Replication and Sustainability of Improved Access and Retention within the Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment

The Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) is a community of addiction treatment centers seeking to improve the quality of treatment for alcohol and drug disorders. The network aims to improve organizational performance by:

  • reducing wait time between first request for service and treatment;
  • reducing client no-shows;
  • increasing the number of admissions; and
  • increasing retention between the first and fourth treatment sessions.

A previous study of NIATx's work reported significant reductions in days to treatment and significant increases in retention in care. This study examines both the replicability and the sustainability of the original intervention. Replicability was assessed using data from a second cohort of treatment centers. The long-term sustainability of the intervention was analyzed using an additional 20 months of data from the original cohort.

Key Findings:

  • Over the 18-month intervention, data from the new cohort of treatment centers showed a 38 percent reduction in days to treatment, from 30.7 days to 19.4 days. Retention in care for the new cohort improved 18 percent between the first and fourth session of care. Together, these findings indicate that the intervention was successfully replicated.
  • The sustainability analysis shows that treatment centers maintained the improvements made in reducing the time to treatment and enhancing retention in care, despite exhausting awarded funding for the project. This suggests that participating programs have institutionalized the organizational changes that led to improved processes.