Treatment Episode Data Set: Admissions (TEDS-A-2005-2009)

Parent Series Details:

The Treatment Episode Data Set -- Admissions (TEDS-A) is a national data system of annual admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities. State laws require substance abuse treatment programs to report their publically-funded admissions to the state. Some states collect only their publically-funded admissions while other states are able to collect their privately-funded admissions from facilities that receive public funding. States then report these data from their state administrative systems to SAMHSA. The resulting data system is referred to as TEDS-A. Thus, TEDS does not include all admissions to substance abuse treatment. It does, however, include that portion that would constitute the public burden for substance abuse treatment.

TEDS-A contains records on admissions aged 12 or older, and includes information on admission demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, employment status, etc.) and substance abuse characteristics (substances used, age at first use, route of use, frequency of use, number of prior admissions, etc.). TEDS-A records represent admissions rather than individuals, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once.

A sister data system, called the Treatment Episode Data Set -- Discharges (TEDS-D), collects data on discharges from substance abuse treatment facilities.


Study Details:

The Treatment Episode Data Set -- Admissions (TEDS-A) is a national census data system of annual admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities. TEDS-A provides annual data on the number and characteristics of persons admitted to public and private substance abuse treatment programs that receive public funding. The unit of analysis is a treatment admission. TEDS consists of data reported to state substance abuse agencies by the treatment programs, which in turn report it to SAMHSA.

A sister data system, called the Treatment Episode Data Set -- Discharges (TEDS-D), collects data on discharges from substance abuse treatment facilities. The first year of TEDS-A data is 1992, while the first year of TEDS-D is 2006.

TEDS variables that are required to be reported are called the "Minimum Data Set (MDS)", while those that are optional are called the "Supplemental Data Set (SuDS)".

Variables in the MDS include: information on service setting, number of prior treatments, primary source of referral, gender, race, ethnicity, education, employment status, substance(s) abused, route of administration, frequency of use, age at first use, and whether methadone was prescribed in treatment. Supplemental variables include: diagnosis codes, presence of psychiatric problems, living arrangements, source of income, health insurance, expected source of payment, pregnancy and veteran status, marital status, detailed not in labor force codes, detailed criminal justice referral codes, days waiting to enter treatment, and the number of arrests in the 30 days prior to admissions (starting in 2008) .

Substances abused include alcohol, cocaine and crack, marijuana and hashish, heroin, nonprescription methadone, other opiates and synthetics, PCP, other hallucinogens, methamphetamine, other amphetamines, other stimulants, benzodiazepines, other non-benzodiazepine tranquilizers, barbiturates, other non-barbiturate sedatives or hypnotics, inhalants, over-the-counter medications, and other substances.

Created variables include total number of substances reported, intravenous drug use (IDU), and flags for any mention of specific substances.

Study Scope

Time period: 
Collection date: 
Geographic coverage : 
United States
Unit of observation: 
treatment admissions
Data types: 
Administrative records data

Several limitations to the data exist and should be noted:

  • The number and client mix of TEDS records depends, to some extent, on external factors, including the availability of public funds. In states with higher funding levels, a larger percentage of the substance-abusing population may be admitted to treatment, including the less severely impaired and the less economically disadvantaged.

  • The primary, secondary, and tertiary substances of abuse reported to TEDS are those substances that led to the treatment episode, and not necessarily a complete enumeration of all drugs used at the time of admission.

  • The way an admission is defined may vary from state to state such that the absolute number of admissions is not a valid measure for comparing states.

  • States continually review the quality of their data processing. As systematic errors are identified, revisions may be enacted in historical TEDS data files. While this process improves the dataset over time, reported historical statistics may change slightly from year to year.

  • States vary in the extent to which coercion plays a role in referral to treatment. This variation derives from criminal justice practices and differing concentrations of abuser subpopulations.

  • Public funding constraints may direct states to selectively target special populations, for example, pregnant women or adolescents.

  • TEDS consists of treatment admissions, and therefore may include multiple admissions for the same client. Thus, any statistics derived from the data will represent admissions, not clients. It is possible for clients to have multiple initial admissions within a state and even within providers that have multiple treatment sites within the state. TEDS provides a national snapshot of what is seen at admission to treatment, but is currently not designed to follow individual clients through a sequence of treatment episodes.

  • TEDS distinguishes between "transfer admissions" and "initial admissions." Transfer admissions include clients transferred for distinct services within an episode of treatment. Only initial admissions are included in the public-use file.

  • Some states have no Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs) that provide medication-assisted therapy using methadone and/or buprenorphine.

In 2012, a new variable was added that reports the number of times, if any, that a client was arrested in the 30 days preceding his or her admission into treatment. The variable is not on files prior to 2008.

In 2012, changes were made to the full TEDS series. The changes consisted of the following:

  • The recoding scheme of the variable DENTLF (Detailed Not in Labor Force Category) was changed. The cases for "Inmate of Institution" have been separated from "Other" and are now a standalone category.

  • The recoding scheme of the variable DETCRIM (Detailed Criminal Justice Referral) was changed. The cases for "Prison" have been separated from "Probation/Parole" and are now a standalone category. The same was done for the cases for "Diversionary Program" which were previously combined with "Other". But the cases for "Other Recognized Legal Entity" previously combined with "State/Federal Court, Other Court" have now been combined with the "Other" category.

In 2011, a change was made to the full TEDS series. All records for which the age is missing are now excluded from the dataset.

In 2010, changes were made to the full TEDS series. The changes consisted of the following:

  • Clients 11 years old and younger are excluded from the dataset.

  • Puerto Rico now has its own category for Census Region and Division. Clients in Puerto Rico were formerly classified into the South Census Region and South Atlantic Census Division.

  • The state FIPS (STFIPS) variable is retained and a second state variable was dropped to reduce redundancy.

  • Value labels and question text are better aligned with the TEDS State Instruction Manual for Admissions Data.

  • The variable RACE is no longer recoded. Codes for "Asian" (code 13) and "Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander" (code 23) are now retained. Previously these codes were combined into the single code "Asian or Pacific Islander" (code 3). Each state may report any of the three codes. Therefore, all three codes remain in the data, unchanged from the way they are collected by the states.

The categories and codes in this public-use file differ somewhat from those used by SAMHSA and those found in the TEDS Crosswalks and in other reports. This is a result of the recoding that was performed to protect client privacy in creating the public-use file.

To further protect respondent and provider privacy, all Behavioral Health Services Information System (BHSIS) unique identification numbers have been removed from the public-use data. Therefore, no linkages are possible between the TEDS and the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) public-use files.

The data are collected from the states by Synectics for Management Decisions, Incorporated, on behalf of SAMHSA.

The 2009 public-use file was created using the most current data from October 2013 (the October 17, 2013, extract).

Subject Terms: 
  • alcohol abuse
  • drug abuse
  • drug treatment
  • health care services
  • health insurance
  • intervention
  • mental health
  • substance abuse
  • substance abuse treatment
  • treatment programs

Study Methodology

Mode of data collection: 
Record abstracts
Extent of processing: 
  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Standardized missing values.
  • Created online analysis version with question text.
  • Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.