Incorporated on July 12, 1974, the Council was the only non-profit agency in Cattaraugus County to provide prevention education and information referral services. The Council’s first Board of Directors was elected in 1978.
In 1984, with Board approval, the Council expanded its early intervention programs by adding a school-based substance abuse program. A few short years later, in 1986, the Council was able to promote itself as a full-service agency, as we assumed responsibility for the out-patient counseling clinic at the county-run Guidance Center to provide treatment to individuals recovering from alcohol and/or other drugs.
Through a generous donation, we acquired a landmark home in Westons Mills in 1988 and started Weston’s Manor: a 16-bed community residence for individuals in recovery from chemical dependency.
Prevention became a larger part of the Council’s services in 1992. Prevention provides opportunities for individuals, families, and the community to learn about themselves and to reduce and eliminate the risks presented by alcohol and other drug use. Our Prevention Specialists provide accurate, age appropriate information and services throughout school districts in the county and in the community about alcohol, substance abuse and related issues. The staff of Prevention encourages healthy alternatives and promotes no use as a viable choice for all individuals.
The Shelter Plus Care program, a federally subsidized housing program targeting homeless persons with alcohol, substance or mental health diagnosis, opened in 1995. While residing in the program, participants focus their efforts on their plans for recovery with additional emphasis placed on educational and vocational goals.
In 1997, the Council opened Wendy’s House. The residence, Wendy’s House, is designed to house local recovering women and their children. Wendy’s House is dedicated in memory of Wendy Sue Axelson, whose life reflected courage and hope in facing personal trauma.
Keeping with the Council’s record for meeting the changing needs of the community, an employee assistance program called Perspectives, signed its first contract in April of 1999. The program has proven to be successful and continues to serve businesses throughout Cattaraugus County.
To further meet the needs of our growing community, the Clinic further expanded its services by opening sites in Salamanca, Machias, and in the Cattaraugus NYS Office of Family and Children’s Services Residential Facilities at Great Valley and Limestone and at the Randolph Children’s Home.
After 35 years of serving our community, the Cattaraugus County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse changed its name in April of 2009 to the Council on Addiction Recovery Services, Incorporated.
So much changed in the field of recovery services such as the research linking addictions such as alcoholism and gambling. The name no longer reflected the scope of services provided by the Council. The new name Council on Addiction Recovery Services truly reflects more accurately on our mission and the services we are providing.