The Barnwell County Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse is One of Only Ten Sites Selected to Lead Substance Abuse Field in Process Improvements

Submitted by: 10/15/2003

The Axis I Center of Barnwell has been chosen as one of 10 substance abuse treatment sites in the nation - and the only Southeastern program - to participate in Paths to Recovery, a national program of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Paths to Recovery project is a unique learning collaborative addressing the organizational barriers to substance abuse treatment.

"We are honored to have been selected from among 365 applicants nationwide for the opportunity to participate in this learning collaborative. Learning techniques to increase patient access to and retention in treatment will enable our agency to improve the delivery of care for the citizens in Barnwell County, and we will share this opportunity with the Alcohol and Drug delivery system for the State of South Carolina and the substance abuse field as a whole. I am grateful for the collaborative effort of this community and for the dedicated staff that made this happen," says Cheryl Azouri Long, Executive Director of Axis I Center of Barnwell.

Nationally, fewer than one in four people addicted to alcohol or drugs receive treatment, and as many as half of those who do successfully access treatment leave their treatment program before its full benefit can be realized. There are three main reasons for this, explains David Gustafson, director of the Paths to Recovery initiative. "For some the issue is finances, for others the issue is readiness. But we've found that often the real issue keeping patients from treatment is the way that services are delivered, and this is the issue each organization participating in the Paths to Recovery program is addressing."

The participating treatment sites are leading providers in the field who have been making innovative changes in their own organizations. By redesigning processes such as client intake, assessment, scheduling, outreach, and family involvement, the Paths to Recovery goal is to create a system that is less frustrating for both clients and staff, and that makes it easier for clients to complete treatment. The project also aligns with South Carolina Governor Mark Sandford's goals of reducing state government's duplication of services while also increasing consumer satisfaction and improving service delivery and accountability.

For more information about the Paths to Recovery project and the selected substance abuse treatment sites, please visit

The Axis I Center of Barnwell is a non-profit outpatient chemical dependency agency located in Barnwell, South Carolina. It is one of thirty-six community-based alcohol and drug abuse centers in the South Carolina State 301 System.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, based in Princeton, N.J., is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grantmaking in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to quality health care at reasonable cost; to improve the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

  • All Stories