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About Us

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CADFY is a 501(c)3, nonprofit substance abuse prevention organization working in collaboration with individuals, agencies and organizations to bring parents, youth, schools and communities together to build and promote safe and healthy communities.

CADFY works at the state, national and international levels to encourage policies that target illicit drug use and related problems, promote research-based prevention strategies and programs and create initiatives that support drug awareness and education.


Creating a multi-state, national and international networks of resources that support collaboration in building safe and healthy communities.


CADFY’s mission is to work in collaboration with individuals, agencies and organizations to bring all sectors of communities together to encourage safe and healthy environments.

CADFY strives to:

  • Work within the culture of a community.

  • Support existing communities and/or coalitions.

  • Recognize and empower other organizations’ strengths and qualities while recognizing that each community is unique.

  • Seek to understand a community’s readiness for change.

  • Encourage collaboration of efforts and resources in the communities we serve.


  • Goal 1 - Develop and strengthen collaboration among communities, agencies and federal, state, local and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth.

  • Goal 2 - Reduce substance abuse among youth and, over time, among adults by addressing the factors that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the protective factors in a community.

  • Goal 3 - To be a sustainable and impactful statewide substance abuse prevention organization with national influence.


CADFY began as a grassroots parent anti-drug movement in the late ‘70’s. In 1980, four of these parents, Carla Lowe and Sharon Rose, from Northern California, and Carol Stein and Judi Ahrensee, from Southern California, began to unify and formalize their efforts. By 1983, CADFY hosted its first state prevention conference, which included the youth “Kiki Clubs,” initiated in El Centro by Henry Lozano after the death of DEA agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena, to promote drug-free lifestyles with youth. Parents and youth were mobilized around the prevention of drug use and violence. This parent movement has broadened into a collaborative effort across sectors of the community in the succeeding years. Since 1987, CADFY has sponsored over 300 Youth 2 Youth conferences in 35 different communities throughout California. Many of these have solidified their collaborative efforts as drug-free coalitions and have been funded by the Federal Drug-Free Communities act passed by Congress.

In 1986, CADFY initiated the first statewide Red Ribbon Week Campaign held during the last week of October. By 1988, Red Ribbon Week was embraced nationally as a time when schools and communities raise awareness about the prevention of substance abuse. Today, schools and communities throughout the nation create activities and sponsor media campaigns during Red Ribbon Week to increase the public’s awareness about the problems caused by substance abuse and promote research based prevention strategies and programs throughout the year.



Turkish Green Crescent Society

Foundation for Drug Policy Solutions

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

John Redman, Executive Director
Smiling Student

“We have a profound responsibility to support sound drug policy that will explicitly protect our youth.”

Kids Running
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