Reauthorization of the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Block Grant

Gao ID: T-HRD-87-7 April 3, 1987

GAO discussed the 1984 amendments to the Alcohol, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Block Grant, specifically the: (1) implementation of the set-aside provisions for new services to women and children; (2) results of the requirement for increased data collection; and (3) equitable distribution of funds among the states. GAO found that: (1) although most of the states increased their commitment to women's substance abuse and mental health programs, they did not attribute these increased commitments to the federal set-aside requirements; (2) 50 percent of the interest groups felt that commitment to these services would not continue if the set-asides were eliminated; (3) there were variations among the states in the scope of the data they collected and in their verification procedures; (4) although the data seemed adequate for a national perspective of programmatic trends, it was inadequate for precise purposes such as funds allocation; and (5) federal funds distribution among the states was uneven because the block grant gave higher allocations to those states that had already spent above the national average for their substance abuse programs.

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