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pinksqlink.gif (168 bytes) Acknowledgments
pinksqlink.gif (168 bytes) Availability of DATOS Data Files

The Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Studies (DATOS) were initiated in 1990 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to evaluate drug abuse treatment outcomes and emerging treatment issues in the United States. This was NIDA's third national outcome evaluation study of publicly-funded treatment. Four collaborating research centers were funded in 1995 to pursue independent but coordinated programs of research based on DATOS.

The National Development and Research Institutes (NDRI) at North Carolina focused on trends in service delivery, client populations, and access to treatment (Robert L. Hubbard, Principal Investigator).

Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth examined factors related to treatment engagement and retention (D. Dwayne Simpson, Principal Investigator, Institute of Behavioral Research).

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) addressed addiction and treatment careers (M. Douglas Anglin, Principal Investigator, Drug Abuse Research Center).

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Services Research Branch considered policy implications related to the changing nature of drug abuse treatment and effectiveness (Bennett W. Fletcher, Principal Investigator).

The collaborating research centers emphasized four variable domains within the contexts of their programs of study. The domains, selected in accord with their significance for the drug abuse field, included cocaine use, HIV risk behaviors, psychiatric comorbidity, and criminal justice status.

The overall goal of DATOS was to advance scientific knowledge about the effectiveness of drug abuse treatment as it is typically delivered in the United States. From an historical perspective, DATOS is the continuation of an unparalleled effort by NIDA to evaluate drug abuse treatment outcomes in each of the last three decades. (See Background.) Issues of importance include shifting public concern and expectations for treatment, changes in the funding and organization of treatment programs, and significant advances in research on the neurobiological bases of addiction. With these issues in mind, DATOS researchers studied a wide range of questions of scientific and policy relevance. These include:

  • Studies of contemporary treatment outcomes, especially long-term outcomes and how they relate to phases of addiction and treatment

  • Examination of the evolving drug abuse treatment system, including delivery and utilization of primary and ancillary services

  • Research on the components of effective treatment, including factors that engage and retain clients in programs

Baseline data used in the current DATOS studies were gathered from 10,010 adult clients entering drug abuse treatment programs located in 11 representative U.S. cities during 1991-1993. A total of 96 treatment programs participated.  Treatment modalities included Outpatient Methadone Treatment (OMT), Long-Term Residential (LTR), Outpatient Drug-Free (ODF), and Short-Term Inpatient (STI). Data reflecting during-treatment progress were collected at 3 and 6 months, and follow-up data were collected from a sample of approximately 3,000 clients at 12 months posttreatment. An extended follow-up gathered data on clients over a 5-year follow-up period.  In addition, a separate series of studies focused on adolescents in treatment.


Intake, intreatment, and 12-month follow-up data for the DATOS Project were collected under NIDA Contract No. N01DA-9-8233 with Research Triangle Institute.

The 5-year follow-up data were collected by the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago under contract with the NDRI Cooperative DATOS Coordinating Center, which was supported by NIDA Grant U01-DA10377.

This research would not have occurred without the cooperation of about 100 drug abuse treatment programs located throughout the United States.  We gratefully acknowledge their efforts, and their clients, in making this research possible.

The interpretations and conclusions contained in this Web site do not necessarily represent the positions of NIDA, or the Department of Health and Human Services.

Availability of DATOS Data Files

Findings from DATOS studies are shared with researchers and treatment providers through journal publications, conference presentations, and this Web site.  In addition, the Cooperative DATOS Steering Committee and the National Institute on Drug Abuse are pleased to announce that all data files from the DATOS Project are available to interested researchers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) at the University of Michigan.  More information is available through the Internet at www.icpsr.umich.edu/SAMHDA.   SAMHDA is an initiative of the Office of Applied Studies at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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Last Revised:
September 21, 2007

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