The Reminiscences of Norwig Debye-Saxinger

The Transcript

Initially there were a lot of illusions in this entire field. That one could cure addiction, such could be pretty quick and comparatively inexpensive. That kind of faded away as people really began to take a look at what the addiction problem is.
— Norwig Debye-Saxinger

Biography: Born in Germany but educated in the US, Norwig Debye-Saxinger joined the Nelson Rockefeller administration in 1971 as part of the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission, which he stayed with until 1992 through its many iterations.  As part of the state government, Debye-Saxinger was responsible for much of the granting of state funds to addiction services agencies.  He also played a critical role in adjusting key state policies that allowed Phoenix House (and others) to receive welfare checks directly from the state, which eased organizations’ participation in the real estate market.  While in Albany, Debye-Saxinger was Julio Martinez’s assistant director for 10 years.  In 1993 he began working for Phoenix House as a liaison with the state.  Until the present, Debye-Saxinger has continued to aid Phoenix House in negotiating state regulation and licensing, and lobbying for important changes to the law, most notably, Governor David A. Paterson’s changes to the Rockefeller Drug Laws in 2009.

Keywords: Nelson Rockefeller; Narcotics Addiction Control Commission; SUNY Albany; Albany; New York State government; Julio Martinez; Phoenix House; Rockefeller Drug Laws; substance abuse; Jerome Hornblass; Abraham Beame; Division of Substance Abuse Services; welfare; policy; Ronald Coster; Kevin McEneaney; Affordable Care Act; Mental Health Exclusion; liaison; David A. Paterson; Mitchell Rosenthal