QAAD: Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs

Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs (QAAD)

Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs is Quaker Recognised Body and a registered charity (No 1059310), which became a company limited by guarantee (No 3265669) in 1996. It is managed by a Committee of Trustees, who are appointed and conduct their business in accordance with Quaker Practice as observed by the Religious Society of Friends – Quakers.

Trustees come from a wide variety of backgrounds that include education, medicine, criminal justice, counselling and dependency treatment; some have a general concern with the subject as Quakers, while others have personal experience of substance misuse themselves or in their close others.

The current trustees are: Ron Barden (Northamptonshire AM); Eva Deregowska (North Scotland AM); Vernon Frost (Westminster Meeting); Kim Goode (Luton and Leighton AM); Tim James (Hampshire and the Islands AM); Jon Lyon (Mid-Somerset AM); Christine Pryer (Kingston and Wandsworth AM); Anita Whitfield (Southwark, Lewisham and Bromley AM).

The current Director is Alison Mather (Bristol AM).

History & development

The Charity was formed in 1870 as the Friends Temperance Union and expressed the witness of many Quakers for total abstinence. Moral Welfare was added to the title in the 1960s and the name was changed again in the 1990s when the title Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs was adopted. QAAD also continues the long-standing Quaker concern with the problems and addictive behaviours that can arise from gambling.

QAAD no longer takes an abstinence-only approach to alcohol, but we work within the Quaker testimony of abstinence and moderation, endeavouring to include all the perspectives of contemporary Quakers.  We do not promote any particular treatment method for problem use, but take an inclusive approach to the various interventions that exist. We welcome the warm relationships we have with Quakers who are members of the Anonymous Fellowships, as well as those who have found other paths.

QAAD seeks to address gambling and the use and misuse of all substances, legal, illegal and prescribed, within a framework of Quaker values. In our work within the Religious Society of Friends, we explore the spiritual dimensions of substance use, misuse and dependency, with a view to strengthening resilience to potential or established problems.  Our approach can be summed up in the acronym AIR: Awareness, Information, Responsibility.