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SAMHSA Bulletin

Date: 6/11/2013 12:30 PM
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office
Telephone: 240-276-2130

Urban substance abuse treatment facilities are more likely to offer on-site infectious disease screening

People experiencing substance use disorders tend to have higher rates of infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and sexually transmitted diseases than the rest of the population. A new report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows that substance abuse treatment facilities located in urban settings are more likely to offer on-site screening for infectious diseases than those in rural areas.
The report, based on a survey of all 13,720 known substance abuse treatment facilities across the nation, shows that 42 percent of facilities offered on-site screening for infectious diseases. Facilities in the most urban settings of the nation were nearly twice as likely to offer on-site screening services as substance treatment facilities located in the most rural settings (51 percent versus 27 percent).
Identifying and treating infectious diseases is important not only to the health and well-being of individual patients, but to public health. Effective treatment of infected individuals can help prevent the spread of infectious disease to other patients and the general community. Screening tests are an important element to identifying infectious diseases and linking people to needed help.
For more information about the importance of screening for infectious diseases. please see the following publications from SAMHSA and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: and
The SAMHSA spotlight report, Forty-Two Percent of Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities Offer On-Site Screening for Infectious Diseases, is available at The spotlight report is based on SAMHSA’s 2011 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS). N-SSATS is an annual survey of all the nation’s substance abuse treatment facilities.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Last updated: 6/11/2013 12:45 PM

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