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The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) is maintained by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The N-SSATS is designed to collect data on the location, characteristics, services offered, and number of clients in treatment at alcohol and drug abuse facilities (both public and private) throughout the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions.1

N-SSATS is designed to collect information from all facilities2 in the United States, both public and private, that provide substance abuse treatment. N-SSATS includes some 13,000 facilities with about 1.1 million clients in treatment on the survey reference date.

N-SSATS provides the mechanism for quantifying the dynamic character and composition of the U.S. substance abuse treatment delivery system. The objectives of N-SSATS are to collect 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 treatment facilities and in forecasting treatment resource requirements;
  • update SAMHSA's Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (I-SATS), which includes all known drug and alcohol abuse treatment facilities;
  • analyze general treatment services trends and conduct comparative analyses for the nation, regions, and States; generate the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs, a compendium of facilities approved by State substance abuse agencies for the provision of substance abuse treatment; and update the information in SAMHSA's Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator, a searchable database of facilities approved by State substance abuse agencies for the provision of substance abuse treatment. The Facility Locator is available on the Internet at: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov

For more information on N-SSATS methodology, please refer to Chapter 1 in the latest N-SSATS report available at https://wwwdasis.samhsa.gov/dasis2/nssats.htm

Limitations of N-SSATS

As with any data collection effort, certain procedural considerations and data limitations must be taken into account when interpreting N-SSATS data. Some of these are outlined below.

  • N-SSATS attempts to obtain responses from all known treatment facilities, but it is a voluntary survey. There is no adjustment for the approximately 4 percent facility non-response.
  • N-SSATS is a point-prevalence survey. It provides information on the substance abuse treatment system and its clients on the reference date. Client counts reported here do not represent annual totals. Rather, N-SSATS provides a "snapshot" of substance abuse treatment facilities and clients on an average day.
  • Multiple responses were allowed for certain variables (e.g., services provided and specialized programs). Tabulations of these variables include the total number of facilities reporting each response.
1 The jurisdictions include the territories of American Samoa and Guam, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands of the United States.

2 In this report, entities responding to N-SSATS are referred to as "facilities". A "facility" may be a program-level, clinic-level, or multi-site respondent.

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