Document Type



Final Published Version

Publication Title

Contemporary Drug Problems



Publication Date



As part of the larger SSI Study, we conducted detailed semistructured interviews with 156 respondents in four sites. They spoke at length about matters of legislative concern during the reform and subsequent abolition of the drug addiction and alcoholism (DA&A) program. Respondents were quite aware of the problems considered by Congress. Some acknowledged using SSI payments to buy alcohol and other drugs, and a few claimed to have squandered large retroactive payments. Most insisted that they spent their checks wisely, however, and discussed how they did so. With a remarkable degree of consensus, respondents favored the DA&A program's paternalistic features of representative payment and mandatory treatment, and while less in agreement about time limits, they approved in theory of benchmarks to measure progress. A substantial majority believed the DA&A program had been an unalloyed good, and only 12 judged it to have been wholly harmful.

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