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Appalachia has been at the center of the drug crisis that has now exploded across the United States, wreaking havoc on communities and destroying lives. Other than a brief, hopeful leveling off in 2018, drug use and overdose deaths have continued to accelerate. One key focus of policies aimed at dealing with the crisis has been treatment and recovery resources, which provide critical support for those struggling with addiction. The Appalachian Regional Commission wishes to document the distribution of treatment and recovery resources within Appalachia, which is critical to assessing unmet needs. The following report describes, reviews, and evaluates the usefulness of the National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services (N-SSATS) database for summarizing and analyzing substance abuse treatment resources and services at the substate level that would be required for understanding the extent of unmet needs within Appalachia’s counties and subregions. Though the focus of our initial research was on a substate/subregional analysis of the Appalachian Region, the issues discussed are broadly applicable to other areas.


This report was prepared for the Appalachian Regional Commission under contract PW-19667-19.