The government of Illinois is aware of the drug and alcohol addiction on its almost 2 million residents. Abuse of alcohol and drugs may lead to addiction which is hard to control. “The human suffering and social and economic loss caused by the illness of alcoholism, addiction to controlled substances, the use of cannabis, and the abuse and misuse of alcohol and other drugs are matters of grave concern to the people of the State of Illinois” (2003).
The government of Illinois invests on their person that is why they have the great effort to provide the best services as possible to its people. Alcohol and drug addiction if not prevented might cause your life in danger. Government efforts to support families in strengthening their relationship to each other would become a good avoidance. So as the Illinois government created one of its largest agencies such as the Department of Human Services (DHS). The DHS supports Illinoisans to become self-sufficient to live the life to the fullest.
Being self-sufficient means Under DHS there are several programs like Alcoholism and Addiction, cash services for the people who are financially in need, child care, customer services, disability and rehabilitation, health and medical, housing, assistance for the victims of violence and abuse, parenting and youth services. “The Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (DASA) under the Department of Human Services consist of operational Offices/Bureau’s designed to reflect their mission and planning goals and objectives.
Primary responsibilities are to develop, maintain, monitor and evaluate a statewide treatment delivery system designed to provide screening, assessment, customer-treatment matching, referral, intervention, treatment and continuing care services for indigents alcohol and drug abuse and dependency problems” (Illinois Department of Human Services, 1999). There are different services offered under DASA such as Case Management which is the provision, coordination, or arrangement of additional services. Another is the Community Intervention is provided within the community and focus on the community and its residents.
The HIV Testing and Counseling is to identify and provide early intervention for persons who are at risk of becoming infected or who have become infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Intensive Outpatient Services are clinical services that include individual, group and family counseling and patient education. The DASA Early Intervention is pre-treatment services for individuals whose problems appear to be related to substance abuse but do not meet any diagnostic criteria. Residential Rehabilitation provides clinical and treatment rehabilitation services 24 hours a day.
And Detoxification provides immediate and short-term clinical support for persons in the withdrawal process. The intention of toxicology services is to analysis urine, blood, or saliva to determine the presence of alcohol and / or other drugs in clients who receive treatment or intervention services. (Illinois Department of Human Services, 1997) According to the Illinois Substance Abuse Plan (2003) The functions of DASA is to design a comprehensive services to carry out in the whole state to prevent drug abuse and design an accessible treatment and rehabilitation needed by the individuals positive on its usage (p. ).
The strategy on all state agencies must be coordinated to make one strategy applicable to their residents as a response to their mutual goals as provider of prevention, treatment and support. DASA acts as the state’s premier provider of rehabilitation and treatment of drug dependents in order to monitor any institutions/establishments and to prevent unreliable providers. These providers are private individuals or institutions rendering alcohol and drug treatment and rehabilitation. They should be accredited by DASA and abide by the rules and regulations.
The organization of each institution (provider) must have a good management system that rewards their staffs or employees for rendering good service. DASA encourage, develop, and implement practices that help provider institutions to develop competencies within their workforce to collaborate with researchers, influence research designs, and support internal utilization of quality research within the organization. At this cause, each employee will encourage to do good outputs in their work. In the long run, provider institutions will become stable and efficient.
These policies on providers make them more standardize and reliable institution for treatment and rehabilitation. Providers also make the treatment and rehabilitation accessible in all area around the state of Illinois. Individual providers should undergo training in DASA to become competent in the workforce. DASA also have standard training program for providers to increase their knowledge and skills. The people addicted to drugs and alcohol may experience discrimination and isolation to the community. The state government encourages respect for their rights as a person who is just in need of understanding and support.
These government efforts reflected on their different services. The agency aims to treat the person addicted to alcohol or drugs not to separate or punish them from the deeds that they had. The program plan provided a system responsive to the needs of its recipients and prioritizes the elimination of the gaps between the needs and available resources. Resources must be well allocated to enhance services and secure its future use. The agency use 5 year program plan from 2003-2007 to comply with the National Treatment Plan of the U.
S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse Services Administration, Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). They developed the plan entitled the Bridging the Illinois Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment Gap for Alcoholism and Other Drug Addiction Services Plan. The department formed different work groups supported by different members of the Subcommittee such as the Reducing Stigma and Changing Attitudes, Reducing the Gap in Services, Workforce Development, Connecting Services and Research, Accountability.
Work groups are intended to evaluate and address issues in their particular area that will be used to improve objectives and goals for the program. Work groups are not just intended to evaluate the outcome of the existing plan but to develop the next implementation plan of the department. The state government wanted inform the people on the availability of different programs and seeks public understanding. Informing the people about their situation is the best preventive measure; the program used questionnaires and tools for evaluation and implementation of the plan.
There is an appendix attached contained questionnaires for identifying if one person is light, moderate or heavy drinkers. These tools help the people to assess themselves in terms of the usage of alcohol and realize how much money they wasted for alcohols. The plan also introduced “Spending Calculators” for the individual to realize how much money they spend for alcohol use. “Create active linkages with a variety of agencies, organizations, communities and consumers around Illinois to focus on relevant knowledge development” (Illinois Substance Abuse Plan, 2003, p. ). These evaluation tools are definitely used by the agency for research purposes. Research will tell the agency if the services are still effective and efficient. If not they take developmental plans to improve services. Research will tell the agency how many people affected or addicted with alcohol or any substance. Whatever causes of alcohol or substance addiction may lead to family problems, gangs, lack of education and many alarming issues concerning the development of one person.
It is a crucial situation to any parents if their child is positive to alcohol and drug addiction. If one of these appeared then the agency must strengthen their program on that particular aspect because all of these aspects influence the behaviour and character of the individual and it is interconnected to one another. It is also important for the agency to know what are the needs of the people addicted to alcohol and substance because the program for treatment and rehabilitation will depend on the needs of its recipients.
The present findings will determine if the program plan is effective or not. If it is not then the agency will use the research findings and outcomes to develop the next program plan not only for the alcohol and drug abuse program but as well as on the other programs. Outcome evaluations is very important because the agency wanted not only to produce program plan but this will guide them in providing good and appropriate services for the people. Technology nowadays is present in our society and it is rapidly advancing.
Technology became part of every person’s lives; it became our necessity and way of life. People become dependent on technology because this will not waste their time, effort and money. Almost all people have mobile phones, computers at home with internet access. This technological advantage will greatly help the agency in implementing their program. This is the easiest, fastest and non-expensive way to inform the people of the different services and most importantly to get evaluation outcomes needed for development.
I must say that the agency uses the easiest, fastest and less expensive means to get evaluation outcomes. This is more comfortable for the agency because they will no longer have to do the door to door method and also for the respondents not to become disturb and if necessary they will participate anytime they want to. But this would become useless if the agency will just post evaluation tools in their website. They must find other way where to post these tools.
Like for example posting it on different popular websites visited by a lot of people. Or they may even simultaneously require people to answer their evaluation tools right after they voted during state elections. The agency would enable many internet users to visit the website if it is accessible and user-friendly. Design or make the webpage more accessible to any kind of people whether adults, youth, children or even to those people that has physical disabilities.
Create a good navigation in designing websites because this will surely become more usable and accessible. Technologies are essential in today’s society but we must still monitor the accuracy and efficiency of it. Maintaining the website is not that expensive if the agency has an in-charge group in doing maintenance. Research would become accurate if the tools used are efficient so it doesn’t matter how advance it was the most important is that the evaluation tools will answer the program objectives.