Service Profiles in Substance Use Disorder Treatment: Are Treatment Facilities Consistent In Service Mix and Service Offerings?

J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2022 May;83(3):374-382.


Objective: Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment facilities are the specialty treatment settings for individuals with SUDs and offer a variety of services for their treatment and long-term management. Despite the recommendations from evidence-based practice guidelines, individual facilities differ in terms of the number and type of services offered, resulting in gaps in service availability. The purpose of this study was to examine whether systematic differences exist among SUD treatment facilities based on the facility's service mix.

Method: Publicly available data on SUD treatment facilities within the United States were obtained from the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) for 2015-2018. Latent class analysis was used to identify the presence of different service profiles (i.e., classes of facilities) based on service mix and bivariate analysis to determine organizational characteristics associated with each profile.

Results: SUD treatment facilities systematically differ in service mix, and we identified three distinct service profiles--broad, high-prevalence; narrow, nonmedical; and broad, intermediate-prevalence. The distribution of facilities across the three profiles varied considerably, with a majority (90%) of facilities belonging to the broad, high-prevalence service profile, whereas 9.5% belonged to the narrow, nonmedical profile and the remainder (<1% of all facilities) to the broad, intermediate-prevalence service profile.

Conclusions: The three service profiles and the distribution of facilities within each profile identified in this study highlight challenges and opportunities for practitioners and policymakers. The findings also suggest several avenues for future research in the area of policy, organizational strategy, and service delivery within SUD treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers*
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / rehabilitation
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / therapy
  • United States / epidemiology