History of The Coalition for Leadership, Education and Advocacy for Recovery (CLEAR)
CLEAR, formerly the Coalition for Addiction Disease (COAD), was founded in the late 70’s in the midst of the widespread concern over the growing epidemic of teenage alcohol and drug use. Organized by community leaders and concerned individuals and organizations, the group helped raise money to build a treatment center for adolescents at St. Francis Hospital. Upon completion, the group continued to focus its efforts on reducing teenage drug use and found a home at The Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation (PLF). Reid Carpenter, PLF President, served as Chair of the CLEAR Executive Committee for 20 years and the Rev. David Else, Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, was hired as a consultant for COAD.
Within three years, COAD members had used the coalition to implement many projects, the largest being the Chemical People Project with QED communications. Karen Plavan, Ph.D. who worked on this project at QED communications, joined COAD to direct the activities of the coalition. Over the next decade, the coalition continued to unify the addiction field to address concerns to help those suffering from addiction disease.
In 1998, COAD worked to clearly fine-tune its vision and mission. As a result of this process, it changed its name from COAD to CLEAR to better reflect its goals to help lessen the suffering from addiction disease. In the absence of a formal coordinating body in the addiction field, CLEAR evolved into a network of people taking responsibility for addressing the addiction problem in the community.
In 2010, the PLF transferred the CLEAR oversight to The Oasis Recovery Center.
CLEAR continues to work to combat addiction.