In recognition of the growing problem of drug abuse, Nassau County formed the Drug Abuse and Addiction Commission in 1967. This action made Nassau County the first county in the nation to form an independent drug agency. Five years later, the Commission was expanded to include alcoholics and their families. This provided the impetus to promulgate Local Law# 5-1972 that established the Nassau County Department of Drug and Alcohol Addiction.
The Department became the Local Government Unit designated to receive all Federal, State and County funds for substance abuse services. As funds became available, many community-based organizations and hospitals entered into contract with the Department to provide treatment and prevention services. Later, school districts were funded to provide prevention, intervention and education programs to students.
In 2005, the County relocated eight County departments including Drug and Alcohol Addiction to one site. This resulted in the creation of a single point of entry for Nassau County residents needing health and human services. The single point of entry makes implementation of the “No Wrong Door” initiative possible since it allows clients to access the services they need in one location. It also enables better planning and coordination of services for county residents because departments are working together to resolve common issues.
Presently, the Department continues to provide and oversee chemical dependency services to residents of Nassau County. The department programs include case management, prevention, court services, education, vocational services, methadone maintenance, employee assistance program, health, and HIV services. The contract agencies provide numerous outpatient treatment programs, as well as prevention and education services. These agencies are located throughout Nassau County, enabling residents to easily access services in their own or nearby communities.