Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), 2003-2007 (ICPSR 34406)

Published: Oct 17, 2012

Principal Investigator(s):
Dennis McCarty, Oregon Health and Science University; David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Version V1

NIATx, 2003-2007

The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) is a program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment to help substance abuse treatment facilities improve the effectiveness and efficiency of care offered to clients. A total of 38 facilities from across the country were awarded funding to implement the NIATx program between the years of 2003 to 2007. Data were extracted from administrative records from 82,274 clients. The data file covers the dates of contact and treatment with the facility, the number of follow-up units of care received, the primary substance of abuse, and basic demographic information.

McCarty, Dennis, and Gustafson, David. Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx), 2003-2007. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2012-10-17.

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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (46876, 50165, 48364)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. (PIC-STAR-SC-03-044, PIC-STAR-SC-04-035, SC-05-110)

United States Department of Health and Human Services. National Institutes of Health. National Institute on Drug Abuse (R01 DA018282)

Users are reminded 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 organizations.

2003 -- 2007

Data were collected and prepared by the Oregon Health and Science University.

Some changes were made to the original data to help preserve the confidentiality of the clients. The client's age was categorized into ranges. Also, the file originally contained exact dates of a client's initial contact with the facility, clinical assessment, and first treatment visit. These three dates were recoded in the public use data file. First the month, day, and year were split out into individual components. Secondly, the day of the month was deleted completely. Next the month component was combined into quarters (January - March, April - June, July - September, and October - December). Finally, the quarter and year were combined back together.

Attendance at follow-up units of care vary by the level of care (program setting): one visit for outpatient, one day for intensive outpatient, one day for detoxification, and one week for residential treatment.

Four new variables were computed to provide additional utility to users in their analysis. The number of follow-up treatment visits the client made after their initial visit was summed (TRT_TOT). The other three new variables involve the three original dates mentioned above. They were used to calcuate the exact difference in days between the three events before the dates were recoded. If the value was zero the events occurred on the same day. Some cases will have a negative value meaning that the event took place prior to the one it is being compared against.

  • DAYDIFF1: Difference between when the clinical assessment took place and the date of original contact.
  • DAYDIFF2: Difference between when the 1st treatment visit occurred and when the clinical assessment took place.
  • DAYDIFF3: Difference between when the 1st treatment visit occurred and the original contact.

Participating facilities extracted client data from administrative records and completed a spreadsheet of monthly admissions data.

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of participating in the NIATx program. This was done by overseeing the implementation and tracking of process improvement strategies and organizational changes. The desired outcome of the program is to reduce the days to first treatment, increase admissions, enhance retention in care, and reduce client no show rates.

Facilities were not selected at random for participation in this study. Rather each facility submitted a proposal to compete for awards.

For awards funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) the application process began with over 800 facilities attending a symposium to introduce the program and a call for proposals. There were 327 organizations that submitted a letter of intent of which 46 were selected to submit a full proposal. Eligibility was limited to non-profit substance abuse treatment organizations with at least 100 admissions per year and the ability to control a continuum of care either within the corporation or through networking arrangements. Selection criteria included potential community input, evidence of a leadership commitment, ability to move patients between levels of care, systems to collect and report data, suitable financial health, perceived strength of the project team, and a willingness to participate in a learning community. Ten facilities were funded starting in August 2003 by RWJF, and an additional 15 awards were given out in January 2005. Each award was for 18 months.

The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) sent out a separate request for applications with similar eligibility requirements. CSAT received 88 proposals, of which 13 were granted funding for a period of 36 months.


Clients engaged in substance abuse treatment in facilities participating in the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment program.


administrative records data

This dataset contains a total of 20 variables. The original file contained 15 variables. An additional 5 variables were created to assist in data management and add utility to the file. Variables include:

  • funding source of the program's award
  • type of program (treatment setting)
  • dates of the client's initial contact with the facility, clinical assessment, and first treatment visit
  • whether or not the client made additional follow-up visits
  • primary substance of abuse
  • criminal justice referral
  • and basic demographics (gender, age, race, ethnicity)



2012-10-17 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.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.


  • 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.


This study is maintained and distributed by the National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program (NAHDAP). NAHDAP is supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).