Addiction :: National addiction treatment leaders to meet at first NIATx Summit

Network for the Improvement of Addiction Treatment (NIATx) will host the first NIATx Summit in San Antonio. Addiction treatment providers, payers, policymakers and clinicians will come together to celebrate recent successes in treatment access and retention, unveil a national campaign and learn cutting-edge practices to improve the quality of treatment service.

Established in 2003, NIATx is a partnership among the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Paths to Recovery program, the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention program and a number of independent addiction treatment organizations. A division of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies, NIATx helps substance abuse and mental health treatment organizations improve consumer access to and retention in treatment.

Through a series of targeted programs, NIATx works to counter the staggering statistics for addiction in America:

An estimated 23 million Americans age 12 and older need treatment for substance use disorders and addictions.

Less than 10 percent of them actually receive treatment.

Dropout rates among those who do approach 30 percent.

Since 2003, NIATx has helped treatment centers make dramatic improvements in access to and retention in treatment. NIATx’s founding members have taken part in three programs – Paths to Recovery, Strengthening Treatment Access and Retention, and the State Pilot Project – to improve their operations and capacity. Using the NIATx model of process improvement and their existing resources, these founding members reduced their wait times by 35 percent, reduced their no-shows by 33 percent, increased their admissions by 22 percent and increased their continuations through treatment by 22 percent.

Louise Howell, director of Kentucky River Community Care, says, “Quite candidly, we did not anticipate the incredible rewards that we’ve reaped from our membership in NIATx. It has been a systems-changing experience.” Leaders at New York’s St. Christopher’s Inn report, “We found that admissions increased by 14 percent in the month following the NIATx Change Project, compared to the same month the previous year. This improvement in admissions translated into a $272,000 gain in revenue.”

At the NIATx Summit, nearly 600 attendees will take part in learning sessions about improving client access and retention while lowering their costs and staff turnover, receive news of upcoming programs like NIATx 200, witness the unveiling of a new national campaign for the field and hear keynote presentations.

The presentations will include guests such as Patricia Taylor, executive director of Faces & Voices of Recovery; Terry Cline, newly appointed director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; Thomas McLellan, CEO of the Treatment Research Institute; and John Timmerman, vice president of quality and program management for Ritz-Carlton.

“This is an exciting moment in the field of addiction treatment,” says David H. Gustafson, NIATx director. “We’ve learned a great deal about what works. As this knowledge is shared with a larger group at the summit, we have an extraordinary opportunity to create sustained benefits for states, providers, individuals in treatment, and their families.”

NIATx invites interested parties to announce the first NIATx Summit – which takes place during San Antonio’s FIESTA! Celebration – or to cover this first-of-its-kind event in full.

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