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MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER
The Black Alcohol/Drug Service Information Center (BASIC) is a community-based agency that provides comprehensive culturally sensitive alcohol and drug abuse services in the city of St. Louis, Missouri, and New Orleans, Louisiana. BASIC was established in 1983, as a pilot project of the St. Louis Foundation for Alcoholism and Related Dependencies. In 1994, BASIC INC became a Louisiana Corporation and replicated the services in Orleans Parish, with initial funding from the Lupen Foundation.
This non-traditional modality included along with Alcoholic’s Anonymous/Narcotic’s Anonymous, the incorporation of the client's culture and areas of emotional pain associated with “cultural survival fatigue” in America. The program's goal is not one of mere cessation of addictive behaviors, but one of positively impacting the lifestyle of people of color, utilizing new and innovative strategies, that increase self-esteem, self-worth, and cultural pride.
The intentional positioning of crack cocaine and heroin in urban communities across the country has caused a loveless, hopeless and purposeless reaction within urban and rural families. In an effort to make a difference, BASIC has become a pioneer in substance abuse treatment, across the country. We have set the standards for other agencies that service non-white substance abusers, if they are to be successful.
Our fingers are forever on the pulse of the community, not responding to a crisis but setting the trends and developing prevention strategies to deal with the needs, demands, and problems of substance abuse within the urban community. BASIC has been recognized by local and national organizations as an exemplary model of a proactive and successful community-based substance abuse treatment program.
We were started through the efforts of an organization called the St. Louis Foundation for Alcoholism and Related Dependencies. In 1982 that group spent a year doing a research project on alcohol/drug abuse problems within the Black communities of St. Louis, city.
The results of the research indicated the need for community education, diagnosis and intervention, and aftercare support services.
For the first year of our existence, the original staff of two worked out of the Kingsway Center Building located at 1408 North Kingshighway St. Louis, Missouri.
We had two major goals then: to educate the Black community to the basic dynamics of alcohol/drug abuse, and to assist Black chemically dependent individuals in getting help. Just as the core of our program grew out of a careful analysis of community needs, so has every new program component we have added since that time. While our staff has grown to over thirty and our budget to more than $1 million plus dollars in the past twenty five years, our original goals are still the mainstay of our efforts.