David Powell – The Father of Alcohol and Drug Counseling Supervision

David Powell- Photo-  6-13David J. Powell, PhD, committed to elevating the quality of addiction treatment in the U.S. and to the far corners of the earth, passed away November 1st.

As he was preparing for a keynote speech that he was delivering at the Carolina Conference on Addictions, NCADD President and CEO Robert J. Lindsey  received an e-mail from Jim Van Hecke, Executive Director of NCADD Affiliate, the Burke County Council on Alcoholism and Chemical Dependency and Conference Coordinator.

Jim 's shocking e-mail informed Mr. Lindsey that their friend and colleague David Powell would not be joining them at the Conference as he had for many years due to his passing in a tragic fall at his home in East Granby, CT.  Jim's e-mail went on to say that "David's passing is a huge personal and professional loss for all of us." 

For Mr. Lindsey, one of the highlights of the Carolina Conference on Addictions has always been the opportunity he has had to reconnect with so many wonderful colleagues, including David.

"David was as an extraordinary human being with a heart and spirit that guided his every step, both personally and professionally."

Mr. Lindsey had enormous respect for David's extraordinary professional contributions.

As he noted to Jim, "David's work helped lay the Foundation on which so much has been built and has helped save so many lives trapped by addiction.

NCADD, its Board, staff and many Affiliates offer our collective condolences to Dr. Powell's family and friends."


Obituary: David Powell March 22, 1945 - November 1, 2013

David John Powell, 68, of East Granby, CT, died from a tragic fall at home on November 1, 2013. His wife was present, and he did not suffer.

David was born to Milton and Minnie Powell in Queens, NY, on March 22, 1945. The boy from New York married Kansas farm girl Barbara Ann Boss on August 19, 1972. They shared 42 years together working, traveling the world, laughing through hard times, and making the world a better place.

David graduated from Flushing (NY) High School and received degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary in counseling; The New School for Social Research in Psychology; Yale and Harvard University in Medical Ethics; and Hartford Seminary in Islamic Studies.

David's professional focus was the treatment of addictions. For 28 years he served as President/CEO of ETP, Inc., which provided employee assistance programs to 200 corporations and established the Clinical Preceptorship Program for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps worldwide. There he treated his many employees as a family, so that under his leadership ETP became a nourishing environment for all who worked there.

Upon retirement, he was the founding President of the International Center for Health Concerns, through which he trained on addiction, ethics, spirituality, and men's issues in 50 states and 87 countries. He was committed to elevating the quality of addiction treatment in the U.S. and to the far corners of the earth.

Among other contributions, he was pivotal in starting Alcoholics Anonymous in China, facilitated addiction counselor certification in Asia, established a treatment center for street children in Turkey, and trained hundreds of thousands of clinical supervisors around the world. As an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale University's School of Medicine, he had the long-term goal of establishing an endowed chair on Workforce Development in the Addiction Field.

The recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards, he is the author of 11 books, including Clinical Supervision in Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counseling, the standard textbook in the field.

David is known for the work he has done in addictions, yet those achievements are not what define him. His favorite job was playing the White Rabbit at the New York World's Fair, where he entertained thousands.

He lived by the motto 'nothing in moderation.' He built thousands of HO model railroad buildings, travelled to 92 countries, and lined the walls with CDs. He was an accomplished trumpeter and filled life with music. His penchant for fireworks, gooey treats, and playful games was legendary, as were his impish grin and loving and caring spirit that made friends, family, and strangers worldwide smile and feel an immediate kinship.

In his achievements, he never took credit for himself; he always shared, and the world was a better place for it.

He shared his light wherever he went and made people better after touching its glow. A deeply spiritual person, David wrote, "Becoming a wise man requires not only that you be a wise sage, but that you act on behalf of the well-being of others and the earth...You need to be clear what is in the best interest of others and the earth, to stand for justice and truth, to become a peacemaker on behalf of the world."

David has left those around him charged with that responsibility, to not seek glory but to share it, not to stand by passively but to stand up for justice, truth, and peace.

David lives on through his loving wife Barbara, daughters Heather and Kirstin, son-in-law Ryan, sister and brother-in-law Ruth and Bill, and family and friends around the world.

The Celebration of David's life will be November 23 at 1:00 p.m. at South Congregational Church, 242 Salmon Brook Street, Granby, CT.

For memorial donation information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Hayes-Huling & Carmon Funeral Home of Granby has care of arrangements.



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