State of Connecticut Embrace Hope Expect Change


Regional Action Councils

A Regional Substance Abuse Action Council is a legislatively created public-private partnership comprised of community leaders. Its purpose is to establish and implement a strategic plan to develop and coordinate needed substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion services in the subregion. The members of the Regional Action Council serve as volunteers assisted by professional staff. Members include representatives of major community leadership constituencies: chief elected officials, chiefs of police, superintendents of schools, major business and professional persons, legislators, major substance abuse service providers, funders, minority communities, religious organizations and the media.

Regional Action Councils do not provide direct prevention or treatment services to clients. Thus, they will not dilute or compromise their service development and coordinating role nor become competitive with existing service providers for scarce service-related dollars. The services they include provide:

  • Community mobilization
  • Grant collaboration
  • Substance abuse awareness, education and prevention initiatives
  • Media advocacy
  • Program development
  • Legislative advocacy
  • Leverage funds for local initiatives
  • Community needs assessment through surveys, data collection and trainings


Department of Mental Health & Addiction Services (DMHAS)

DMHAS is the state’s lead agency for the prevention and treatment of alcohol and other substance abuse. As such, it provides a variety of treatment services on a regional basis to persons with substance use disorders, including ambulatory care, residential detoxification, long-term care, long-term rehabilitation, intensive and intermediate residential services, methadone or chemical maintenance, outpatient, partial hospitalization, and aftercare. Services for HIV-infected clients include counseling, testing, support and coping therapies, alternative therapies and case management. The department also provides prevention services, designed to promote the overall health and wellness of individuals and communities by delaying or preventing substance use; these include information dissemination, education, alternative activities, strengthening communities, promoting positive values, problem identification, and referral to services. Through this model, attitudes and behaviors that contribute to alcohol and other drug abuse are changed, leading to healthier communities.