In 1966, a visionary group of thirty-two leaders from the Lancaster community identified a clear and common purpose:  To recognize, prevent, and alleviate the disease of addiction.  Together they formed the National Council on Alcoholism – Lancaster County, and built the foundation for the many programs and services offered by Compass Mark today.

At that time, the organization’s primary objectives were to educate the community about alcoholism as a public health problem, offer services and resources for those affected, and coordinate community-wide efforts to address the disease of alcoholism.  The name was later changed to The Council on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and in 2008 the organization officially adopted our current name of Compass Mark.

Throughout our history, Compass Mark has assumed a leadership role in all aspects of addiction education, prevention, intervention and treatment. Our accomplishments include the following “firsts” in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties:

  • Provided the first addiction counseling program in Lancaster County
  • Worked in cooperation with St. Joseph Hospital to open Lancaster’s first detoxification unit
  • Opened and operated Lancaster’s first inpatient treatment center (Manos House)
  • Opened and operated Lancaster’s first halfway house for people in early recovery (The Gate House)
  • Initiated and operated Lancaster’s first prevention program for adolescents cited for underage drinking
  • Developed and facilitated the first support group program for children with addicted parents in Lancaster County
  • In cooperation with other private and public organizations, helped to establish Lancaster’s county-wide Student Assistance Program
  • Developed and operated the first in-school early intervention program for children with addicted parents in Lancaster County
  • In cooperation with the Boys Club and Lancaster Sertoma Club, offered the first summer camp for children with addicted parents
  • In cooperation with Mental Health Association, developed Lancaster’s first monthly forum for professionals dealing with the needs of the dually diagnosed
  • Designated as the first provider of problem gambling prevention and education services in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties
  • Through funding from the Lancaster County Commissioners, established a first-of-its-kind Family Services Advocate program to serve children of the incarcerated

Last year, Compass Mark provided substance use and problem gambling education, youth skill building, and information and referral services to over 17,000 people in Lancaster and Lebanon Counties.

As recognition of Compass Mark’s leading role in developing and implementing high-quality addiction prevention programs, we have received an array of awards and recognitions. They include:

  • Center for Substance Abuse Prevention: Exemplary Program Award
  • The Insurance Partnership Gold Award
  • Governor’s Highway Safety Award: Alcohol Highway Safety
  • The National Commission Against Drunk Driving Award
  • Pennsylvania Certification Board: Program of the Year