- Report Published -
|Annual Report on Current Trends and Services in Virginia's Substance Abuse Treatment System|
|Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services|
|The Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services (DMHMRSAS) is responsible, pursuant to 37.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, for the administration, planning and regulation of substance abuse services in the Commonwealth. The problematic use of alcohol, illicit drugs and tobacco remains the leading preventable cause of death and illness in the Commonwealth.|
Several factors make it difficult to assess the extent of substance abuse. The illicit nature of many abused drugs and the social stigma attached to alcohol and other drug abuse lead to patterns of covert use and inhibit many individuals in need of treatment form seeking help. Data collected from varied perspectives indicate that, while progress has been made in reducing these problems, the use of certain drugs may be increasing. Particularly disturbing are data from national surveys and Virginia arrest statistics that indicate that the use of hallucinogens and marijuana are rising.
DMHMRSAS supports services in state facilities and those provided in Community settings through the state's 40 community services boards (CSBs). DMHMRSAS allocates state general funds and federal funds to the CSBs. These monies are major sources of support for community services.
In FY 1996, DMHMRSAS distributed $28,380,034 in state general funds and $27,249,380 in federal funds from the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant to CSBs. Also, in FY 1996, through the CSB substance abuse services delivery system, approximately 10,478 clients required stabilization through emergency services, with 67 receiving hospital-based inpatient services. Over 41,767 individuals received outpatient substance abuse services, the most frequently delivered type of treatment. Clients in need of more intensive services received day support services (2,449) and residential treatment (15,695). Because clients may receive multiple services, the above mentioned numbers of individuals may not be added together to obtain the total number of individuals served. An unduplicated count of clients indicates that 64,310 individuals were served during FY 1996.
A survey of services to offenders conducted for the Virginia State Crime Commission indicates that the CSBs have developed relationships with most criminal justice agencies serving adults and have developed specific protocols for serving these cases. Most CSBs also receive referrals from Juvenile Court Service Units, but many have not developed the service protocols for this population. The survey indicates that outpatient treatment was the most common service provided to offenders. The average wait period for services is one to two weeks; however, waiting periods increase substantially in the larger metropolitan areas. Further, the survey indicated that on average, 46.24% (33,074) of the 64,310 individuals with substance abuse problems served by the CSBs are referred from various elements of the criminal justice system. The CSBs receive approximately $1,299,278 in reimbursements from the various criminal justice agencies, but the actual cost of serving these referrals is $27,366,318. General funds, federal block grant dollars, local matching funds, fees and other payments make up the difference.