Saturday, May 4, 2013

California Department of Alcohol and Drug Program Ceases Operation July 1, 2013

As a part of the FY 2012-13 budget process, the Legislature authorized the transfer of the programs and functions of the Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP) to departments within the California State Department of Health Care Services, effective July 1, 2013. The transition plan can be found on the ADP website

The result of this reorganization will be a state administrative structure that will provide one state department for the substance use disorder system, align with federal and county partners, and promote opportunities for improving health care delivery to the benefit of consumers with substance use disorders. For those programs that are paid for by Medi-Cal, this allows DHCS to license those facilities to whom payments are made for services provided. It is also anticipated that the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will make more people eligible for insurance covered drug and alcohol treatment treatment. The Counties will also have increased responsibility for oversight. 

This will be a time for change for those facilities licensed by the ADP and we can certainly anticipate changes in licensing and regulation over time. For sober living facilities, non-medical detox facilities and related programs, it will be a time of adjustment. As prescription drug abuse becomes a greater issue nationwide, there will be more need for programs but also more scrutiny especially for the non-medical programs.

It will be important for all facilities to keep informed about program and licensing changes for those programs that are not receiving payment from Medi-Cal. For those who have a medical model where reimbursement is sought, DHCS may be more concerned with reimbursement issues than the public health issues of addiction. At one level, it is useful to have the entire program (reimbursement and licensing) under one agency. However, this will be a larger agency that has many other programs other than drug and alcohol abuse.

Posted by Tracy Green, Esq. Please email Ms. Green at or call her at 213-233-2260.

Any questions or comments should be directed to Tracy Green an experienced administrative law attorneyhealth care litigation attorney, and Drug Medi-Cal attorney. She is very familiar with the issues facing facilities licensed by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Program and has represented many facilities over the years in compliance and licensing issues.  The firm website is:


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