Needs Assessment

Wisconsin Substance Abuse Treatment
Needs Assessment Project

Alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) has a significant economic and social impact on the people of Wisconsin. It has been estimated that the economic impact is well over $2.6 billion each year in lowered productivity, health care and criminal justice systems costs, injury and premature death.

The Department of Health Services' response to the need for reliable information about this impact will take the form of a partnership among the following agencies:

  • Division of Supportive Living

  • Bureau of Substance Abuse Services

  • Division of Public Health

  • Bureau of Health Information

  • University of Wisconsin Survey Center

  • University of Wisconsin Medical School, Center for Health Policy and Program Evaluation

  • Other participating agencies

Together, these agencies have initiated a six-year $1.8 million assessment of the alcohol and other drug abuse treatment needs of Wisconsin residents. In Wisconsin, the following five studies are completed: a statewide substance abuse treatment needs telephone survey; an alcohol and other drug abuse treatment capacity analysis; a composite alcohol and drug abuse indicators study; interviews with pregnant females to identify substance abuse treatment needs; and interviews with arrestees to identify abuse treatment needs; and an integrative analysis of all five studies. Each of these studies will contribute information for state and county planning for the distribution of alcohol and other drug abuse funds. These studies meet federal requirements for information to support Wisconsin's receipt of some $21 million in federal substance abuse Block Grant funds.

Round 2 studies commenced in 1999 and are as follows:

  • "Off year" estimates of substance abuse prevalence and treatment need will be produced using the results from the Statewide Substance Abuse and Treatment Needs Telephone Survey conducted during round 1. This annual study will be conducted under subcontract and will serve to validate the survey results as well as provide annual estimates of prevalence and treatment need.

  • The treatment resource, utilization, and capacity analysis study completed during round 1 will be continued on an annual basis. This will include an updated inventory of alcohol/drug abuse programs, services provided, costs, and capacity vs. need (gap) analyses by geographic areas and other client characteristics.

  • The composite alcohol and drug indicators study will be implemented annually using the factor analytic model developed in round 1.

  • A household survey to identify substance abuse prevalence and treatment needs of Native Americans living on a sample of Wisconsin's reservations will be conducted.

  • A short and long-term treatment outcome and client satisfaction study for use in needs assessment and evaluation will be implemented among a representative sample of substance abuse programs and clients whose treatment was subsidized with public funds.

These studies will serve to inform both state and county policy makers in their pursuit of this mission. Results will be available in March 2002. The contact person and project manager for the studies is  Mike Quirke, Bureau of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, (608) 266-7584.

Information regarding the federal Household Survey is available as well. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sponsors the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse reporting the results of interviews with over 25,000 persons age 12 and older across the country.


Last Revised: November 13, 2014