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The Dasis Report (Drug and Alcohol Information System)
March 18, 2005

The Office of Applied Studies

The mission of SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies (OAS) is the collection, analysis, and dissemination of critical public health data to assist policymakers, providers, and patients in making informed decisions regarding the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders. OAS manages three national data activities:


The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS)
The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) is made up of three components.

The Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (I-SATS) is a listing of all known public and private substance abuse treatment facilities in the United States and its territories.

The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) is an annual survey of all I-SATS facilities that collects information on location, characteristics, treatment services offered, and utilization. Information from the N-SSATS is used to compile and update the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs and the on-line Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) is a compilation of data on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of admissions to and discharges from substance abuse treatment. Information on treatment admissions is routinely collected by State administrative systems and then submitted to SAMHSA in a standard format.

To access publications from DASIS, go to the OAS website: http://samhsa.gov/data/dasis.htm


The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN)
The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) and drug-related deaths reviewed by medical examiners and coroners (ME/Cs). DAWN has undergone many recent changes.

Since 2003, DAWN has been tracking all types of drug-related ED visits and drug-related deaths, regardless of the drug involved or the reason for drug use. DAWN covers non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, use of pharmaceuticals for legitimate therapeutic purposes, and drug abuse. In addition to the abuse of illegal drugs, DAWN collects cases related to overmedication, malicious poisonings, suicide attempts, and underage alcohol use, as well as cases involving accidental ingestion or adverse reaction to prescription and over-the-counter medications or dietary supplements.

Emergency department (ED) component: Data on ED visits are collected from a probability sample of non-Federal, short-stay, general hospitals that operate 24-hour EDs. Data from the sample are used to generate estimates for the United States and for the 22 major metropolitan areas that were sampled for this purpose.

Medical examiner/coroner (ME/C) component: Data on drug-related deaths are collected from ME/C jurisdictions in many of the metropolitan areas covered by the ED component and from selected States. The ME/C component is not based on a statistical sample, so national estimates of drug-related deaths are not possible.

To access publications from DAWN, go to the DAWN website: http://dawninfo.samhsa.gov


The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) has been conducted since 1971. Prior to 2002, the name of the survey was the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). NSDUH serves as the primary source of information on the prevalence and incidence of illicit drug, alcohol, and tobacco use in the civilian, non-institutionalized population aged 12 or older in the United States. Approximately 67,500 interviews are conducted each year using computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) methods. The current methodology also allows for both national and State-level analysis of NSDUH variables.

Topics examined in NSDUH include:

To access publications from NSDUH, go to the NSDUH website: http://samhsa.gov/data/nsduh.htm


OAS Publications
The Office of Applied Studies releases data from these three data systems on an ongoing basis.


The OAS Website
The OAS website is available through the Internet at http://oas.samhsa.gov. The website allows for access to: In addition, you can
Public Access to OAS Data
Data files from both NSDUH and DASIS are available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA). DAWN data are not available for public access due to confidentiality restrictions.

The goal of the archive is to provide ready access to substance abuse and mental health research data and to promote the sharing of these data among researchers, academics, policymakers, service providers, and others. The goal is to increase the use of the data in understanding and assessing substance abuse and mental health problems and the impact of related treatment systems.

In order to make NSDUH and DASIS data files available to the public, SAMHSA follows standard procedures used by many Federal statistical agencies to create a public use file (PUF). The PUF includes most of the data from the restricted dataset, but protects every respondent's personal information from disclosure, as required by law. The PUF is available on the SAMHDA website as a down-loadable ASCII fixed-format file. All documentation is also on the website including the codebook, questionnaire, and both SAS and SPSS data definition files. In addition to the downloadable format, SAMHDA also allows for online analysis of the NSDUH, TEDS, and N-SSATS files.

To access NSDUH, TEDS, or N-SSATS data: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA/archive.html

For help using SAMHDA, read the short reports on using SAMHDA available on the OAS website: http://samhsa.gov/data/tutorial.cfm


Contacting OAS
To contact OAS for questions regarding our data systems, to request publications, or for general inquiries, call 240-276-1212 or email us from our website: http://samhsa.gov/data/Mail/email.cfm


The OAS 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 on-line: http://www.oas.samhsa.gov/. Citation of the source is appreciated. For questions about this report please e-mail: shortreports@samhsa.hhs.gov

This page was last updated on May 16, 2008.