Actor, author, parent and recovering alcoholic Melissa Gilbert is the group's new, first-ever celebrity spokesperson.
The Partnership has long been a resource for families facing substance abuse issues, but because of its former name, it was perceived as a part of the government or an organization focused on drug policy, rather than a source of support for parents.
A Resource for Parents
The organization hopes its new name and revamped website will be better recognized as "a reliable partner and online community" for parents and families seeking guidance and support on teen drug and alcohol use.
"When it comes to preventing or helping a child involved with drug use and drinking, already a stigmatized issue, parents are at a loss," said Steve Pasierb, president and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org in a news release. "Over the past six years, we have created programs and resources to fill that gap and be a trustworthy, non-judgmental place to get answers and support, whether that's online via drugfree.org or in their community through our grassroots education programs." Previously, the Partnership was also thought to be focused on prevention for kids who do not yet use drugs, rather than a resource to help parents intervene and find treatment for their children who are using drugs or have become addicted.
A Revamped Drugfree.org
A big part of the changes for the organization is a complete redesign of its website drugfree.org, which it hopes to be a user-friendly gateway for its programs and resources. Some of the new features of the website include:
- Interactive tools
- Videos and blogs
- Comprehensive e-books
- Online support communities
The launch of the organization's new name and website announced earlier this month coincides with the introduction of the group's first-ever celebrity spokesperson, Melissa Gilbert, probably best known for her role in the long-running television show "Little House on the Prairie."
But it is her own recovery from alcoholism - she is six years clean and sober - and the fact that she also is a mother, that brought her to join the Partnership.
"I come at the issue of addiction from so many angles," Gilbert told reporters. "As a young teen in the 1980s, I more than dabbled in drugs and alcohol."
"Both as a mother and as a person who is living a life in recovery, I know firsthand what a struggle it is for both a teen or young adult in trouble and their parent who feels helpless and utterly alone," Gilbert, 46, said. "The Partnership at Drugfree.org is here for all parents, myself included, at whatever their stage of need - from prevention to recovery - and most importantly reinforces that we are not alone."