As specified by California law, the county alcohol and drug program administrators are required to attend quarterly meetings to consult with representatives of the State Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), on issues of statewide significance. To facilitate this process, the drug and alcohol administrators chose to organize through the formation of CADPAAC.
Alcohol and other drug abuse is an insidious problem in California; at least one-third of state and local prisoners are alcohol and other drug offenders, and a majority of highway fatalities are attributable to drinking drivers. Studies indicate that substance abuse treatment is effective and can reduce substantial costs ($17 billion); yet on any given day nearly 10,000 Californians can’t get the alcohol and/or other drug treatment services that they need. Some may have to wait three months to enter treatment programs and waiting lists will grow even longer due to the increase need caused by welfare reform and the criminal justice system.
Prevention services, both school based and community based, are woefully inadequate. The impact of alcohol and other drug use and abuse on students’ learning is the single most debilitating factor. Gangs, violence and many social problems are directly attributable to alcohol and other drug use and abuse. Experimentation often begins at the third grade level, with children eight years old. Community problems with violence and other criminal justice problems can be attributed to alcohol and other drug use and abuse.
Federal, state, and local government fund California’s alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention programs. In the treatment area, many programs are funded under Medi-Cal. The entitlement nature of Medi-Cal requires that a substantial amount of State General Funds must be diverted from non-Medi-Cal programs to fund these programs. The federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SAPT), provides the majority of funding for the alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention efforts. However, about one-third of the SAPT funds are categorically earmarked, which limits the flexibility for use of these funds.
- Develop Strong Collaboratives
There is a strong need to establish and develop integrated service approaches to public policy issues. CADPAAC feels strongly that participation with other organizations and agencies will allow effective communication on the impacts of alcohol and other drug problems, and will have a positive effect on the development of public policies, including welfare reform, job training, pregnant and parenting services and the criminal justice system.
- Restructure Alcohol and Drug Services
There exists a great need to continually evaluate and restructure treatment and prevention services in order to meet changing demands on the alcohol and other drug service delivery system. CADPAAC feels strongly that any restructuring should be done in a manner that maximizes local funding and flexibility. Any restructuring must also emphasize that the accountability, authority and responsibility of county government must be balanced with clear delineation between county and state jurisdictions.
- Outcome Evaluations.
CADPAAC supports the establishment of an “outcome” evaluation process to conduct research to determine the relative effectiveness of alcohol and other drug treatment and prevention programs. CADPAAC supports the development of a standardized data collection system to support performance outcomes and evaluation processes.
- Welfare Reform
CADPAAC is committed to working closely with the Legislature, state agencies and departments, and interest groups to insure that alcohol and other drug treatment is available to help accomplish welfare to work goals. This is to avoid a federal sanction against the state.
- Co-Occurring Disorders.
CADPAAC supports increased program resources for the treatment of dual-diagnosed clients. CADPAAC believes that clients with multiple problems will be better served by a holistic approach to treatment that includes both mental health and alcohol and other drug elements.
CADPAAC supports the development of statewide criteria for program and individual counselor certification processes. Certification criteria should be consistent with state/county authority and responsibility levels.
CADPAAC will support, oppose or seek amendments to legislation and Budget proposals to implement the positions on these key goals. CADPAAC is committed to working with the legislature at both the state and federal levels to carry out its mission.