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J Psychoactive Drugs. 2000 Oct-Dec;32(4):363-70.

Drug abuse treatment on demand in San Francisco: preliminary findings.

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Institute for Health Policy Studies, University of California, San Francisco 94118, USA.


This article reports on a process and capacity evaluation of San Francisco's Treatment on Demand Initiative, which was launched in 1997 to increase availability of publicly-funded substance abuse treatment. For the process evaluation, data from public documents, interviews with community key informants, and newspaper articles were analyzed. For the capacity evaluation, budget documents and admissions data for publicly-funded substance abuse treatment in San Francisco for fiscal years 1995-1998 were analyzed. Results from the process evaluation document the development of the community-oriented Treatment on Demand Planning Council, and its efforts to not only expand treatment, but to create a continuum of services to address the needs of San Francisco's richly diverse communities, to provide service enhancements, and to prioritize service needs. Process evaluation results also highlight the complexities of implementing treatment on demand, including the difficulty of opening new programs. Results from the capacity evaluation indicate that the San Francisco budget supporting publicly-funded treatment increased from $32 million to $45.2 million over four years. During the same period, the number of persons entering the system in a single year increased by 18%, and the number of admissions in a single year increased by 15%. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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