Agency Goals Align with Priorities of Office of National Drug Control Policy

With the philosophical-political shift away from the War on Drugs to frontline prevention and treatment of addictions, Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission is on the leading edge. Best practice treatment and prevention services, a strong continuum of care, cutting edge research, and education opportunities provided by the country’s leading authorities are all reasons why Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission is the provider of choice for chemical dependency and substance abuse.

Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission works with community partners in ensuring that clients access proper treatment and benefit from a strong continuum of care. A primary aim of Behavioral Health Services Association (BHSA), an association of community-based organizations of South Carolina, is access to best practices at all levels of care and maintaining a client along a continuum of services needed for long-term success and self-management. BHSA advocates for public policy in support of this aim and informs key decision makers on alcohol and other drug issues.

President Obama’s new Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) Tom McLellan, PhD, (former Director of the Treatment Research Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, leading addiction researcher , and developer of the Addiction Severity Index) has established priorities to create partnerships between the addictions system and the criminal justice system and to manage chemical dependency treatment as part of the health care system.

Dr. McLellan shared his goals and vision with Sammy Miller, Executive Director of Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission and Secretary and former President of BHSA, during his November 2, 2009 visit with South Carolina Alcohol and Drug Commission Directors and BHSA Board members. Dr. McLellan stressed his support of best practices in prevention and treatment, areas in which Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission already excels and continues to improve. He further spoke of payment for a continuum of treatment from inpatient to outpatient and community services and performance indicators to support successful outcomes, and hence funding for such services.

Indeed it is the purpose of the Agency Directors Forum, a partnership among community leaders representing schools, law enforcement, county government and social service agencies, hosted by Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission each month, to ensure such coordination of care and successful treatment outcomes. Further, Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission engages in change projects toward improving client’s access of our services along with their ability to remain in treatment and continually seeks and utilizes client feedback toward continual quality improvement.

Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission’s strong partnership with the South Carolina Department of Probation Parole and Pardon will continue to sustain proper identification of persons in need of treatment, provide outreach services and treatment planning which is consistent with Dr. McLellan’s propositions.

Support of and alignment with the goals of the new Deputy Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy energizes Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission during a time of socio-economic change. Dr. McLellan’s focus on demand reduction in lieu of supply reduction represents a major ideological shift away from interdiction. Dorchester Alcohol and Drug Commission is proud to be a part of this historical revolution in the field of alcohol and drug addiction services.


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