SAMHSA Releases Substance Abuse Treatment Report

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is issuing its latest Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) report on Discharges from Substance Treatment Services, which provides an important array of information about the approximately 1.5 million treatment discharges occurring at reporting state-licensed treatment facilities across the country.

The 2006 TEDS Discharges from Substance Treatment Services report is the latest in a series of yearly reports that not only provide overall figures for the 42 states that report discharge data to TEDS (an increase from previous years), but also break this information down into a wide variety of programmatic and demographic criteria that can help provide greater perspective on the experiences of those who have undergone substance abuse treatment.

This information is designed to help the public health community get a better understanding of scope and nature of treatment episodes so that they can most effectively meet current and future treatment needs.

Overall the report found that the patient completion rate during 2006 was 47 percent among patients discharged from reporting facilities, but that these rates varied considerably depending on a number of factors including the substance abuse problem being treated and type of service provided by facilities.

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Among the more notable findings in this latest report:

• The overall treatment completion rate was highest among clients discharged from hospital residential treatment (70 percent), detoxification (67 percent) and short-term residential treatment (59 percent). Treatment completion rates were lower in longer term and/or less-structured settings such as long term residential (44 percent) and outpatient treatment (40 percent).

• The median length of stay for discharged from regular outpatient treatment was 87 days, but was only 4 days for detoxification.

•Completion rates tended to be higher among those discharged from treatment for primarily alcohol-related issues, and for those who were employed.

It is important to note that TEDS is an episode-based system and this means its figures for discharges do not directly correspond to the number of individuals discharged from treatment programs in a given year. For example, one individual who had undergone treatment twice during the same year would be counted as two discharges in the TEDS report.

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