Frequently Asked Questions


General Information

When is the National Leadership Forum?

The National Leadership Forum will be held February 4-7, 2019.

Where is Forum being held?

Forum will be located at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland.

Who attends Forum?
  • State & Local Coalition Leaders
  • Prevention Specialists
  • Substance Abuse & Mental Health Professionals
  • Youth
  • Law Enforcement
  • Researchers
  • Individuals in Recovery
  • Justice Personnel
  • Educators
  • Parents
  • Public Health Professionals
  • Faith Leaders
  • Treatment Providers
  • Military & Military Families
Why is CADCA's National Leadership Forum always held in the Washington, D.C. area?

The answer is simple: Capitol Hill. CADCA’s Forum is not only an opportunity for our attendees to network and receive top-notch training, it’s an opportunity for the industry’s top federal leaders and members of Congress to meet the people who are on the ground fighting substance use and misuse every day. It’s also an opportunity for our members to have an in-person conversations with their U.S. Senators and Representatives and educate them about the importance of funding substance abuse prevention programs, like the Drug Free Communities program and other critical initiatives. These things can truly be accomplished by meeting in our nation’s capital -- additionally, if lawmakers don’t hear from our members and attendees or have an understanding of how powerful the coalition field is, many of the outstanding prevention programs that our attendees support would fall by the wayside.

Why is CADCA's National Leadership Forum always held in February, during the winter months?

It is held in February to save our attendees and their organizations money! While admittedly Washington, D.C. is much more pleasant in the spring or summer, the prices increase dramatically in the warmer seasons, with hotel rates doubling in some cases. So, to keep the cost down for the attendee’s bottom line, we have to hold the Forum during off-peak times – December through early-March.

Why did you move the location of the Forum from the Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. to the Gaylord National just outside of D.C. in Maryland?

For starters, since the Forum takes place in winter, many of our attendees commented that the walk from the Washington Convention Center to the Renaissance Marriott or the other Forum hotels was too far and too cold – and sometimes even dangerous if the sidewalks and roads were icy. In addition, since our group is now too large to fit at one hotel, when the Forum was held at the D.C. Convention Center, attendees had to spread out at several hotels. We heard feedback that having people staying at multiple hotels was not conducive to networking. We solved that problem by moving to the Gaylord where the meeting rooms and hotel rooms are all under one roof. In addition, the room rates are about $180 less per night at the Gaylord – again, saving additional dollars that can be invested back into our attendee’s organizations.


For registration fees, deadlines and instructions, please visit our Forum Registration page here

What does the registration include? 
  • Access to all sessions, February 4-7
  • Admission to the Exhibit Hall
  • CADCA bag and informational program
  • Coffee breaks Tuesday - Thursday
  • Access to all session handouts, powerpoints and resources
  • Breakfast Tuesday - Thursday
  • Networking reception
  • Lunch on Thursday

What does a guest registration include?

Guest access is intended for those accompanying a payed attendees (such as spouses). Guest access is limited to the welcome reception, continental breakfasts, breaks and exhibits only (no training sessions). Coalition colleagues, industry employees, exhibitor representatives not covered by exhibitor registrations, CADCA members, co-presenters (etc.) do not qualify as a guest. Guests must also accompany a registered delegate on the registration form. You cannot register yourself individually as a guest attendee.

What does a one-day registration include?

You can register to attend for just one day (Tuesday or Thursday) and your registration fees include all the activities, training sessions and meals for that one day. Your badge will indicate the single-day status, therefore you will not be able to attend functions on any other day without paying applicable fees.



If I'm registered for just Prevention Day on Monday, can I also attend sessions throughout the rest of the week?

No, but if you would like to attend the full week, please register to attend Forum. Your badge will reflect "PREVENTION DAY ONLY" so you will not be able to attend functions after Monday without paying the full registration fee. 

Are there scholarships to attend the National Leadership Forum?

Yes.  There are a limited number of scholarships for both Youth and Adults to attend the 2019 National Leadership Forum.  Scholarships cover the registration and 4-night's hotel accommodation for the recipient. The application deadline for these scholarships was Friday, September 21, 2018.  Applications are currently being reviewed.

Notifications will be emailed no earlier than the first week of December - leaving plenty of time to take advantage of the early-bird rate! 

Can I take photos during a training session or ideas fair presentation?

Only if the presenter approves.

Can I take my child to my training session?

Children (those not attending the Youth Leadership programming) are restricted to the exhibit hall (and must be accompanied by an adult) and are NOT allowed access to the training session rooms.

What is Youth Leadership Initiative?

This intensive competency-based leadership training is a flagship CADCA workforce development program that teaches strategies to create and nurture the growth of committed young leaders through their work within coalitions. The Youth Leadership Initiative helps youth and their adult coaches develop an action plan that clearly defines strategies that young leaders will carry out to address the problems and goals that the coalition is striving to affect. Join us for a leadership experience that reflects our motto: “Youth-led and Adult-guided.” CADCA has developed a curriculum for the Youth Leadership experience so we are not accepting proposal submissions. CADCA Youth Leadership Initiative will offer two tracks at Forum: 1.) Key Essentials Express Track 2.) Youth Breakout Sessions on topics relevant to youth leadership and prevention.

REQUIREMENTS: To participate in Youth Leadership, both youth and their adult advisors must attend ALL Youth Leadership sessions throughout Forum week. Adults must attend with at least one youth and pay the adult registration rate. All youth must provide the Parent/Guardian Consent Form to CADCA.

Can youth attend the Youth Leadership programming on their own?

Youth can attend the Summit on their own but must be accompanied by an adult if they plan to attend Youth Leadership. The chaperoning adult must also be registered to attend the Forum at their applicable rate.

What is the age cut-off for a youth registration?

Anyone 20 years of age or younger is considered a youth. Anyone 21 years of age and older must register at the adult rate.

Does CADCA provide babysitting services?

No, however the hotel concierge can assist you in reserving the service for you.

What is the dress code?

Business attire.

Do you accommodate special needs?

Yes, please provide the information on your registration form and we will be happy to assist you (including dietary and/or mobility needs).  Wheelchair rentals are available by contacting the hotel concierge for rates and additional information. Service pets are also allowed. 

CADCA's Core Advocate Program

What is a Core Advocate? A CADCA Core Advocate is any prevention professional, coalition leader, or individual who wants to take their advocacy for the field of prevention to a new level.  CADCA's Core Advocates will be informed and asked, when necessary, to be an active participant in helping to promote the field of substance use prevention. They will work with CADCA's Public Policy team in Washington, D.C. to help bolster federal efforts and work to ensure that we can continue to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities.

I would like some assistance setting up an appointment on Capitol Hill - what do I do?

Don't miss the opportunity to tell members of your congressional delegation and/or their key staffers about your coalition and what you're accomplishing in the community. If you need help setting up your meetings and have a group of five (5) or more people, CADCA will be happy to make the appointments for you!

Please contact Chris Doarn at or 703-706-0560 ext. 276.