As the current incarnation of South Carolina’s state alcohol and drug abuse authority, the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) is honored to celebrate the agency’s 50th year of service to the state, with roots that date back to the creation of the South Carolina Alcoholic Center in 1957.
This earliest program was charged with implementing a statewide alcohol education program and developing the state’s first inpatient treatment facility. While these early efforts were concerned primarily with the alcoholic as an individual sufferer rather than with the broader implications of alcohol abuse on the individual, the family or the community, this philosophy has changed drastically through the years, as have the organizational structures through which services are provided.
In 1966, the South Carolina Alcoholic Center was redesignated as the South Carolina Commission on Alcoholism, an independent governmental agency responsible for the prevention and control of alcohol-related problems. In 1969, the General Assembly initiated extensive legislative committee hearings to examine the extent of the state’s problems related to the use of other drugs. These hearings led to the creation in 1971 of the Office of the Commissioner of Narcotics and Controlled Substances, housed within the Governor’s Office.
In 1974, recognizing the interrelationship of the two then-separate state authorities, the General Assembly authorized the merger of the two to create the South Carolina Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SCCADA), which continued to provide services for almost two decades. During this period in history, the state’s programming efforts were enhanced significantly by the creation of the statewide system of county alcohol and drug abuse authorities that continues today to provide a variety of prevention, intervention and treatment services at the local level.
As part of government restructuring in 1993, SCCADA was redesignated as DAODAS, a cabinet-level department housed within the executive branch of state government. This current organizational structure has allowed the department to remain in the forefront of the state’s battle against substance abuse and ensured the continued availability of state and local services to address this critical problem.