The Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving Asian Pacific Islanders and other under-served communities with substance abuse services. Programs and services are provided to all individuals regardless of race or ethnicity.
In 1971, 31 Asian American youths died from drug overdoses. Community leaders largely in denial about the problems of substance abuse in the so-called “model minority” were shocked and dismayed by a growing crisis. An epidemic of drug abuse was underway while many in the Asian Pacific Islander American community believed, “our kids do not do drugs.” Fortunately, leadership recognized the consequences for the community as a whole and decided to make a difference.
People organized and talked to the youth to figure out the underlying causes of substance abuse and addiction in the Asian Pacific Islander American community. The organizers discovered that users both young and old in this ethnic enclave had nowhere to go for help. Asian Pacific Islander drug users needed someone and some place that understood the ethnic, cultural and family nuances of what they were going through with their drug use and addiction.
The organizers drafted a proposal and submitted a request to the federal government for funding to provide a substance abuse program targeting Asian Pacific Islander Americans. In 1972, the proposal was funded for a nonprofit organization and the Asian American Drug Abuse Program (AADAP) came into existence. Today, AADAP remains one of the leaders in the nation with a mission to target and design services for Asian and Pacific Islanders with substance abuse problems.