Use your APNC/NAADAC benefits to stay connected.

APNC and NAADAC advocate for policies that increase barriers and reduce access to substances of abuse and increase access to services as they pave the way for your voice to be heard. The e-Advocacy Center allows you to receive free email action alerts and updates on current legislation and policy proposals. The alerts give you the background information you need to contact your members of Congress in a few quick clicks of a mouse. There is no easier way to stay informed and take action. Click here to sign up today–all are encouraged to subscribe.

Reach out and schedule a meeting.

Visiting elected officials is one of the best ways to advocate and communicate your interest in an issue or bill, and create a relationship with your elected official. Even if you don’t have an appointment, legislators are happy to have constituents come by.  Your voice and presence are effective tools in advocacy

Visit legislators and senators who serve on committees addressing your area of concern. As a substance abuse professional, your views on issues that will come before the committee in re-substance abuse and related arenas are of interest to committee members and their staff.   You are from the front line!

Pointers:

  • Be on time if you have an appointment.
  • You may have to wait when you arrive;  be patient! This is a busy time and the member or staff may be delayed by a committee meeting or floor vote.
  • Be specific;  plan to spend no more than 10 minutes with your elected official and/or his or her staff.
  • Introduce yourself as a member of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina. Let them know if you are a constituent: “I am a member of the Addiction Professionals of North Carolina and a (e.g. licensed prevention specialist, licensed clinical addiction specialist, certified substance abuse counselor), from Asheville, North Carolina.”
  • State the reason for your visit: be topically specific. Mention no more than two or three issues – make sure they are interrelated!
  • When possible, refer to bills by number and sponsor. Examples:

  “I am here to ask for your support of HB #101, which, if passed will provide us with more time to deliver services for clients, and reduce the redundancy of paper work, which reduces the cost of treatment.”

 “Senator Coppage has filed SB #1011 to help achieve that goal.”

“I am here to ask for your support of HB #101 which increases addictions professionals’ ability to bill private insurance.”

  • Start the conversation.
  • Welcome questions with responses.
  • If you can’t answer a question, don’t guess! Obtain contact data and immediately send the information.
  • If your position is supported, thank them.
  • If your position is not supported, thank them for their time and ask them to reconsider.
  • Send a thank you card, with a note summarizing the points of the meeting, whether they supported you or not!

 

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