National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services 2017 (N-SSATS-2017)

Parent Series Details:

The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) is an annual census designed to collect information from all facilities within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. teritories, both public and private, that provide substance abuse treatment. N-SSATS provides the mechanism for quantifying the dynamic character and composition of the United States substance abuse treatment delivery system.

Designed to collect data based on the location of the facility, the objectives of N-SSATS are (1) Collect multipurpose data that can be used to assist the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and state and local governments in assessing the nature and extent of services provided and in forecasting treatment resource requirements; (2) Update SAMHSA’s Inventory of Behavioral Health Services (I-BHS); (3) Analyze general treatment services trends; (4) Generate the online Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator and the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs.

N-SSATS collects three types of information from facilities: (1) characteristics of individual facilities such as types of treatment provided and services offered (assessment, counseling, pharmacotherapies used, testing, transitional, and ancillary services), operation of the facility (public or private), special programs or groups provided for specific client types, client outreach, and payment options; (2) client count information (based on a survey reference date) such as counts of clients served by service type and number of beds designated for treatment (collected only in “odd” years); and (3) general information such as licensure, certification, or accreditation and facility website availability.

 


Study Details:

The 2017 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) was conducted between February and December 2017, with a reference date of March 31, 2017. It is the 40th in a series of national surveys begun in the 1970s. The surveys were designed to collect data on the location, characteristics, and use of alcohol and drug abuse treatment facilities and services throughout the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other jurisdictions.1 The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, plans and directs the N-SSATS.
N-SSATS is designed to collect information from all facilities in the United States, both public and private, that provide substance abuse treatment.2
N-SSATS provides a mechanism for quantifying the dynamic characteristics and composition of the U.S. substance abuse treatment delivery system. N-SSATS collects multipurpose data that can be used to:

  • assist SAMHSA and state and local governments in assessing the nature and extent of services provided in state-supported and other substance abuse treatment facilities and in forecasting substance abuse treatment resource requirements;
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  • update SAMHSA’s Inventory of Behavioral Health Services (I-BHS), which includes all known drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities, both public and private;
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  • analyze substance abuse treatment services trends and conduct comparative analyses for the nation, regions, and states;
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  • generate the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Facilities, a compendium of facilities approved by state substance abuse agencies for the provision of substance abuse treatment; and
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  • update the information in SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator, a searchable database of facilities that provide treatment. The Treatment Services Locator is available on the Internet at: https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov

Study Scope

Time period: 
2016
Collection date: 
March 31, 2017, through December 4, 2017
Geographic coverage : 
United States
Unit of observation: 
N-SSATS is designed to collect data from each physical location where treatment services are provided.
Data types: 
Survey data.
Universe: 
The 2017 N-SSATS facility universe totaled 17,029 facilities, including all 16,816 active treatment facilities on SAMHSA’s I-BHS at a point four weeks before the survey reference date, and 213 facilities that were added by state substance abuse agencies o
Notes: 

Changes in Survey Content
Since 1992, SAMHSA has made adjustments each year to the survey design, both to minimize non-response and to include areas of emerging interest. For example, questions on the number of clients in treatment receiving buprenorphine were added in 2004. Questions about clinical/therapeutic methods, standard practices, and Access to Recovery grants were added in 2007. Questions about facility smoking policy were added in 2011; questions about outpatient facility operating capacity were modified in 2012; questions about injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol®) as a pharmacotherapy were added in 2011; questions about work activity and means to accomplish them, as well as the question asking for client counts of those prescribed extended-release injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol®), were added in 2013; and in 2017 the questions asking for client counts of those prescribed Vivitrol® were changed to request client counts of those receiving naltrexone for opioid use disorder.
There have also been changes within content areas. For example, in response to concerns about over-reporting of programs or groups for specific client types, the survey question was revised in 2003 to distinguish between those facilities that accepted specific client types and those facilities that offered specially designed programs or groups for that client type. As a result, the number and proportion of facilities offering programs or groups for each of the specified client types decreased. Surveys from 2003 and later are believed to more accurately represent the number and proportions of facilities providing programs or groups for the specified client types. In addition, over time more categories have been added to the specific client types (e.g., persons who have experienced trauma, active duty military, and members of military families in 2012 and young adults, persons who have experienced sexual abuse, and persons who have experienced intimate partner violence, domestic violence in 2013). Because of the increase in client types, the question was split in 2013. The portion asking if specific client types were served was limited to adolescents, adult women, and adult men. In addition, programs or groups were described as “specifically tailored.” In 2014, the first part of the question was revised again to collect another level of detail (i.e., the age range of males and females served, if any). The client types of adolescents, adult women, and adult men were added back to the second part of the question.
Since 2013, the full N-SSATS questionnaire (with client counts) has alternated with an abbreviated version of the questionnaire. This abbreviated questionnaire, first introduced in 2014, collects the facility, program, and services information that are needed to update the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator. It omits Section B, which includes the client counts. Other changes to the 2014 questionnaire included reinstatement of the “primary focus” question, which had been dropped from the 2013 questionnaire; in addition, the question asking if a facility operates an opioid treatment program (OTP) was revised: The informational bullets describing OTPs were reworded, and the response categories were more explicit about whether or not the facility operates an OTP, as well as whether or not methadone and/or buprenorphine are used. In 2015, the OTP question was again revised to ask facilities how they treat opioid addiction; the response categories were even more specific about how they used, or did not use, methadone, buprenorphine, or extended-release injectable naltrexone (Vivitrol®) and whether or not the facility was a federally certified OTP. In 2017, reference to Vivitrol® was deleted, and the question referred simply to naltrexone.

Study Methodology

Mode of data collection: 
Mail questionnaire
Sample: 
The N-SSATS questionnaire is deliberately sent to some facilities that are excluded from this report, as explained below. For this cycle, 204 of the 13,857 questionnaire respondents provided information but were deemed out of the scope of this report and excluded from the analyses presented here.