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Validated Data Collection Tools

Substance use disorder treatment and prevention programs may need to collect different types of data including:

  • Data from police reports about substance use disorder-related encounters
  • Healthcare systems data relating to substance misuse-related treatment, hospitalizations, health outcomes, and deaths
  • Mental healthcare provider data related to medication, counseling, and treatment outcomes
  • Social service agency data on referrals to and utilization of substance use disorder prevention, treatment, counseling, and recovery support services
  • Emergency medical services data on rates of opioid overdose and naloxone administration in the community
  • Program data about the number and characteristics of individuals using services, the number of training sessions held, and the number of staff trained in program activities.

The evaluation may be able to utilize existing data from these sources. Collaborations between community residents and organizations, treatment providers, healthcare systems, and law enforcement can help substance use disorder programs obtain data they might not otherwise have access to.

If new data must be collected, there are several validated data collection tools available including, but not limited to, the following:

  • The Addiction Severity Index (ASI): The ASI is a semi-structured, one-hour interview designed to collect information about aspects of a person's life that might have contributed to his or her substance misuse. The ASI covers seven domains: medical status, employment/support status, alcohol use, drug use, legal status, family/social status, and psychiatric status.
  • The Maudsley Addiction Profile (MAP): The MAP is a multi-dimensional tool designed to evaluate treatment outcomes. It consists of 60 questions covering substance misuse, physical and mental health, personal and social functioning, and health risk behaviors.
  • The Opiate Treatment Index (OTI): The OTI is a structured interview assessing treatment outcomes in six domains: drug use, social functioning, criminality, HIV risk-taking behavior, health status, and psychological adjustment.
  • The World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF (WHOQOL-BREF): This is a 26-item questionnaire aimed at assessing changes in quality of life over the course of an intervention. This questionnaire covers mental and physical health and social relationships, as well as outcomes relating to the home environment, financial resources, and new skills.
  • Tools for diagnosing opioid dependence are summarized in this table from a 2015 article in the Journal of Correctional Health Care.

Rural communities have also modified versions of the Opioid Overdose Attitudes Scale and the Opioid Overdose Knowledge Scale to assess knowledge and attitudes.

Resources to Learn More

Chart of Evidence-Based Screening Tools for Adults and Adolescents
A chart of evidence-based and validated tools that can be used to screen for substance use disorders as well as certain pain-related and mental health outcomes. Includes additional resources for pain assessment, patient health, and drug testing guidelines.
Organization: National Institute on Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse Treatment Cost Analysis Program (DATCAP)
DATCAP is an interview guide and instrument for collecting cost data for evaluation of drug abuse treatment programs. Helps programs collect and analyze cost data relating to a variety of resources, including personnel, supplies and materials, buildings, facilities, and equipment.
Organization(s): University of Miami

Program Evaluation: Data Collection and Analysis
Includes briefs that describe quantitative and qualitative modes of data collection for evaluation. Covers focus groups, interviews, surveys, and document review. Provides suggestions on the advantages and disadvantages of each method and when to use them.
Organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention