began in 1979, when co-founders Dana Finnegan and Emily McNally
"came out" to faculty and fellow students at the Rutgers'
Summer School of Alcohol Studies and, along with 13 other gay men
and lesbians, began the first national organization to address LGBTQ
alcohol and addiction issues.
By 1980, through the
efforts of NALGAP Board Member George Marcelle,
The National Council on Alcoholism’s annual conference included
a day and one half track, with NALGAP as a co-sponsor.
This was the first major conference to address the chemical dependency
issues and recognition of specific treatment needs of gays and lesbians.
The leaders of NALGAP subsequently met with the
Director of the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
(NIAAA), who agreed to list gays and lesbians as an under-served
population, seek funding assistance for NALGAP,
and have a NALGAP liaison at quarterly NIAAA meetings.
However, the political climate within the federal bureaucracy changed
and became less welcoming to gay and lesbian efforts, and none of
those "agreements" came to pass.
persisted. In 1983, NALGAP received the Jane Adams-Howard
Brown Award in recognition of its advocacy of lesbians and gay men
affected by alcoholism and other drug addictions, from National
Lesbian and Gay Health Foundation conference.
continued to work hard to make LGBTQ needs addressed nationally.
In early 1994, then Board President, Sandi Armstrong, LCSW, was
invited to be part of the first National Lesbian Health Conference,
participating in meetings with top administrators of the Substance
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and a White House
Reception. Also in 1994, NALGAP produced a Prevention
Policy Statement, published nationally in the Center for Substance
Abuse Prevention (CSAP) "Pipeline". This was the first
widely disseminated publication by the federal government addressing
LGBTQ needs related to addiction prevention. NALGAP
also produced a Public Policy Statement on discrimination on the
basis of sexual orientation and the relationship to substance abuse
Over the years,
NALGAP has been the one constant, national and international voice
for LGBTQ needs in the areas of prevention, substance abuse, alcoholism
and other addictions. Through newsletters, conferences, training
and perseverance by volunteer Board members NALGAP
has kept alive the push to make this a safer, healthier world for
LGBTQ people. NALGAP has been a major referral source,
a disseminator of information, an educator. Most important of all,
NALGAP has been the national and international voice of conscience
that advocates for all those lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer
people who have been injured by substance abuse, addiction, and