|January 28, 2010|
Various therapies are used in the treatment of substance abuse. One type of therapy used in the treatment of heroin or other opiate (narcotic) addiction is medication-assisted opioid therapy with medications such as methadone1 or buprenorphine.2 In order for a facility to use medication-assisted opioid therapies,3 it must be certified as an opioid treatment program (OTP) through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). In addition, individual physicians may take specialized training as authorized under the Drug Addiction Treatment Act of 2000 to prescribe buprenorphine addiction products in their practices.
Information about OTPs can be examined using data from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). This report includes information only about OTPs that responded to the 2008 N-SSATS; it does not include data from private physicians who prescribe buprenorphine. In 2008, a total of 13,688 substance abuse treatment facilities responded to the N-SSATS. Of these, 1,132 (8.3 percent of all substance abuse treatment facilities) were certified with CSAT as Opioid Treatment Programs.
Numbers of Facilities
Of the 1,132 OTPs, 93 percent offered a maintenance program, using methadone and/or buprenorphine. About two thirds (69 percent) of the OTPs offered a detoxification program that used methadone or buprenorphine to detoxify clients from other opiates (Figure 1). Of the 1,132 facilities with certified OTPs:
Of the facilities with OTPs, 950 (84 percent) offered only outpatient care, 48 (4 percent) offered only hospital inpatient care, 30 (3 percent) offered only non-hospital residential care, 38 (3 percent) offered outpatient and hospital inpatient care, 35 (3 percent) offered outpatient and residential care, 10 (1 percent) offered residential and hospital inpatient care, and 21 (2 percent) offered all three types of care (outpatient, residential, and hospital inpatient care). Therefore, overall:
|Source: 2008 SAMHSA National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS).|
|Type of Treatment||Maintenance||Detoxification|
|Both Methadone and Buprenorphine||33%||27%|
|Source: 2008 SAMHSA National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS).|
Facility Location and Operation
The vast majority of OTPs were located in metropolitan areas, with 507 (45 percent) in a large central metropolitan area, 186 (16 percent) in a large fringe metropolitan area, and 361 (32 percent) in a small metropolitan area.4 Few were located in a non-metropolitan area (40 or 4 percent were located in a non-metropolitan area with a city and 31 or 3 percent were located in a non-metropolitan area without a city).
Most OTPs were privately operated (88 percent). OTPs were operated by the following entities:
Numbers of Clients Served by OTPs
On the survey date of March 31, 2008, the following numbers of clients received either methadone or buprenorphine dispensed by facilities that offered OTPs:
Of these, 255,850 clients were in an outpatient methadone/buprenorphine maintenance program.
On March 31, 2008, OTPs were serving the following clients:
One of the requirements to be certified as an OTP is that the facility be accredited by an approved accrediting agency.5 A facility may also be licensed for the provision of substance abuse treatment. A facility may be licensed, certified, or accredited by more than one agency. Of the facilities with OTPs:
Facility Payment Options and Funding
Substance abuse treatment facilities can accept various types of client payment or insurance for substance abuse treatment. Of the facilities with OTPs:
In addition to types of client payment, 526 (47 percent) facilities with OTPs received funding or grants from the Federal, State, or county or local governments to support their substance abuse programs. This funding did not include Medicare, Medicaid, or Federal military insurance.
Languages Other than English
Not all people who need substance abuse treatment speak English. Therefore, some facilities offer substance abuse treatment services in a language other than English either by a staff counselor or through an on-call interpreter.
Of the facilities with OTPs, 654 (58 percent) provided substance abuse treatment services in a language other than English. Of those that provided these services:
Of those that provided substance abuse treatment services in a language other than English by a staff counselor, 498 (95 percent (or 44 percent of all OTPs)) provided those services in Spanish.
Over one quarter (305 or 27 percent) of facilities with OTPs provided substance abuse treatment services in sign language—such as American Sign Language, Signed English, or Cued Speech—for the hearing impaired.
Services Offered by OTPs
Substance abuse treatment facilities provide a variety of treatment and support services to their clientele. The numbers and percentages of facilities with OTPs that offered specific services follow:
Assessment and Pre-treatment Services
A variety of clinical or therapeutic approaches are used by substance abuse treatment facilities. Each has its strengths, and certain approaches may work best for specific behavioral or addiction problems. The following lists the number and percentage of facilities with OTPs that indicated that they used the specific approach "always or often”:6
Standard Operating Procedures
Many facilities have practices that aim to improve the activities and care offered to the client, and these are incorporated into the standard operating procedures of the facility. The numbers and percentages of facilities with OTPs that included these practices in their standard operating procedures are as follows:
Opioid Treatment Programs provide interventions that are designed to meet a range of needs of their clients as well as to provide medication-assisted therapy for opioid addiction through maintenance or detoxification. By understanding the many facets of care offered by these programs, persons seeking treatment and those professionals who provide referrals to treatment may make informed decisions about the range of services that would help promote and sustain recovery from opioid addiction. Policy makers and funders who are concerned with accessibility to appropriate services may also wish to examine whether or not current funding strategies and facility settings are adequate for the population in need of such therapeutic help.
1 Methadone is a synthetic opioid used medically as an analgesic and in the treatment of narcotic addiction. It reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to narcotics without causing the "high" associated with the drug addiction.
2 Buprenorphine is used to treat opiate addiction/dependence by preventing symptoms of withdrawal from heroin and other opiates. It was approved by the FDA in October 2002. Trade names include Subutex® (buprenorphine hydrochloride) and Suboxone® (buprenorphine hydrochloride and naloxone hydrochloride).
3 Methadone and buprenorphine are the only two opioid medications approved for the treatment of opioid addiction.
4 U.S. counties and county equivalents were assigned to one of five urbanization levels according to the classification scheme developed by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS): 1. Large Central Metro—County in a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of 1 million or more population that contained all or part of the largest central city of the MSA; 2. Large Fringe Metro—County in a large MSA (1 million or more population) that did not contain any part of the largest central city of the MSA; 3. Small Metro—County in an MSA with less than 1 million population; 4. Non-Metro with City—County not in an MSA but with a city of 10,000 or more population; 5. Non-Metro without City—County not in a MSA and without a city of 10,000 or more population.
5 The SAMHSA-approved Opioid Treatment Program Accrediting Bodies include the following: Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF); Council on Accreditation (COA); Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, State of Missouri Department of Mental Health; Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, Washington Department of Social and Health Services; Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations [JCAHO]); and National Commission of Correctional Health Care.
6 All clients admitted to a facility may not receive each approach offered by that facility.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (January 28, 2010). The N-SSATS Report: Overview of Opioid Treatment Programs within the United States: 2008. Rockville, MD.
The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) is an annual survey of all substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States, both public and private, that are known to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). N-SSATS is one component of the Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS), an integrated data system maintained by the Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA.
N-SSATS collects three types of information from facilities: characteristics of individual facilities such as services offered and types of treatment provided, primary focus of the facility, and payment options; client count information such as counts of clients served by service type and number of beds designated for treatment; and general information such as licensure, certification, or accreditation and facility website availability. In 2008, N-SSATS collected information from 13,688 facilities from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Palau, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Information and data for this report are based on data reported to N-SSATS for the survey reference date March 31, 2008.
The N-SSATS Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA; Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., Arlington, Virginia; and by RTI International in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina (RTI International is the trade name of Research Triangle Institute). Information on the most recent N-SSATS is available in the following publication:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (2009). National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2008. Data on Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities (DASIS Series: S-49, DHHS Publication No. (SMA) 09-4451). Rockville MD: Author.
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The N-SSATS Report is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA. Additional copies of this report or other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are available online: http://oas.samhsa.gov. Citation of the source is appreciated. For questions about this report, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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