National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 2002 (ICPSR 3819)

Alternate Title:   N-SSATS, 2002

Principal Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies


The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) is designed to collect information from all facilities in the United States, both public and private, that provide substance abuse treatment. N-SSATS provides the mechanism for quantifying the dynamic character and composition of the United States substance abuse treatment delivery system. The objectives of N-SSATS are to collect multipurpose data that can be used to assist the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and state and local governments in assessing the nature and extent of services provided and in forecasting treatment resource requirements, update SAMHSA's Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (I-SATS), analyze general treatment services trends, and generate the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs and its online equivalent, the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator.

Data are collected on topics including facility operation, services offered (assessment, substance abuse therapy and counseling, pharmacotherapies, testing, transitional, ancillary), primary focus (substance abuse, mental health, both, general health, other), hotline operation, Opioid Treatment Programs and medication dispensed, languages in which treatment is provided, type of treatment provided, number of clients (total and under age 18), number of beds, types of payment accepted, sliding fee scale, special programs offered, facility accreditation and licensure/certification, and managed care agreements.

Series: National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) Series

Access Notes

  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies. National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS), 2002. ICPSR03819-v5. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-11-23.

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Export Citation:

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  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Office of Applied Studies

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    alcohol abuse, drug abuse, drug treatment, health care services, HIV, intervention, substance abuse, substance abuse treatment, treatment facilities, treatment programs

Smallest Geographic Unit:    Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Geographic Coverage:    United States

Time Period:   

  • 2002

Date of Collection:   

  • 2002-03--2002-10

Unit of Observation:    facility

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

Data were collected by Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ, and prepared for release by Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., Arlington, VA.

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 do not represent annual totals. Rather, N-SSATS provides a "snapshot" of substance abuse treatment facilities and clients on an average day.

N-SSATS collects data about facilities, not individual clients. Data on clients represent an aggregate of clients in treatment for each reporting facility.

N-SSATS attempts to obtain responses from all known treatment and prevention facilities, but it is a voluntary survey. There is no adjustment for facility nonresponse.

To protect the privacy of respondents, financial data originally collected have been removed from the public use file. These modifications should not affect most analytic uses of the public use file.

Previously, data was provided by facilities with a reference date of October 1. A decision was made in 2001 to change the reference date to the last business day of the month in March. This change was made to help increase the timeliness of responses by facilities. The result of this change meant that no data was collected for 2001.

For users who wish to calculate client counts and admissions, instructions are available on the N-SSATS Series page and at How to calculate N-SSATS client counts and admissions using SDA.


Sample:    The Inventory of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (I-SATS) provides the sampling frame for N-SSATS. Two categories of treatment facilities in I-SATS may be distinguished. The largest group of facilities includes those that are licensed, certified, or otherwise approved by the state substance abuse agency to provide substance abuse treatment. The second group represents the SAMHSA effort in recent years to make I-SATS as comprehensive as possible by including treatment facilities that state substance abuse agencies, for a variety of reasons, do not license or certify. Many of these facilities are private for-profit, small group practices, or hospital-based programs.

Time Method:    Longitudinal

Data Source:

mail, telephone, and Web-based surveys

Response Rates:    N-SSATS questionnaires were mailed to a total of 18,204 facilities believed to offer substance abuse treatment services. Of these facilities, 15.1 percent were found to be ineligible for the survey because they had closed, were not providing substance abuse treatment on March 29, 2002, or treated incarcerated clients only. Of the remaining 15,459 facilities, 96 percent (14,756) completed the survey. However, 1,036 of these facilities were deemed to be out-of-scope (654 facilities) or had client counts reported by another facility but no facility information (382 facilities). Therefore, the final sample size was 13,720 (89 percent). Fifty-seven percent of respondents completed the mail survey, 23 percent completed the survey via telephone, and 20 percent completed the survey using a Web-based questionnaire.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Restrictions: Users are reminded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that these data are to be used solely for statistical analysis and reporting of aggregated information and not for the investigation of specific individuals or treatment facilities.


Original ICPSR Release:   2004-02-11

Version History:

  • 2015-11-23 Covers for the PDF documentation were revised.
  • 2014-12-10 Updated codebook to correct the cover and the frequency section.
  • 2014-07-17 Changed the Stata system data file from version 13 to version 12 for compatibility on a wider range of systems.
  • 2014-04-25 This study update was done in order to remove the geographic variables of County and MSA.
  • 2013-11-27 Variable level xml file updated.
  • 2012-05-01 Updated the queston text to fix minor typographical errors previously present. Also, updated the variable order so that it coincides with the questionnaire order and is consistent with other years in the N-SSATS series.
  • 2008-01-30 The metadata record was updated with new information to clarify changes made to the study referenced in the collect note. Also, a processor's note was added to the pdf codebook.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.
  • 2004-06-23 The FIPS code for Miami-Dade county was updated. The variable JAIL was removed. The variables COUNTY, MSA, REGION, and DIVISION were added, and the documentation has been revised to reflect these changes. Corresponding Stata data definition statements have also been added.

Related Publications


Browse Matching Variables

Q10. Assessment: Mental Health
10. Which of the following services are provided by this facility at this location? Assessment Services: (2) Comprehensive mental health assessment / diagnosis (for example, psychological or psychiatric evaluation and testing)
Q24. Licen/Cert by State Mental Health Dept
24. Does this facility or program have licensing, approval, certification, or accreditation from any of the following organizations? (b) State mental health department Only include facility-level licensing, accreditation, etc., related to the provision of substance abuse treatment services. Do not include general business licenses, fire marshal approvals, personal-level credentials, food service licenses, etc.
Q11. Operates Opioid Treatment Program
11. Does this facility operate an Opioid Treatment Program (OTP) at this location? Opioid Treatment Programs are certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to use opioid drugs such as methadone and LAAM in the treatment of opiate (narcotic) addiction. Prior to May 18, 2001, such programs required approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If No, Skip to Q.12
Q7. Primary Focus SA/MH/Genl Health/Mix
7. What is the primary focus of this facility? MARK ONE ONLY


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