Advocacy Leader Program


 Welcome to the Advocacy Leadership Program homepage. My name is Aaron Kucharski, and I am NCADD-NJ's Advocacy Trainer. The Advocacy Leadership Program is in its sixth year, as leaders from a diverse set of backgrounds and professions are standing up together to put a face and a voice on the state's most pressing addiction prevention, treatment and recovery issues. The program has now trained over 180 leaders that proudly represent 38 of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts, and live in  every county in  the state.  On this page you will get a better understanding of the Advocacy Leadership Program, get updates from around the state, and learn about the impact these  leaders have had to promote good public policy in New Jersey. These victories are by large in part to these leader's efforts to communicate to elected officials;and decision makers in New Jersey. An overview of the program is below. To contact me directly about the Advocacy Leadership Program please Email me at or call 609.477.7085.
-Aaron Kucharski


In its sixth year, the Advocacy Leadership Program is designed to foster, support and promote a generation of leaders in New Jersey committed to confronting the state’s most pressing addiction treatment, prevention and recovery issues.

The Advocacy Leadership Program aims to develop highly knowledgeable and trained citizens of New Jersey, especially those most impacted or affected by alcohol and drug addiction, who will contribute significantly by participating in policy decisions that influence the treatment and prevention of, as well as recovery from, alcohol and drug addiction. The issues at the forefront of the Program are closing the state’s addiction treatment gap; ending the stigmatization of addiction by promoting recovery; ending discrimination experienced by persons in recovery; and, preventing addiction. The program fosters engaged and educated advocates by building an understanding of self-advocacy, legislative / government processes, social change models, story-telling, as well as how to use social capital as a way of influencing others to take action. The ultimate goal is to have Advocacy Leaders become fully empowered advocates engaged in systems change efforts via core leadership teams established throughout New Jersey.

Click Here to See Some of Our Past Events

 Advocates in Action!

NCADD-NJ advocates get involved for a variety of reasons, whether it is around prevention, addressing treatment quality and capacity, advocating for recovery support services, or work to educate that addiction as a health issue, we work to give each advocate the tools to do their own self advocacy. Every advocate has a voice and we work to find opportunities to have that voice heard, or work with them to create the opportunities for themselves.
Since 2008, NCADD-NJ advocates have gone above and beyond in their efforts within their own communities, as well as on the state level.

As unique as each advocates voice and story is, much of the work that gets done is through the 8 core regional advocacy teams (See map below)
Here are just a few ways our advocates have made a difference as individuals and team members:
• Creating “Community Listening Forums” to bring together constituents and decision makers on important issues like Addressing Stigma, Barriers to Recovery, Pathways to Recovery, Addressing the Treatment Gap, Insurance Parity, and Overdose Prevention
• Hosting Educational Forums on “Science of Addiction and Recovery” and “Addiction as a Health Issue”
• Providing compelling testimony to the NJ Department of Human Services at their annual budget forum
• Testifying at the NJ Assembly/Senate public budget forums on the importance of funding addiction services
• Non partisan civic engagement activities around election season
• Legislative office visits to build relationships with elected officials
• Postcard campaigns to highlight specific issues
• Coalition building
• Public Speaking on the issues they care most about
• TV/Radio/Newspaper appearances in the media
• Writing Letters to the Editor/Opinion Pieces
• Provided grassroots support to move important legislation that affects our communities.
• Letter writing campaigns to elected officials and community decision makers
• Requested, hosted, and even presented at important issue trainings for fellow advocates.
NCADD-NJ appreciates the work that NCADD-NJ Advocates have done in the past, and continue to do, and thank all the volunteers who continue to highlight the important issues affecting our communities.
Each regional team is based on where the advocate lives. See the map below and email to join one of the regional teams!





Regional Team Map-click to see a list of leaders in your area Team 8 Team 7 Team 6 Team 5 Team 4 Team 3 Team 2 Team 1


Atlantic / Cape May        Cumberland/Salem         Camden/Burlington/Gloucester         Ocean/Monmouth          Mercer/Hunterdon          Middlesex/Union

Somerset/Morris          Passaic/Essex/Bergen/Hudson




This website is made possible, in part, by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services.
“NCADD of NJ, 360 Corporate Blvd, Robbinsville, NJ 08691, 609-689-0599