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Funded by: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; The Center for Substance Abuse and Treatment
February 1999
Principal Investigator: David Gustafson, Ph.D.

Awards & Recognition
  • State Associations of Addiction Services - Excellence in Leadership Award (2007)
  • Addiction Resource Council – Professional Service Award (2006)
  • NASADAD – Outstanding Service and Leadership in Support of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors

Project web site/


Based at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, NIATx Is a project aimed at improving access to and retention in addiction treatment, while making process improvement part of the culture of managing and delivering treatment. Researchers for NIATx work with addiction treatment providers to make more efficient use of their capacity and share strategies for improving treatment access and retention.

The Need

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, every year more than 23 million Americans are in need of addiction treatment, but less than 10 percent of those individuals receive treatment (1). For some financing is a barrier to treatment and for others readiness is a barrier, but often problems in service delivery prevent clients from accessing treatment (2). NIATx focuses on this last barrier–the delivery of treatment services–to improve patients' access to and retention in treatment.


NIATx works with its member organizations and the field at large to improve treatment through organizational changes that address four aims:

  1. To reduce the wait time between a client's first request for service and the first treatment session
  2. To reduce client no-shows
  3. To increase addiction treatment centers' admissions
  4. To increase the treatment continuation rate between the first and the fourth treatment sessions

NIATx members create a culture of process improvement in which treatment center staff uses existing resources to improve services, learn innovative strategies through peer networking, and model organizational improvements in addiction treatment. NIATx supports its members' efforts by providing the field of addiction treatment with research, innovative ideas, tools for improvement, case studies, and through conferences, publications, and the Web site.

	Maureen Fitzgerald
	Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies
	University of Wisconsin-Madison
	(608) 890-0937

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