MTAADAC was created in 1987, the same year that the state organization, TAADAC, was established. MTAADAC became one of six regional chapters which made up the state chapter and is the Tennessee affiliate of NAADAC. These original chapters included a Mountain Empire Chapter located in the northeastern Tri-Cities area, Johnson City, Kingsport, and a chapter in Jackson, in addition to the current East, West and Middle Tennessee chapters.
Some of the original organizing members from our area who participated in the early plans to establish the local and state chapters included Bunny Morgan, Bill Anderson, John Mulloy, Chuck Ealy and Jim Rackard. This group represented several agencies in various fields of addiction treatment.
It was agreed early on that a once a year conference would be held to present educational information on treatment. The first conference was held in Knoxville in 1987. The conference was to rotate locations around the state from year to year, hosted by each local chapter. The rotation plan worked well for about four years at which time TADA (now TAADAS), two EAPA chapters and several other organizations in the treatment arena joined in as conference hosts. This increased the number of participants and attendees. Bob Currie of TADA spearheaded these conferences from 1991 - 1997. They were held in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis on a rotating basis, and once in Gatlinburg.
The educational conferences were invaluable to counselors and others studying to become participants in treating addiction. Unfortunately agencies became tight with financial backing for subsidizing its people to attend, and less generous with time away for their people to participate. It became evident that smaller, more localized trainings would be the answer. The last conference held in Memphis in 1997 with modest attendance, was a financial loss. This was also the time of the advent of managed care. Staffs were cut and layoffs were a fact of life.
By 1998 Marilyn Rackard had initiated and organized local chapter training sessions in middle Tennessee. MTAADAC explored the idea of hosting a state conference with local members responsible for various aspects of the conference. The conference would be open to all state members. Kathy Benson and Randy Lea agreed to co chair the conference, returning in 1999 to Murfreesboro. The conference was named Journey Together.
Our Journey Together Conference was a success due to good attendance, low cost and provisions for one day attendees. The conference moved back to Nashville after the turn of the century. The conference will long be remembered for 2001 when it began one day after 9-11. In 2007 under the chairmanship of Frances Clark Patterson, we were honored to host the National NAADAC Conference. Centrally located in Nashville, MTAADAC organizes the Journey Together Conference for the state each year.