In 1979, The Coalition for Addictive Disease (COAD) was formed as the first outreach initiative at The Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation (PLF) under the direction of Reid Carpenter, President. Many people including The Rev. Dave Else, an Episcopal minister and along with many business leaders and families to raise funds to start an adolescent treatment center in Pittsburgh.

In the 1980s, COAD members had used the coalition to implement many projects, the largest being the Chemical People Project with QED communications and its follow-up project. Karen Plavan, Ph.D. who worked on the project at QED Communications, joined COAD to help organize 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 The Coalition for Leadership, Education and Advocacy for Recovery (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.

The first decade of the century brought many new challenges including the rise in opiate overdose deaths. In 2010, the PLF transferred CLEAR oversight to The Oasis Recovery Center.

Today, CLEAR continues to work to combat addiction and to lessen the suffering to individuals and families.


Making Recovery possible for everyone


  • Engage and mobilize Western Pennsylvania civic leaders to find new solutions to the addiction epidemic, reducing teenage underage drinking, prescription drug use, and overdose deaths.
  • Provide networking opportunities and sharing of knowledge to combat addiction.
  • Ensure that all individuals and families have access to help.
  • Educate the community about treatment and recovery from addiction.