DAODAS and the County Authorities: Serving Communities Throughout South Carolina
The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs affects South Carolinians of all ages and from all walks of life. Problems surface in our schools, in our workplaces, on our highways, in our healthcare system and in our criminal justice system. Virtually no segment of society is immune to the many types of problems caused by the use of these substances, not the least of which is the disease of addiction.
But the good news is that these problems--as well as the disease of addiction--are both preventable and treatable. In fact, the cost of providing effective prevention and treatment services is far less than the health and social costs incurred by society when these problems are ignored. Effective prevention and treatment programs save both lives and money.
Recognizing the need for direct services for the general public as well as for specific high-risk groups, South Carolina offers a wide array of prevention, intervention and treatment services through a community-based system of care that is truly unique in the nation. In fact, South Carolina is extremely fortunate to have developed and maintained a system that is dedicated exclusively to addressing the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
Specifically, services are coordinated at the state level through the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS), one of the state's cabinet-level agencies. DAODAS in turn subcontracts with 34 county-level alcohol and drug abuse authorities to provide direct services to citizens in all 46 counties of the state. Each of the state's county authorities is licensed by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and nationally accredited by CARF: The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission, a recognized authority on and promoter of quality services for people with disabilities.
Each year, more than 50,000 South Carolinians receive direct intervention and/or treatment services through the county authorities. In addition, these local agencies coordinate thousands of prevention activities that reach South Carolinians of all ages. Since their creation in 1973, it is estimated that the county authorities have provided intervention and treatment services to approximately 1 million South Carolinians. And these numbers don't even begin to reflect the millions of other citizens whose lives have been touched by the many prevention activities coordinated by this community-based system of care.
A Continuum of Care
The statewide system provides a range of services to meet a variety of needs. In addition, DAODAS places major emphasis on disseminating information about the problem of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse, as well as on promoting the availability of the many resources that are available throughout the state. Informational resources available through DAODAS include a variety of printed materials; numerous media campaigns; a statewide toll-free telephone number (1-888-SC PREVENTS) that allows callers to order materials and obtain information about local prevention and treatment resources; and a Web site that provides a wealth of information about the department and the state-wide service-delivery system and includes an online clearinghouse section where visitors can order copies of the department's printed materials.
Following are brief descriptions of the three basic types of services that are available through the statewide service-delivery system.
Prevention services are designed to help South Carolinians of all ages avoid the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Services strive to prevent young people from experimenting with these substances, as well as to prevent the development of problems among specific high-risk groups and the public at large. Available in communities throughout South Carolina, prevention services are based upon principles of sound research. Services are designed to identify and reduce factors that place an individual or a community at risk of experiencing problems, while at the same time strengthening other identifiable factors that can help protect individuals and communities from developing such problems.
Intervention services work to identify at an early stage those individuals who are at risk of experiencing problems caused by their use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Following their identification through the school system, the criminal justice system, the workplace or other social systems, individuals are referred to specific intervention programs for educational and treatment services as appropriate. One of the state's major intervention efforts is the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program (ADSAP) that provides state-mandated services for individuals who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in an attempt to reduce their risk of committing another DUI offense in the future.
Treatment services provided by DAODAS and the county authorities are tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual in an attempt to stop the disabling effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse or dependence, and to prevent their recurrence and further disability. Specific services, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, include a range of outpatient treatment services, intensive outpatient treatment, halfway houses, social model detoxification, freestanding medical detoxification, residential treatment and inpatient treatment.
For more information about specific services available in your area, visit our Local Resources page.