When I joined the NAATP staff in early 2020 as Director of Research and Education, I knew that the task of creating a framework for a collaborative national outcomes research program would be a challenging undertaking. However, I did not have a full understanding of why this program was so desperately needed. With the recent release of the 2023 FoRSE Annual Summary, the NAATP Foundation’s Addiction Treatment Outcome Program is a tangible reality, and the importance of our work has become even more evident. The most common feedback we have received is, “Thank you. This work is so important.”
The 2023 Annual Summary is the first output produced by the NAATP Foundation for Recovery Science and Education (FoRSE), and it is the first report of its kind in the industry. The Summary describes the Why, What, and How of this national research collaborative that was developed and is sustained by treatment providers themselves, as well as other supportive organizations and individuals who believe that recovery stories can and must be told in data.
The FoRSE Outcomes Program is active, productive, and growing, now with 75 treatment facilities across 25 US States participating. We need to tell the stories of transformation and recovery that we see every day in treatment, but we need to tell these stories with objectivity and quantitative results. The FoRSE Outcomes Program is the framework to do that.
The Annual Summary describes the set of de-identified data from over 150,000 unique patient episodes submitted by 55 distinct nationwide treatment providers. The report describes that overall, patient-reported increases in recovery capital, as well as decreases in SUD and mental health symptoms, were observed across the course of treatment and throughout the first year of post-discharge follow-up. Limitations of the program such as missing and incomplete data are described transparently, with identified action steps to prepare the data set for more rigorous study.
The objectives of the program are clear, including addressing several commonly-expressed concerns about the current state of addiction healthcare, such as the need for standardized measurement, data accessibility, and use of data to advocate for reimbursement, parity, and equitable access to services. The framework of the program offers great promise to the future of the field by helping providers to demonstrate the value of their services and to raise the bar of quality, both within their own organizations and in the treatment community at large. The program also offers opportunities for researchers to examine large data sets to answer important questions about the recovery process.
Annie Peters, PhD, LP
FoRSE Executive Director
Watch our informative video of the FoRSE general session at NAATP National 2023 called Emerging Findings from the FoRSE Outcomes Program.
Be Part of the Solution
If you are a leader at an organization that provides treatment or recovery support services and want to be involved in the FoRSE Outcomes Program, complete the online form or email firstname.lastname@example.org