Does state certification or licensure influence outpatient substance abuse treatment program practices?

J Behav Health Serv Res. 2007 Jul;34(3):309-28. doi: 10.1007/s11414-007-9069-z. Epub 2007 Jun 26.


In the United States, state governments legally authorize outpatient substance abuse treatment programs. In some states, programs are certified or accredited (ideal standards). Other states license programs (minimal standards). Additionally, some states authorize programs through "deemed status", which is afforded to programs attaining accreditation from a national accrediting body. Primary legal research and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services' (N-SSATS) data were used to examine the relationships between state authorization type (certification/accreditation vs licensure with and without deemed status) and outpatient treatment program practices. Programs in certification/accreditation (vs licensure) states had significantly higher odds of offering wrap-around and continuing care/after care services associated with better long-term treatment outcome. Programs in states that allowed for certification/accreditation with deemed status had significantly lower odds of infectious disease testing, but higher odds of providing group and family counseling. Results suggest that state authorization type may impact services offered by outpatient treatment programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Certification*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Licensure*
  • State Government*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / methods*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / organization & administration
  • United States