HHS Cannot Currently Measure States' Progress in Meeting the Prompt Treatment Goal for Intravenous Drug Users

T-HRD-90-25: Published: Apr 30, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 1990.

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GAO discussed three states' compliance with federal alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health services block grant provisions requiring them to: (1) ensure timely treatment of intravenous drug users; (2) develop a substance abuse treatment plan, if requested by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); (3) target funds to areas with the greatest need for services; (4) require local providers to notify the state when they exceeded 90-percent capacity; and (5) require local providers to conduct outreach activities. GAO noted that: (1) intravenous drug users were at high risk for contracting acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; (2) 5 of 15 clinics in the 3 states did not meet the 7-day treatment goal, with some clients waiting more than 3 months for treatment; (3) HHS did not collect sufficient data to measure states' progress in meeting the treatment goal; (4) HHS did not request the states to develop plans; (5) HHS was working with states to develop a survey instrument to obtain voluntary information on their planning and management of services; (6) all three states allocated funds to the neediest local providers; (7) all of the clinics reported their capacity levels to the states; and (8) although only California required local providers to conduct outreach, 12 of the 15 clinics conducted some type of outreach.

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