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Block Grants Laws and Regulations

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Laws and regulations that impact block grants.


The Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (ADAMHA) Reorganization Act of 1992 (PL 102-321) was enacted on July 10, 1992. The authorizing legislation Part B, Subparts I, II, and III of Title XIX of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act (PDF | 254 KB) was amended to reflect the establishment of the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant (MHBG) and the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG).

The authorizing legislation was amended by the Children’s Health Act of 2000 (PL 106-310) (PDF |545 KB), Division B, Youth Drug and Mental Health Services, Provisions Relating to Mental Health and Provisions Relating to Substance Abuse. The MHBG funding must be used to serve Children with a Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED) and Adults with a Serious Mental Illness (SMI).  SAMHSA is currently developing an updated definition to SMI and SED, which was originally defined in Federal Register Notice 58:96, May 1993 (PDF | 474 KB).

The PHS Act required the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create regulations for the SABG as a precondition to making SABG funds available to the states and other grantees under The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant. Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 96 was published on March 31, 1993, and The Tobacco Regulations for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant; Final Rule, 61 Federal Register 1492 (PDF |259 KB) was published on January 19, 1996.

Charitable Choice Provisions

The SABG is governed by the Charitable Choice Provisions; Final Rule, Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 54 and the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Patient Records; Final Rule, Title 42 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2.


Block grant sub-recipients (community- and faith-based organizations) are also impacted by:

Last Updated

Last Updated: 11/17/2022