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A national program for the treatment of drug abuse in America evolved from sporadic attempts to deal with the drug culture of the 1960s. Synanon houses, residential halfway houses, and other drug abuse treatment centers started during the 1960s provided testing grounds for drug abuse treatment theories and served as models for future drug abuse treatment programs; however, treatment centers were few in number and seldom offered a full range of services. The role of State and local governments was not defined, and coordination with various separate Federal agencies did not exist.

The Drug Abuse Office and Treatment Act of 1972, P.L. 92-255, provided Federal funding support for treatment and rehabilitation services. A strategy of Federal/State/local partnerships to combat drug abuse was agreed upon. The Federal role was to be catalytic in nature, providing technical assistance, training, and limited seed money. A State was expected to have a coordinated plan for all drug abuse prevention activities in order to receive funding.

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This page was last updated on June 16, 2008