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SAMHSA News - Volume XI, Number 4, 2003

Survey: Nearly Half in Treatment for Both Drug and Alcohol Abuse

According to the 2002 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services by SAMHSA's Office of Applied Studies, nearly half of the more than 1.1 million people receiving treatment for addiction were in treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse. In fact, 48 percent of the 1,136,287 people receiving substance abuse treatment on a typical day in 2002 were in treatment for both drug and alcohol abuse—compared to 21 percent being treated for alcohol abuse alone and 31 percent receiving treatment for drug abuse alone. Eight percent of those receiving substance abuse treatment were under age 18.

SAMHSA Administrator Charles G. Curie, M.A., A.C.S.W., said, "This survey tells us where the substance abuse treatment system is going, to help us analyze system trends and forecast resource requirements. At SAMHSA, building treatment capacity is a top priority. We are hopeful that the President's Access to Recovery program will be funded to allow an additional 100,000 people to enter treatment and rebuild their lives."

The purpose of the survey is to collect data on where services are offered, what types of services are available, and to what extent alcohol and drug treatment facilities and services are used. The survey covers all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions. In 2002, a total of 13,720 facilities—or 96 percent of eligible facilities—participated in the survey.

The survey found that nearly half of all facilities, 49 percent, offered special programs for those diagnosed with co-occurring substance abuse and mental disorders. Over one-third of facilities, 37 percent, provided programs to treat adolescents. Special programs or groups for drugged or drunk-driving offenders were offered by 35 percent of facilities.

The survey also found that 81 percent of facilities offered outpatient treatment, making it the most widely available type of care. In fact, 90 percent of patients in treatment on the survey date (March 29, 2002) were enrolled in some type of outpatient care. Of these, 54 percent were in regular outpatient care.

Some patients, however, need more intensive treatment than traditional outpatient care. Forty-four percent of the facilities surveyed offered intensive outpatient care, and 12 percent of patients used these services. Day treatment and partial hospitalization services were offered by 15 percent of all facilities, and these services treated 3 percent of patients.

Opioid treatment programs were offered by 8 percent of facilities, and 19 percent of all patients received outpatient methadone/LAAM maintenance at these facilities.

Residential detoxification was offered by 8 percent and hospital inpatient detoxification was offered by 7 percent, and each mode treated less than 1 percent of patients. About 8 percent of patients were in residential rehabilitation and less than 1 percent were in hospital inpatient rehabilitation.

Private nonprofit facilities make up the bulk of the treatment system (61 percent) with private for-profit accounting for another 25 percent. State or local governments own 11 percent of treatment facilities and the Federal Government owns 2 percent. Tribal governments own 1 percent of reporting facilities.

The data show that programs or groups for women only are available in 38 percent of facilities, while 30 percent of facilities provide programs for men only. About 14 percent of facilities have programs for seniors and older adults and 13 percent have programs for gay males and lesbians.

For information on where to find treatment centers in your community, visit SAMHSA's Facility Treatment Locator at

To obtain a copy of the report, National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS): 2002, Data on Substance Abuse Facilities, contact SAMHSA's National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information at P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20847-2345. Telephone: 1 (800) 729-6686 (English and Spanish) or 1 (800) 487-4889 (TDD). The report can also be downloaded from the SAMHSA Web site at End of Article

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Inside This Issue

From Subsistence to Sustainability: Treating Drug Abuse in Alaska
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    SAMHSA News

    SAMHSA News - Volume XI, Number 4, 2003

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    This page was last updated on 28 February, 2003
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