May 11, 2023
Does Addiction Treatment “Work”?
NAATP Foundation Publishes Inaugural Report Examining Outcomes Measurement in Addiction Healthcare
The Foundation for Recovery Science and Education (FoRSE), a nonprofit organization developed by the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP) in 2020, has published its inaugural report summarizing addiction treatment delivery and outcomes from over 50 treatment centers across the country.
Over 46 million Americans had a substance use disorder (SUD) in the past year, and hundreds of thousands of addiction-related deaths occur in the US annually. In response to the accelerating addiction crisis, the Foundation has organized this growing group of addiction treatment providers to measure and transparently report on treatment effectiveness and the quality of services. With the lack of publicly available information on the impact of SUD treatment, this report is groundbreaking in its scope. Preliminary results discussed in the report include a decrease in severity of symptoms of SUD, depression, and anxiety over the course of treatment and throughout the first year of follow-up.
The FoRSE Addiction Treatment Outcomes Program maintains a database of de-identified data, with a growing sample of over 170,000 unique patient treatment episodes from 73 data site facilities spanning 25 States. The participating facilities represent a combination of business structures, scopes of service, payment sources (e.g., private insurance, Medicaid, self-pay), and treatment approaches (e.g., medication, Twelve Step, recovery support). These providers collect data from patients including current substance use, mental health symptoms, and quality of life. FoRSE’s unique system accepts de-identified data from nearly all types of data collection tools, making it convenient and cost-effective to participate. Recognizing the significance of racial, ethnic, and other disparities in healthcare, FoRSE includes demographics and measures of social determinants of health.
The FoRSE program represents an unprecedented initiative in healthcare practice, made even more unique and significant in the SUD field because of its composition of data sites and ability to simplify the complexities of health data into valuable insights for providers and the public. Because the data are fully de-identified, patient privacy and confidentiality of data are protected.
The FoRSE report is the first publicly available review of de-identified data collected across these organizations. The aim of the report is to provide a summary of the characteristics of the patients served, the nature and duration of services provided, and the outcomes observed during and after services were provided. Next steps for FoRSE include establishing research partnerships to fully examine the data and answer questions about patient characteristics and treatment types that predict sustained recovery. This research can help treatment providers individualize treatment plans and improve effectiveness.
“This summary report will be followed by individualized reports given to each participating treatment center, giving them insight into the effectiveness of their programs and benchmark themselves against other providers across the country,” says FoRSE Executive Director, Dr. Annie Peters. “As we face continually rising rates of substance use and mental health issues, we are optimistic about the potential positive impact on the treatment community, patients, their families, and the public."
The FoRSE program launched with the financial backing of FoRSE leadership and a prestigious group of early adopter data sites. FoRSE was created to raise the bar in addiction healthcare and position it alongside other medical diseases. For a complete list of contributors, please see the Founding Donor Wall.
Contributions are accepted and will strengthen the organization’s ability to expand its work. All gifts to FoRSE are tax deductible.
Access FoRSE 2023 Annual Summary