Identifying Substance Abuse Needs in Sussex County
The authority for New Jersey counties to operate programs and to plan for the care and rehabilitation of alcoholics and drug abusers is state law, P.L. 1989, Chapter 51 (NJ S26:2BB-1 et. seq.). One requirement of this law is for every county to establish a Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) to assist the Board of County Commissioners in the development of an annual comprehensive plan for alcoholism and drug abuse services. The Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) consists of 10 to 16 local community members with at least 4 members from the recovery community. This comprehensive plan is mandated to pay "special attention" to youth, drivers-under-the-influence, women, persons with disability, workers, "crime" related to substance abuse, and the provision of public information and educational programs.
P.L. 1989, Chapter 51 also requires a Providers Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (PACADA) which is a subcommittee of the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA). The purpose of the PACADA is to provide professional guidance to the LACADA on the development of the annual county comprehensive plan and other alcohol and drug abuse related concerns and issues.
The Division of Addiction Services (DAS) under the Department of Human Services is the state agency responsible for the licensing of treatment agencies and contracting with counties and treatment agencies for the provision of substance abuse services. The Division of Addiction Services requires a county wide planning process to determine if the needs of the county have changed in the last 3 years. This process began in 2008 with Sussex County conducting four meetings in March with local treatment providers and other human service agencies to get a broad view of the needs of the county in regards to substance abuse. One goal of this planning process is to determining the treatment priorities for the county and the barriers clients face trying to access services on a local level. The plan is submitted to the Board of County Commissioners and to the Division of Addiction Services for final approval and will become the guidelines for planning for the next 3 years. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Local Advisory Committee on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (LACADA) or would like more information about substance abuse services in Sussex County, contact Cindy Armstrong at 973-940-5200, ext 1371.