Welcome to the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs

Strategic Plan


Department Profile

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) was created by the California Legislature in 1978.  ADP brought together the Governor’s Office of Alcoholism and the California Department of Health’s Division of Substance Abuse to form the single state authority for substance abuse prevention and treatment.  In this capacity, ADP provides leadership and policy coordination for the planning, development, implementation, and evaluation of a comprehensive statewide system of alcohol and other drug (AOD) prevention, treatment and recovery services. 

ADP has approximately 326 permanent staff and oversight responsibilities for an average annual budget of more than $600 million.  The Department manages and administers both state and federal monies, including the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant, a major source of funding.  ADP also manages the Drug Medi-Cal benefit program, which has expanded to more than $115 million yearly. 

In November 2000, passage of Proposition 36, the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA), placed increased responsibility on ADP by significantly changing the way the agency and the entire AOD field provide services for addicts. 

As a result of Proposition 36, which requires first- or second-time nonviolent adult drug offenders to receive treatment rather than incarceration, ADP established the Office of Criminal Justice Collaboration.  More than 150,000 individuals have been referred to treatment under SACPA, which was initially funded at an annual appropriation of $120 million, since the program’s inception.  SACPA has undergone four annual program evaluations and one cost-benefit analysis, conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).  This study, the largest and most compelling examination of addiction ever performed in California, tracked the progress of more than 60,000 addicts, using a 30-month period both before and after the implementation of Proposition 36. 

UCLA researchers found that participation in SACPA resulted in substantially reduced incarceration costs for many offenders, particularly those who completed treatment.  These individuals are less likely to re-offend and more likely to remain drug-free and employed.  Since treatment completion rates varied significantly from county to county, the report recommended that incentives be considered for counties that demonstrate success in treatment, retention and completion.  Performance-based funding will encourage counties to adopt best practices and program improvements.  Most importantly, the UCLA study revealed that while SACPA can be improved, the results justified continued funding for the program. 

In addition to the responsibilities outlined above, ADP administers statewide problem gambling prevention services and programs through its Office of Problem Gambling, which was established in 2003 as a result of Assembly Bill 673.  The agency has placed an emphasis on prevention while conducting baseline studies to further define the problem and improve services.  ADP also oversees the Driving Under-the-Influence Program (DUI), including licensing, regulatory and fee issues, and public information, for the nation’s most populous state.  
In its leadership role, the Department has been charged with the task of facilitating collaboration with California’s 58 counties, other state-level departments, local public and private agencies, providers, advocacy groups, and individuals to establish standards for a statewide AOD service delivery system that supports all Californians.

Core Programs

ADP supports four core program areas of major activities:  Prevention, Treatment, Quality Assurance, and Information/Education.  Critical Department functions for those core programs include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Directing statewide prevention and treatment programs to address AOD problems and problem gambling.
  • Developing and implementing AOD abuse prevention strategies.
  • Providing and administering funds to counties for cost-effective planning and implementation of local AOD prevention and treatment programs.
  • Reviewing and approving county AOD program contracts and granting applications submitted for state and federal funds allocated by ADP.
  • Certifying and licensing AOD programs and counselors.
  • Developing and enforcing standards to ensure levels of service quality for AOD programs statewide.
  • Providing public information on AOD programs and services.

2006-2008 Strategic Plan Update

At the end of 2005, the ADP Executive Team began work on a Strategic Plan Update that would guide the Department from 2006-2008.  The agency had been operating under the principles of the 2002-2005 Strategic Plan, developed in 2001, whose implementation had successfully supported ADP’s leadership position in working with other agencies and the field.

Conducting the Strategic Plan Update process for 2006-2008 allowed ADP to assess growth in the Department’s leadership capacity.  Notably, while the agency’s critical functions remain essentially the same, a significant change is reflected in ADP’s enhanced statewide leadership role in AOD prevention, treatment and recovery services, and outcomes.

In addition, the update process provided an opportunity to measure departmental progress on previous strategic objectives.  Many of the goals in the 2002-2005 Strategic Plan have been accomplished.  For example, using valuable input from the field, ADP implemented counselor certification regulations and developed the California Outcomes Measurement System (CalOMS), which changed department policy as to how counties receive funding and increased access to federal monies for Californians.  As part of the new Strategic Plan, the Department will continue to lead the transition to outcome-based planning and accountability, ensuring appropriate use of funds and continuous quality improvement (CQI) of both prevention and treatment programs.

The Department has also made major progress on a number of goals that will remain at the forefront of agency focus for the next several years. 

  • ADP successfully implemented the Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA) – Proposition 36 – in all 58 counties and provided oversight responsibility for the five-year UCLA cost-benefit analysis of the program, one of the most comprehensive evaluations of substance abuse ever conducted in the United States.
  • Components of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) rules and regulations are being implemented statewide. 
  • New regulations for counselor certification in alcohol and other drug programs, developed in collaboration with the counties and other stakeholders in the AOD field, have been established, and compliance continues to be monitored.
  • Activities are also underway to help counties and providers identify access gaps and barriers to services and to develop a comprehensive statewide prevention, treatment and recovery system.

As part of the Strategic Update Process, the Department conducted both an internal and external issues assessment with ADP stakeholders, counties and partners.  This assessment analyzed organizational strengths and weaknesses and was used to identify three key strategic areas for the 2006-2008 Strategic Plan:

  • Provide ongoing leadership in identifying and addressing emerging and priority issues.
  • Enhance prevention, treatment and recovery systems statewide.
  • Increase the knowledge, skills and abilities of the AOD prevention and treatment workforce.

While ADP works to accomplish the goals set forth in this new Strategic Plan, the Department will continue to provide leadership for and respond to other specific program initiatives, including: Homelessness; Chronicity of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism; Co-occurring Disorders; Methamphetamine Abuse, Prevention and Treatment; Prevention and Reduction of Opioid Overdose; Performance-Based Contracts; Continuum of Services; Cultural Competency; Networking for Greater Collaboration Among Diverse Groups; Underage Tobacco Sales; Driving-Under-the-Influence (DUI); Drug Courts; Dependency Drug Courts; Youth Services; and Underage Drinking and Binge Drinking.

ADP will also focus on providing high-quality, effective prevention and treatment services for special populations such as African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, Multicultural Americans, Native Americans, Men Having Sex With Men (MSM), HIV-positive, elderly, disabled, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, adolescents, and women.  These populations will benefit from the high-priority, strategic approach ADP uses to plan and implement services.

This document contains the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs 2006-2008 Strategic Plan, Mission and Vision Statements, and Core Programs and Outcomes.  As the agency prepares to implement the strategies outlined below, new issues will continue to emerge.  ADP will address these challenges proactively in collaboration with counties, stakeholders and partners, applying core departmental values and a strong leadership philosophy.