Summary: S.284 — 93rd Congress (1973-1974)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (03/06/1973)

(LATEST SUMMARY)

Veterans Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Rehabilitation Act - Defines "disability" for purposes of hospital, domicilary and medical care for veterans under title 38 of the United States Code so as to include alcoholism and drug dependence.

Defines "veteran" for purposes of hospital care and medical services for a service-connected disability as a person with an other than dishonorable discharge.

Defines the term "rehabilitative services" so as to include such services as professional counseling, educational and vocational guidance, education, training and job referral and placement and such other intensive, skilled services applied on an in-patient or out-patient basis, over a protracted period as may be necessary to assist the individual disabled veteran to return, as soon and as completely rehabilitated as practicable, to his or her family and community as a productive, self-respecting, and self-sustaining member of society.

Extends the presumption of service-connected active psychoses to three years. Provides for readjustment medical counseling and approrpiate followup care to a veteran of the Vietnam era who requests such care.

Authorizes the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to carry out specified medical programs providing inpatient treatment, including treatment of the symptoms of detoxification, and outpatient treatment and rehabilitative services on a nationwide basis to the eligible veterans and persons suffering from the disability of alcoholism or alocholic abuse.

Authorizes the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs to furnish special medical treatment and rehabilitation services for drug dependence and drug abuse disabilities for any veteran. Describes such services to be provided.

Provides that, when Federal facilities are not available, the Administrator is required to contract with community facilities with special priority, wherever feasible, for community-based multiple modality treatment programs which employ peer group veterans and stress outreach efforts to identify and counsel veterans eligible for treatment and rehabilitation under the Act.

Provides that a veteran applying for treatment and rehabilitative services, with an other than honorable or general discharge, shall be advised of his right to a review of the nature of his discharge and informed of programs that he would be entitled to with a general or honorable discharge.

Provides for the payment for treatment and rehabilitative services for a Vietnam era veteran in a non-Veterans' Administration facility where V.A. facilities are not readily accessible.

Authorizes treatment and rehabilitative services for a veteran charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, and not confined. Authorizes the furnishing of drugs and medicines to any veteran incarcerated who had been in a program previously if the attendant physician orders them.

Directs the Administrator to utilize all V.A. resources including the use of peer group veterans, in seeking out and counseling veterans, especially Vietnam era veterans. Provides for the employment of former addict veterans to assist in the program wherever feasible.

Authorizes the Administrator to carry out an affirmative action program, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor and the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, to urge all Federal agencies, private and public firms, organizations, agencies, and persons to provide appropriate employment opportunities for veterans who have received treatment and who have been determined by competent medical authority to be sufficiently rehabilitated to be employable.

Provides for a special rehabilitation program of education and training for veterans with alcohol and drug dependence conditions acquired or aggravated while in the service.

Provides that the Comptroller General of the United States, or any of his duly authorized representatives, shall have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, accounts, records, reports, files, and all other things or property of non-Veterans' Administration facilities that are pertinent to payments received pursuant to contracts entered into under this Act.

Provides that an active serviceman determined to have drug dependence disability may upon written request be transferred to a V.A. facility within the last 90 days of his tour of duty and be provided services under this Act as if he were a veteran.

Requires all records and information divulged in connection with treatment and rehabilitative services under this Act to be kept confidential. Allows disclosure where there is a voluntary waiver, where the individual is a clear and present danger to himself or others, where the individual is deceased and information is necessary for benefits, and where a court order is obtained.

Provides for an annual report to the Congress by the Administrator on the implementation of the programs under this Act.