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Declaration of policy
Mental Hygiene (MHY) CHAPTER 27, TITLE D, ARTICLE 19
§ 19.01 Declaration of policy.

The legislature declares the following:

Alcoholism, substance abuse and chemical dependence pose major health
and social problems for individuals and their families when left
untreated, including family devastation, homelessness, and unemployment.
It has been proven that successful prevention and treatment can
dramatically reduce costs to the health care, criminal justice and
social welfare systems.

The tragic, cumulative and often fatal consequences of alcoholism and
substance abuse are, however, preventable and treatable disabilities
that require a coordinated and multi-faceted network of services.

The legislature recognizes locally planned and implemented prevention
as a primary means to avert the onset of alcoholism and substance abuse.
It is the policy of the state to promote comprehensive, age appropriate
education for children and youth and stimulate public awareness of the
risks associated with alcoholism and substance abuse. Further, the
legislature acknowledges the need for a coordinated state policy for the
establishment of prevention and treatment programs designed to address
the problems of chemical dependency among youth, including prevention
and intervention efforts in school and community-based programs designed
to identify and refer high risk youth in need of chemical dependency

Substantial benefits can be gained through alcoholism and substance
abuse treatment for both addicted individuals and their families.
Positive treatment outcomes that may be generated through a complete
continuum of care offer a cost effective and comprehensive approach to
rehabilitating such individuals. The primary goals of the rehabilitation
and recovery process are to restore social, family, lifestyle,
vocational and economic supports by stabilizing an individual's physical
and psychological functioning. The legislature recognizes the
importance of varying treatment approaches and levels of care designed
to meet each client's needs. Relapse prevention and aftercare are two
primary components of treatment that serve to promote and maintain

The legislature recognizes that the distinct treatment needs of
special populations, including women and women with children, persons
with HIV infection, persons diagnosed with mental illness, persons who
abuse chemicals, the homeless and veterans with posttraumatic stress
disorder, merit particular attention. It is the intent of the
legislature to promote effective interventions for such populations in
need of particular attention. The legislature also recognizes the
importance of family support for individuals in alcohol or substance
abuse treatment and recovery. Such family participation can provide
lasting support to the recovering individual to prevent relapse and
maintain recovery. The intergenerational cycle of chemical dependency
within families can be intercepted through appropriate interventions.

The state of New York and its local governments have a responsibility
in coordinating the delivery of alcoholism and substance abuse services,
through the entire network of service providers. To accomplish these
objectives, the legislature declares that the establishment of a single,
unified office of alcoholism and substance abuse services will provide
an integrated framework to plan, oversee and regulate the state's
prevention and treatment network. In recognition of the growing trends
and incidence of chemical dependency, this consolidation allows the
state to respond to the changing profile of chemical dependency. The
legislature recognizes that some distinctions exist between the
alcoholism and substance abuse field and where appropriate, those
distinctions may be preserved. Accordingly, it is the intent of the
state to establish one office of alcoholism and substance abuse services
in furtherance of a comprehensive service delivery system.