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National Drug Control Strategy:
Data Supplement

Improving Federal Drug-Related Data Systems

ONDCP supports improvements to enhance the policy relevance of federal drug-related data systems. The Data Subcommittee has supported the following innovations:

  • In 2004, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) will be implementing the planning process to effect substantial changes to the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring (ADAM) program. These changes will enable the production of nationally representative estimates of drug use prevalence among the arrestee population, while continuing to provide representative data at the local level. Originally, NIJ had planned to continue the existing ADAM program uninterrupted while the new program was being designed and implemented. However, due to anticipated FY 2004 budget reductions in funding for NIJ, there will be insufficient funding to continue data collection under the existing ADAM program in 2004. NIJ anticipates implementation of the redesigned program by the end of 2005.

  • The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) has several activities to promote state data systems. For example, 20 states now voluntarily collect common process and capacity data using software developed under Minimum Data Set I (MDSI), which permits collection from the provider through the substate, state, and federal system levels. Similarly, states can voluntarily report on five common outcome measures in the pilot Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) block grant application.

  • SAMHSA’s Office of Applied Studies (OAS) is currently undertaking a redesign of the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) system, in efforts to maintain alignment with the health care delivery system. DAWN is an important source of national and local data on substance abuse derived from information on visits to hospital emergency departments (EDs) and drug-related deaths identified by medical examiners (MEs). DAWN collects data on the demographic characteristics of substance abusers and the specific drugs involved in each drug-related ED visit or death. The new design began initial phase-in in 2003 with the following: 1) expanding the sample of emergency departments to include 45 metropolitan areas, 2) establishing a sentinel hospital system for early reporting, 3) changing the criteria for identifying a DAWN case, and 4) converting from paper to electronic forms. The effort is continuing in 2004.

  • ONDCP and the Department of Justice (DoJ) are leading an interagency effort to update drug availability estimates-from source countries through availability in the United States-for cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine. The first round of estimates were published in 2003; updates will be produced each year. Results from this project are providing critical measures enabling assessment of the Nation’s supply-reduction programs. The next round of estimates are expected to be published in the Spring of 2004.

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Last Updated: December 27, 2004

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