Susan Blacksher

Susan B. Blacksher, M.S.W. has been honored for her extensive contributions over the last 52 years as a public servant, policy advisor and implementer, lecturer, and community activist in the field of substance abuse and addictions.  Her work over ten years in direct community services has included: recovery homes, a detoxification center and an outpatient center.  She also served as a Parole Officer for the State of California, carrying a caseload for one year while designing a detoxification center for parolees.  As a public servant for seventeen years Ms. Blacksher’s contributions advocating and establishing women’s services are extensive.  During her tenure with the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs she established the first Alcohol Related Birth Defects statewide committee, and was instrumental in establishing over twenty-three new programs for women (predominantly responding to the needs of ethnic minorities and underserved women).  She also worked closely with Betty Ford while writing the regulations for Chemical Dependency Recovery Hospitals.  She was one of the designers and served as one of the first public members of the Impaired Physicians Program.  Her public service includes: five years as Alcohol Program Administrator for Sacramento County, thirteen years as Deputy Director for the Alcohol Program of the State of California, and Executive Director of the California Association of Addiction Recovery Resources (CAARR) since her retirement from the State in 1991.  Her responsibilities included executive oversight of the agency, advocating for social model programs and liaison with government and related agencies.  She also had management responsibility for several community programs including Gateway Foundation, a residential program for Women and Sacramento Recovery House, a residential program for men.  During her tenure at CAARR she built a strong fiscal base including the award of multiple contracts and grants.  She designed and implemented the successful CAARR Institute which enables individuals from all over the state to achieve the necessary education for certification.    She served as Executive Director of CAARR for 23 years until 2014 when she became the first CEO of the newly formed Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP).  She retired from her position at CCAPP in 2015 and has continued her career as Executive Director of Sacramento Recovery House, Inc. which includes residential services for men and women in separate facilities in the Sacramento area.  She serves on numerous boards and commissions and has received a multitude of awards and citations over her long and distinguished career including being one of the first six Americans to receive the inaugural “America Honors Recovery Award” from the prestigious Johnson Institute. Susan is a Charter Board Member of the National Alliance for  Recovery Residences.