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The History of NAATP 

The National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers was formed in the late 1970s, after over a dozen program directors came together in California to discuss the possibility of establishing an association of private non-profit alcoholism programs. At the time, there was no organization or association representing the interests of private sector addiction treatment providers, especially in the area of uniform insurance benefits. 

These early meetings generated a formal proposal in January 1978 to form the National Association for Alcoholism Treatment Programs (NAATP). 

NAATP’s history has paralleled the evolution of the addiction treatment profession, from the shifting attitudes and policies toward the disease of addiction in the 1970s, to the financial challenges brought on by Managed Care in the 1990s, to the incredible industry growth and ethical pitfalls we face today. 

In 2008, William L. White, renowned recovery historian and author writer, wrote the 30-year history of The National Association, A Tradition of Leadership. This book honors the members and leaders central to our history and chronicles our maturity into one of the most vital voices representing the field of addiction treatment. 

Read A Tradition of Leadership

The Addiction Treatment Landscape Today 

Addiction continues to be a serious national social, economic, and public health crisis in the US that is not adequately addressed in public policy or treatment delivery. 

The passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), changed the industry again by growing private investment in addiction care and treatment model-health care systems integration.  

The massive industry growth that resulted from this legislation gave rise to concerns about unethical marketing practices and bad actors looking to exploit families and individuals seeking treatment and raised questions about the effectiveness of various treatment methods.  

NAATP Answers the Call for Strong Leadership 

The National Association has stepped up in this uncertain time to address the need for uniform ethics standards across the industry and within its membership, establishing itself as the professional voice of high-quality, ethical care. There is no other national organization that can represent the treatment provider industry with such a strong and unified voice. NAATP plays a unique and essential leadership role and continues to address the addiction industry by influencing:

  • Access to addiction treatment
  • Delivery of addiction treatment
  • Recognition of best service delivery practices in addiction treatment
  • Recognition of ethical practices in addiction care marketing and service delivery
  • Dissemination of addiction treatment information to the industry and the public
  • Education and training
  • Public policy advocacy
  • Addiction industry unity, collaboration, and information sharing

Beginning in 2016, NAATP has developed an aggressive position on industry ethics, as illustrated in the timeline below.  

  • Jan 2016: Ethics Complaint Policy and Procedure roll-out 
  • Jul 2017: NAATP Launches Quality Assurance Initiative 
  • Sep 2017: Google Restricts AdWords 
  • Jan 2018: NAATP Releases Code of Ethics 2.0 
    • Revising Complaint Process
    • Updating Membership Conditions 
  • Mar 2018: NAATP Releases Treatment Selection Guide 
  • Jul 2018: NAATP Provides Testimony at Congressional Hearing “Examining Advertising and Marketing Practices within the Substance Use Treatment Industry” 
  • Jan 2019: Membership Accreditation Requirement roll-out 
  • Mar 2019: NAATP Releases Code of Ethics 2.5 
  • Mar 2019: Publication of the Outcomes Measurement Toolkit and Pilot Project Final Report 
  • Aug 2019: Publication of The Addiction Treatment Provider Quality Assurance Guidebook