Patterns of organization and management in private and public substance abuse treatment programs

Paul M. Roman, Lori J. Ducharme, Hannah K. Knudsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


As an organizational field, substance abuse treatment clearly includes a remarkable range of organizations. Yet only in the past two decades has there been research interest in the organizational context in which treatment is delivered. The goal of this article is to promote the concept of organizational field by summarizing findings from an ongoing research program and by examining the organizational structure, service delivery, and patterns of innovation adoption in two large samples of substance abuse treatment programs in the United States. Among highlighted findings, there are notable differences between the public and private sectors in structural and staffing characteristics, as well as in the characteristics of clients receiving substance abuse treatment. With regard to the use of evidence-based practices, our findings suggest that pharmacotherapies are more likely to be adopted in private centers, whereas notably effective voucher approaches are more common in public centers. Future research directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Substance Abuse Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the research support of the NIDA (grants R01DA14482 and R01DA13110).

Funding Information:
There has long been an interest in evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for substance abuse, and this has accelerated in recent decades with the development of distinctive new techniques of intervention. The individual client is the unit of analysis in most of these studies, and only in the past two decades has there been research interest in the broader contexts in which treatment is delivered. This anticipates the next stage of delineating the organizational field of substance abuse treatment. Without doubt, much of the empirical raw materials for such a delineation already exist or are developing within the distinctive health services research specialty focused on substance abuse. Targeted funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) of the NIH has supported this specialty interest and has led to a considerable number of studies, as well as to a very ambitious roadmap for future research ( Weisner & McLellan, 2004 ). What is needed is a continuing synthesis and codification of this work as it occurs at multiple levels of analysis of data according to its relevance within this broad ecology.


  • Addiction treatment
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Patterns of organization and management in private and public substance abuse treatment programs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this