From the years between when the YM-YWHA left and 1967, when the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission came into 1511 Fulton Avenue, the building served yet another population.

The New York City phone directory, in 1955, listed its occupants as Crotona House - Sanitarium and in 1957 to 1967 the Fulton Nursing Home.

Correction Officer Gloria Myers recalls visiting her great grandmother (Isidora Vigo). Officer Myers was a teenager and she recalls that her great grandmother, had a bed on the 4" floor. She recalls, as well, taking the elevator to the floor, stopping at the nurses station and visiting her great grandmother in the room facing the park. Her great grandmother was transferred to a home in Brooklyn when the nursing home closed in 1967.


The Narcotic Addiction Control Commission, a state run drug treatment program, opened its doors in April 1967.

The initiating force behind the emergence of the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission was Nelson A. Rockefeller. Elected Governor of New York four times, "Rocky" was the state's 49th chief executive from 1959 to 1973.

He resigned Dec. 18, 1973, to serve as chairman of the National Commission on Water Quality and National Commission on Critical Choices for America.

In August of 1974, President Gerald Ford nominated him to be Vice President. Congress confirmed his nomination and he was sworn in on Dec. 19, 1974. Rockefeller was the only person ever appointed Vice President under the 25th amendment of the United States Constitution.

The philosophy of the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission was to develop a comprehensive program of compulsory treatment for narcotic addicts. In 1967, narcotic addicts were estimated to be responsible for one-half of the crimes committed in the City of New York, and the problem of narcotic addiction was rapidly spreading into the suburbs and other parts of the state.

Not only crime, but unemployment, poverty, loss of human dignity and the ability to fill a meaningftil and productive role in the community, as well as damage to the physical and mental health of the addict himself7herself were all by-products of the spreading disease of narcotic addiction. The narcotic addict, in many cases, was compelled to resort to crime to support his/her drug habit. And the addict who committed crimes needed help to break the cycle of addiction. A comprehensive program of treatment, rehabilitation and aftercare for narcotic addicts was developed to address these needs.

The Narcotic Addiction Control Commission firmly believed that narcotic addicts could be rehabilitated and returned to the community to live useful lives only through extended periods of treatment in a controlled environment followed by supervision in an aftercare program.

The participants in the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission Treatment Program had to be certified as narcotic addicts via the court system. There were two types of certifications (Civil and Criminal Certification). A Civil Certification could not exceed 36 months. Criminal Certification was the result of an individual being found guilty of a criminal offense and sentenced to a period of 36 or 60 months in lieu of a prison sentence. In 1969 Fulton Community Based Services Center opened its doors to provide treatment to those individuals who were (Criminal or Civil) commitments to the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission.

Fulton Community Based Services Center offered the following treatment components:

  • Day Care Treatment
  • Resident Treatment
  • Methadone Maintenance Treatment

The purpose of Day Care was to assist clients on aftercare status with vocational training, academic training and employment assistance. Subjects offered included Math, Reading, Music, Photography, Carpentry, Printing and Tailoring.

The Narcotic Addiction Control Commission eventually evolved, after significant changes in structure and approach, into the present Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.

OASAS administers the most comprehensive system of services in the nation for substance abusing populations. Each day some 120,000 NYers receive treatment for alcohol and / or drug addiction from agency- licensed programs.

Services are delivered through a network of over 1,200 community- based providers. OASAS also directly operates 13 Addiction Treatment Centers around the state. In addition to treatment services, thousands of people benefit daily from prevention initiatives carried out by OASAS- sponsored or licensed prevention programs.

Some 43 percent of clients have some criminal justice status upon admission to its licensed treatment agencies.

OASAS supports 2,000 dedicated criminal justice treatment slots, including residential drug treatment alternatives to prison and NYC Probation-sponsored Central Placement Unit services. OASAS operates a referral service with the Division of Parole, placing an average of 500 parolees per month in community- based agencies.

For more on OASAS, visit:


Residential Treatment was developed to provide drug treatment to those clients who had either relapsed or to those who were newly committed to the program. This component involved a full day of programming which consisted of group counseling, individual counseling, sessions with the psychologist, academic and/or vocational assistance depending on the client's need. A team of professionals (psychologist, social worker, education supervisor, counselors and aftercare parole officers) met weekly to review and assess each clients' progress.

The Methadone Maintenance Treatment was established to treat those clients who were long-term drug abusers who felt that methadone maintenance was the only viable option for them. This component was open to aftercare participants as well as residential participants. In keeping with the tradition of community based centers, Fulton opened it doors to community members and provided the following services:

  • Drug Awareness
  • GED Preparation
  • Vocational Training
  • Employment Assistance

From its inception, the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission received criticism from a number of sources. The Commission was investigated by the State Investigation Commission (S.I.C.), and N.A.C.C. also became a campaign issue against then Governor Nelson Rockefeller. as well as a target of the American Civil Liberties Union.

In 1974, the State Investigation Commission received numerous complaints of misappropriation and client abuse. As a result of this investigation, wholesale administrative changes were mandated for the N.A.C.C. From this, the agency evolved into the Drug Addiction Control Commission (D.A.C.C.).

By November of 1975, D.A.C.C.'s name had been changed to Office of Drug Abuse Services (O.D.A.S.). By the end of 1975 most of O.D.A.S. facilities had either closed down or converted to a New York State Correctional Facility.

The agency, now called the Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, is still in operation; however, the philosophy and treatment modalities have changed drastically from the Narcotic Addiction Control Commission era.

[Webmaster Note: The OASAS text box with logo image and Rockefeller bio box with portrait image were inserted into this web version of the Fulton CF anniversary booklet to provide additional historical background material.]
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