Dasis_Header.gif (5135 bytes)
October 4, 2002

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)

In Brief

  • TEDS is an administrative data system providing descriptive information about the national flow of admissions to specialty providers of substance abuse treatment
  • Approximately 1.6 million admission records are submitted to TEDS each year
  • TEDS public use files for 1992-1999 are available for on-line analysis through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA)

The Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) is an administrative data system providing descriptive information about the national flow of admissions to specialty providers of substance abuse treatment. TEDS is part of the Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS), a cooperative program between the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and State substance abuse agencies to collect data on substance abuse services.

The TEDS system was designed to provide data on the number and characteristics of admissions to substance abuse treatment programs that receive State alcohol and/or drug agency funds (including Federal Block Grant funds) for the provision of alcohol and/or drug treatment services. Treatment programs are requested to provide TEDS data on all clients, regardless of the individual client's source of funding. Data are collected from all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

TEDS Data Sets
The TEDS system is comprised of two separate components, the Admissions Data System and the Discharge Data System. These components can be linked to provide information on complete treatment episodes. While the Admissions Data System is an established program that has been operational for more than 10 years, the Discharge Data System (Table 1) is relatively new. Currently about 20 States are submitting discharge data or are actively preparing to submit data. Enlistment of States into the system is ongoing, with participation by all States that collect discharge data expected by the end of 2003.

The TEDS Admission Data System has two components: a Minimum Data Set (Table 2) that includes demographic and drug history data, and a Supplemental Data Set (Table 3) that includes related data items. The unit of analysis is the treatment admission record. Approximately 1.6 million admission records are submitted to TEDS each year. All States report the Minimum Data Set items. States are encouraged to report all Supplemental Data Set items, but may report all, some, or none of the items depending on their availability in the State data system.

Table 1. TEDS Discharge Data Set Table 2. TEDS Admissions: Minimum Data Set
Type of service at discharge
Date of last contact
Date of Discharge
Reason for discharge, transfer, or
   discontinuance of treatment
Transaction type (admission or transfer)
Date of admission
Type of service at admission
Number of prior treatment episodes
Principal source of referral
Employment status
Substance problem (primary, secondary, and tertiary)
   - Usual route of adminstration
   - Frequency of use
   - Age at first use
Use of methadone planned as part of treatment

Table 3. TEDS Admissions: Supplemental Data Set
Pregnacy status at time of admission
Veteran status
Psychiatric problem in addition to alcohol or drug problem
DSM diagnosis
Marital status
Living arrangement
Source of income/support
Health insurance
Expected/actual primary source of payment
Detailed "Not in labor force"
Detailed criminal justice referral
Days waited to enter treatment
Detailed drug code (primary, secondary, and tertiary)

State Data Submission
TEDS data are collected by each State substance abuse agency according to its own system for monitoring substance abuse treatment. Each State has its own requirements for the type of data it collects and how the information is recorded. The data are typically collected during the intake interview at the treatment facility, using State-specific administrative forms.

The State substance abuse agency converts its data to the standardized TEDS format. Each State, in conjunction with SAMHSA, has developed and maintains an individual "crosswalk" program that maps the values of each State data item to the corresponding TEDS data item.

States are encouraged to submit records within 6 months of the date of admission. The data are transmitted monthly or quarterly to a SAMHSA contractor for processing, editing, updating, and producing final files. Each batch of records is reviewed for valid codes and consistency between related fields. A processing report listing errors is sent to the State. Errors may be corrected in a subsequent submission. Additional records and corrections to existing records are accepted up to 5 years after the date of admission.

Individual identifying information (e.g., name, address, Social Security Number) is not submitted to TEDS. In published reports, data are reported in aggregate. In TEDS public use files, direct identifiers (e.g., facility ID) are removed and certain variables are categorized and re-coded so that details that might single out an individual (e.g., specific age) would be less likely to do so.

Analytic Considerations
Each record in TEDS documents an admission rather than an individual, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once in a given time period.

TEDS, while comprising a significant proportion of all admissions to substance abuse treatment, does not include all such admissions. The scope of facilities included in TEDS is affected by differences in State licensure, certification, accreditation, and disbursement of public funds. Some State substance abuse agencies regulate and collect data from private facilities, individual practitioners, and hospital-based and correctional system-based treatment. Others do not and cannot collect data from these facilities. TEDS does not include data on facilities operated by Federal agencies, including the Bureau of Prisons, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. However, some facilities operated by the Indian Health Service are included.

Most States are able to report all admissions to all eligible facilities, although some report only admissions financed by public funds.

The primary goal of TEDS is to monitor the characteristics of a treatment episode, i.e., a planned, continuing treatment regimen. Thus TEDS does not include early intervention programs that are considered to be prevention programs. Crisis intervention facilities such as sobering-up stations and hospital emergency departments generally are not included in TEDS, although a State may opt to include such programs in its TEDS submissions.

TEDS attempts to enumerate treatment episodes by distinguishing the initial admission of a client from his/her subsequent transfer to a different service type (for example, from residential treatment to outpatient) within a single continuous treatment episode. However, States differ greatly in their ability to identify transfers; some can distinguish transfers within providers but not across providers. Some admission records in fact may represent transfers, and therefore the number of admissions reported probably overestimates the number of treatment episodes.

The number and client mix of TEDS admissions do not represent the total national demand for substance abuse treatment or the prevalence of substance abuse in the general population. The number and client mix of TEDS records depend to some extent on the availability of public funds. In States with higher funding levels, a larger percentage of the substance-abusing population may be admitted to treatment. Public funding constraints may direct States to selectively target special populations, for example, pregnant women or adolescents.

Data Availability
TEDS annual reports contain tables, graphs, and charts and a narrative discussing trends and topics of special interest. Annual reports are available in hard-copy through the National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information. They are also posted on-line on the SAMHSA website.

The DASIS Report, published approximately twice a month, highlights findings from TEDS and other DASIS datasets. These reports are available by mail and are posted on-line on the SAMHSA website.

Summary State tables showing primary substance by age, sex, and race/ethnicity for all calendar years for which complete data are available are posted on-line on the SAMHSA website.

TEDS public use files for 1992-1999 are available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) and the archive's on-line data analysis system.1, 2

End Notes
1The archive is supported by the Office of Applied Studies at SAMHSA and based at the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) through a subcontract with the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago (NORC).

2Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (2002, March 15). The DASIS Report. Analyzing TEDS On-line. Rockville, MD: Author.

The Drug and Alcohol Services Information System (DASIS) is an integrated data system maintained by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). One component of DASIS is the Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). TEDS is a compilation of data on the demographic characteristics and substance abuse problems of those admitted for substance abuse treatment. The information comes primarily from facilities that receive some public funding. Information on treatment admissions is routinely collected by State administrative systems and then submitted to SAMHSA in a standard format. Approximately 1.6 million records are included in TEDS each year. TEDS records represent admissions rather than individuals, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once.

The DASIS Report is prepared by the Office of Applied Studies, SAMHSA; Synectics for Management Decisions, Inc., Arlington, Virginia; and RTI, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

Access the latest TEDS reports at:

Access the latest TEDS public use files at:

Other substance abuse reports are available at:

The DASIS Report is published periodically by the Office of Applied Studies, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). All material appearing in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission from SAMHSA. Additional copies of this report may be downloaded from  

Other reports from the Office of Applied Studies are also available on-line at the OAS home page:   http://www.oas.samhsa.gov.

This page was last updated on December 31, 2008.