Maintains a strong, visible presence in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, in Washington D.C., with other state associations, with governmental agencies and with the media.
Initiates, researches, develops and implements legislative and public policy strategy.
Combines an aggressive public policy and legislative agenda with door-to-door campaigning in the state Capitol and the nation's Capitol.
Meets with groups supportive of and opposed to the drug and alcohol abuse prevention, education and intervention and addiction treatment agenda.
Plans legislative strategy, researches drug and alcohol issues, conducts seminars on legislative advocacy and provides updates on trends and legislative activity.
Maintains and updates local and statewide networks - informs and is informed by the drug and alcohol constituency through seminars, phone trees and individual contacts.
Prepares newsletters, materials and alerts to provide information on relevant issues.
Works annually to maintain and expand federal and state funding for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, education and addiction treatment.
DASPOP was incorporated in 1986 by members of the addiction treatment program community. In fact, the organization was born out of the statewide battle to secure coverage for addiction treatment in insurance policies for citizens of Pennsylvania in need of help for themselves or loved ones.
DASPOP was founded to educate the public on alcohol and drug abuse prevention and addiction treatment and to advocate for an effective drug and alcohol prevention, education and treatment health system in Pennsylvania. Since its founding in 1986, DASPOP members and supporters have had a significant impact on the provision of addiction treatment in both the private and public sectors and have worked to establish school-based and other prevention and intervention programs for the young people of our state.
Today, DASPOP is a statewide coalition of drug and alcohol abuse prevention, education and addiction treatment programs, practitioners, student assistance professionals, employee assistance professionals, other allied professionals, county and statewide drug and alcohol associations, as well as individuals, families, and concerned citizens.
Deb Beck joined the addiction treatment and prevention field in 1971. Employed by a residential addiction treatment program for severely deteriorated people with addictions – many living on the street – she became frustrated with the lack of resources available for people seeking help.
In 1980, she took her concerns to a local state representative. These early discussions led to an ongoing partnership and to the development of a strong, bi-partisan coalition of House and Senate members working together on drug and alcohol issues. This coalition has had many successes including major nationally acclaimed legislation requiring coverage of the treatment of addiction by insurance plans and Medicaid.
On the national level, Deb helped found and now works with two national organizations that focus on alcohol and drug abuse prevention, addiction treatment and other related drug and alcohol policy issues. (National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws and State Associations of Addiction Services.)
The following is a brief review of just some of the important actions DASPOP has taken to improve the ability of Pennsylvanians to obtain addiction treatment and to ensure the provision of alcohol and drug abuse prevention services to the citizenry of Pennsylvania.
SECURED introduction and passage of a law requiring all group health insurance plans to provide treatment for alcoholism including: detoxification, rehabilitation, outpatient/partial hospitalization and setting certain minimum levels of coverage (Act 64 of 1986). In 1989, the law was re-authorized and treatment for drug addiction was added (Act 106 of 1989).
SECURED introduction and passage of a law requiring state Medicaid to provide coverage for non-hospital detoxification, rehabilitation and halfway houses in the continuum of covered addiction treatment services (Act 152 of 1988 through SCAs and HealthChoices).
ADVOCATED for funding for addiction treatment for those losing Medicaid eligibility under the Welfare Reform Law of 1996. The Behavioral Health Services Initiative was established in 1996 in the Department of Public Welfare.
DEVELOPED and implemented a continuing, multi-faceted approach to ensure enforcement of Act 106 of 1989 including: establishment of a Consumer Advocacy Project (1997) to assist families in accessing addiction treatment through the law, advocating to the Office of the Attorney General for the establishment of a toll free hotline to handle complaints (2000), and working with the Pennsylvania legislature and governmental agencies to maintain focus on enforcement of the law. After the Insurance Federation filed a complaint challenging enforcement actions by the Insurance Department, DASPOP coordinated Amicus briefs in support of the Department as the case moved through the PA Courts (2004-2009). In 2009, the PA Supreme Court upheld the enforcement actions of the Insurance Department.
DEVELOPED and implemented a statewide and national strategy to safeguard key provisions of Act 106 of 1989 and Act 152 of 1988 during the debates in Washington over the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act and the Affordable Care Act. (This is an ongoing focus.)
SECURED amendments to assorted DUI laws to ensure assessment and referral to addiction treatment as part of sentencing (Act 122 of 1990, Act 24 of 2003) and to include fines sharing with the Single County Authorities on Drugs and Alcohol (Act 289 of 1982, Act 24 of 2003).
SECURED proposals and amendments to assorted criminal justice laws to require assessment and referral to addiction treatment as part of sentencing (1996), to provide funding for residential addiction treatment for certain non-violent offenders, to require addiction treatment for a select group of inmates in state prison (Act 112 of 2004), and to allocate 50% of drug offense fines to counties for prevention and treatment (Act 198 of 2002).
WORKED to secure state funding for treatment of pregnant women, addicted women, addicted women with dependent children, the homeless, and certain non-violent offenders.
WORKED to secure 2% of LCB profits for the Bureau of Drug & Alcohol Programs (Act 14 of 1987) and to require that $3 million of Gaming Fund revenue be spent annually on assessments and residential addiction treatment (Act 1 of 2010). Works annually to maintain and expand federal and state funding for drug and alcohol abuse prevention, education and addiction treatment through the state budget, the Federal Drug and Alcohol Block Grant and other line items.
SECURED introduction and passage of laws, amendments or resolutions to require all schools in Pennsylvania to provide K-12th grade prevention/education programs, including intervention and referral (Act 211 of 1990); to require minors picked up for underage drinking to be evaluated and referred to a program of education and counseling (Act 31 of 1988); and worked to establish and support a resolution establishing Parent Panels to study problems families have in accessing addiction treatment (House Resolution 585 of 2006).
WORKED to secure introduction of bills through multiple legislative sessions calling for the establishment of a Cabinet level agency for drug and alcohol abuse prevention and addiction treatment services. In 2010, the proposed legislation was enacted into law (Act 50 of 2010). Effective July 1, 2011, this law converts the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs and all of its functions to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
While most of DASPOP's budget is supported by the provider members, you can help too by becoming a DASPOP supporter. Your $35 contribution helps to support DASPOP’s critical educational, legislative, regulatory, and policy work that has been so helpful to so many when they sought treatment. Addiction services are the best bargain in healthcare, and because of DASPOP, an increasing number of policy makers and others understand this. Your personal contribution as a DASPOP supporter will help us to carry this message to an even larger audience.