area high schools. A 4-year study published in the Journal of Addiction validates strong results of the Choices program for students, teachers and parents. 

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Year: 2017

In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, The Council immediately deploys dozens of mental health and substance abuse counselors to area shelters to help start the healing of those affected by the storm.  

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Year: 2018

The Council on Recovery receives a grant from the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund to provide services at no cost to qualified hurricane victims who are City of Houston residents. The Council uses the funds to provide free help for people still struggling with storm-related trauma, substance abuse issues, and mental health disorders many months after the hurricane hit Texas.

Year: 2020

For the first time in its history, The Council on Recovery offers telehealth services to keep its staff, clients and guests safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

co-occurring disorders

Year: 2020

The Council launches the Center for Co-Occurring Disorders, a groundbreaking initiative designed to address substance use and mental health issues together.

75th Anniversary

Year: 2021

The Council on Recovery celebrates its 75th anniversary of serving the Houston community, and launches a yearlong communications campaign to tell the story of the millions of lives touched by our work.

CEO transition

Year: 2021

After 28 remarkable years of service, Mel Taylor, MSW, President & CEO of The Council on Recovery, retires. The Council’s Board of Trustees unanimously selects Mary Beck, LMSW, CAI to succeed him at the beginning of the 2022 fiscal year.