Data from the Alcohol and Drug Services Study (ADSS) are used to analyze the structure and operation of the substance abuse treatment industry in the United States. Published literature contains little systematic empirical analysis of the interaction between organizational characteristics and treatment outcomes. This paper addresses that deficit. It develops and tests a hierarchical linear model (HLM) to address questions about the empirical relationship between treatment inputs (industry costs, types and use of counseling and medical personnel, diagnosis mix, patient demographics, and the nature and level of services used in substance abuse treatment), and patient outcomes (retention and treatment completion rates). The paper adds to the literature by demonstrating a direct and statistically significant link between treatment completion and the organizational and staffing structure of the treatment setting. Related reimbursement issues, questions for future analysis, and limitations of the ADSS for this analysis are discussed. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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