Federal legislation requires each state to have a single state authority (SSA) responsible for coordinating alcohol and drug prevention and treatment activities for the state. This entry describes the development of the SSA concept and outlines the relationships with the Hughes Act and the Uniform Act.


In the 1960s, community responses to chronic alcoholics relied on jails and imprisonment—detoxification in drunk tanks and sentences to county workhouses for drying out. Systems for rehabilitation and treatment developed only after laws that permitted incarceration of individuals for public drunkenness were challenged in court and found to be unconstitutional. Following U.S. circuit court (Easter v. District of Columbia; Driver v. Hinnant) and Supreme Court (Powell v. Texas) rulings that homeless individuals could not be convicted for public inebriation, ...

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