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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2003 Jan;24(1):51-7.

A national study of the substance abuse treatment workforce.

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  • 1Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 5515 Security Lane, Suite 840, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


This study's purpose is to gain a current perspective on the substance abuse treatment field's workforce. The data are from the Retrospective Study of treatment professionals designed to document how the Treatment Improvement Protocols published by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment have influenced the implementation of best practices. The Retrospective Study consisted of a two-wave cross-sectional survey with telephone follow-up. Data for this study were from demographic information on Wave 1 study participants, which had a response rate of 80.1% (N = 3,267). The results of the study showed that most treatment professionals are White (84.5%) and middle-aged (i.e., between 40 and 55 years old) and slightly more are female (50.5.0%) than male (49.5%). Treatment professionals tend to enter the field and stay in it, and almost 80.0% of respondents possess a bachelor's degree or higher. In addition, most treatment professionals are licensed or certified and treat clients from different racial and ethnic backgrounds than themselves. Implications for the provision of treatment services are discussed.

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