SAMHDA is compliant with all relevant data security policies. Our information system is hosted in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Information Technology (SAMHSA IT) environment and is compliant with the standards defined by the Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA). SAMHDA has undergone certification and accreditation and has been issued an Authority to Operate (ATO) by the SAMHSA Chief Information Officer (CIO).
Research Data Centers
SAMHSA has partnered with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to host restricted-use NSDUH data at its Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (RDCs). RDCs are secure facilities that provide access to a range of restricted-use microdata for statistical purposes. SAMHSA is the most recent federal partner to work with NCHS in making NSDUH restricted-use microdata available to approved researchers at RDC sites. Eligible researchers may now apply for access to these data through SAMHSA’s RDC website.
Promise of Confidentiality
A promise of confidentiality is a promise to a respondent or research participant that the information the respondent provides will not be disseminated in identifiable form without the permission of the respondent; that the fact that the respondent participates in the study will not be disclosed; and that disseminated information will include no linkages to the identity of the respondent. Such a promise encompasses traditional notions of both confidentiality and anonymity. In most cases, federal law protects the confidentiality of the respondent’s identity as referenced in the Promise of Confidentiality. Under this condition, names and other identifying information regarding respondents would be confidential.
A research subject is a person or organization that participates in a research study. A research subject may also be called a respondent. A respondent is generally a survey respondent or informant, experimental or observational subject, focus group participant, or any other person providing information to a study.
Privacy of Research Subjects
Any intentional identification of a research subject (whether an individual or an organization) or unauthorized disclosure of his or her confidential information violates the Promise of Confidentiality given to the providers of the information. Disclosure of confidential information may also be punishable under federal law. Therefore, users of data agree:
- To use these datasets solely for research or statistical purposes and not for re-identification of specific research subjects.
- To make no use of the identity of any research subject discovered inadvertently and to report any such discovery to the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality (CBHSQ) and to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You acknowledge that SAMHSA will bear no responsibility for your use of the data or for your interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
- Report of the violation to the Research Integrity Officer, Institutional Review Board, or Human Subjects Review Committee of the user’s institution. A range of sanctions are available to institutions, including revocation of tenure and termination.
- Report of the violation to the federal Office for Human Research Protections, if the confidentiality of human subjects has been violated. This may result in an investigation of the user’s institution, which can result in institution-wide sanctions, including the suspension of all research grants.
- Report of the violation of federal law to the U.S. Attorney General for possible prosecution.
- Court-awarded payments of damages to any individual(s)/organization(s) harmed by the breach of confidential data.