Organizational survival in the outpatient substance abuse treatment sector, 1988-2000

Rebecca Wells, Christy Harris Lemak, Thomas A. D'Aunno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Substance abuse remains one of the most pressing health issues in the United States today, yet treatment supply continues to lag far behind need. Given the hostile environments treatment facilities face, their survival is a matter of pressing policy concern. Results from analyses of National Drug Abuse Treatment System Survey (NDATSS) data from 1988 through 2000 suggest that organizational attributes such as age, size, and client severity and resource dependencies such as reliance on government revenue affect survival, but their effects change over time. By the mid-1990s, director involvement in state and local policy making was positively associated with subsequent survival; later that decade, directors' professional credentials affected survival as well. Results also show that serving clients with multiple substance abuse problems became a survival liability by the late 1990s. Facilities that treat clients with multiple addictions may need additional financial support to serve these particularly vulnerable clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-719
Number of pages23
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2005


  • Drug abuse treatment
  • Models, organizational
  • Organization and administration
  • Organizational survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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