Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services

Case Study Analysis of Two Substance Abuse Treatment Programs

Substance abuse treatment programs in New York State are generally operated by not-for-profit organizations under contract with the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS). According to research in the field of substance abuse treatment, treatment programs are more likely to be successful when clients complete at least three months of a program, and are much more likely to be successful when clients complete the entire program, which can last more than a year. Our prior report (93-S-7) found that client retention and completion rates vary considerably in the treatment programs overseen by OASAS. However, the research in the field has yet to determine why these rates vary. We compared two similar treatment programs with different retention and completion rates. We found that the program with the higher retention and completion rates used different procedures to admit clients, provided clients with more vocational and educational services, supervised its counselors to a greater extent, and was less demanding in regulating the lives of the clients while they were in the program. While these differences might, in part, account for the differences in retention and completion rates, further study is needed before such a determination can be made. We urge OASAS to conduct such studies.

For a complete copy of Report 95-D-39 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.