Supporting the Department of Public Health's Substance Abuse Treatment On Demand: First Steps Plan To Guide the Augmentation of Alcohol and Drug Services In Fiscal Year 1997-98, May 20, 1997

WHEREAS, alcohol and other drug related problems have reached epidemic proportions in San Francisco with emergency room rates for heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine indicators leading all other U. S. metropolitan areas; and,

WHEREAS, substance abuse causes individuals, families and neighborhoods untold anguish, social disruption, economic losses and a diminished quality of life; and,

WHEREAS, alcohol and other drug abuse is closely associated with serious physical and mental health problems, arrests and incarceration, domestic and other forms of violence, homelessness, elevated foster care placements, family disintegration and a host of other conditions leading to increased rates of injury and illness; and,

WHEREAS, many City departments and agencies must address a broad array of substance abuse problems in the course of their daily activities with annual costs estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars accruing to the City; and,

WHEREAS, on any day there are over a thousand individuals ready, willing and able to enter treatment services for their substance abuse problems but who are denied services due to the inadequate number of treatment slots available; and,

WHEREAS, recent research has convincingly demonstrated that substance abuse treatment works and that it effectively reduces costs: for every dollar ($ 1) invested in treatment the community saves over seven ($ 7) dollars; and,

WHEREAS, the Board of Supervisors has approved a resolution endorsing the goal of substance abuse treatment on demand urging full funding; and,

WHEREAS, the Health Commission has approved a resolution supporting the department of Public Health's request for increased funding to maintain existing services and to augment drug treatment and prevention services for residents of San Francisco; and,

WHEREAS, the Department of Public Health, Community Substance Abuse Services, has appointed a 37 member Treatment on Demand Planning Council reflecting the diversity of San Francisco consumers, providers, community leaders and Departmental representatives, to assess needs, determine priorities and develop recommendations to the Department that will guide the implementation of expanded, relevant and prompt treatment for substance abusers in San Francisco; and,

WHEREAS, the Planning Council has reviewed epidemiological and other research findings, conducted community meetings in the Tenderloin, Mission and Bayview Hunters Point neighborhoods to receive consumer, resident and agency testimony, reviewed numerous reports, presentations and letters, and deliberated over a 13 week period to prepare Substance Abuse Treatment On Demand: First Steps Plan; and,

WHEREAS, this First Steps Plan has been reviewed and approved by the Citywide Alcoholism Advisory Board and the Drug Abuse Advisory Board; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Health Commission commends the Treatment on Demand Planning Council for its hard work under severe time pressures, thoughtfulness and commitment to improving substance abuse treatment in San Francisco; and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission approves the Substance Abuse Treatment on Demand: First Steps Plan to guide the Department for its 1997-98 implementation of expanding and enhancing substance abuse services so as to achieve prompt alcohol and drug treatment for all who seek such services, and, be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Health Commission urges the Mayor and Board of Supervisors to endorse the First Steps Plan and allocate funding to implement the Plan.

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the Health Commission at its meeting of Tuesday, May 20, 1997.

Sandy Ouye Mori Executive Secretary to the Health Commission