National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) Series
Investigator(s): United States Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ)
The National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) (formerly titled Uniform Facility Data Set (UFDS)) 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, to update SAMHSA's Inventory of Behavioral Health Services (I-BHS), to analyze general treatment services trends, and to generate the online Behavioral Health Treatment Facility Locator as well as the National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs.
Data collected in N-SSATS include topics covering facility operation, services offered (assessment and pre-treatment, testing, transitional, ancillary, pharmacotherapies), primary focus (substance abuse, mental health, both, general health, other), hotline operation, Opioid Treatment Programs and medications dispensed or prescribed, counseling and therapeutic approaches, special programs or groups, 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, and facility accreditation and licensure/certification.
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 reported here do not represent annual totals. Rather, N-SSATS provides a "snapshot" of substance abuse treatment facilities and clients on an average day. Through 2000, the N-SSATS reference date was October 1. In 2001, SAMHSA changed the reference date to the last business day in March. This change helped increase the timeliness of responses by individual facilities, but resulted in no data being collected for 2001. Therefore, 2002 marked the first year data were collected using the new reference date.
Brief History: The data elements and format that make up the core of the N-SSATS were first used in 1976 as part of survey efforts designed to measure the scope and use of drug abuse treatment services in the United States. This core was used throughout the 1970s and 1980s in several different surveys. In 1987 the first administration of the National Drug and Alcoholism Treatment Unit Survey (NDATUS) took place, and then occurred annually from 1989 to 1993. After the creation of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in 1992, NDATUS was redesigned as the Uniform Facility Data Set (UFDS), which was conducted from 1995 to 1998. In 1999, an abbreviated survey was conducted and the survey was redesigned. The 1999 study is not publicly available. In 2000, the full survey was conducted and renamed the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS).
The N-SSATS is sponsored by the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Reports & Related Sites
- How to calculate N-SSATS client counts and admissions using SDA
- N-SSATS Quick Statistics, State Profiles