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National Quality Forum Issues First Consensus Standards for the Treatment of Substance Use Conditions
Date:9/19/2007

WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recognizing the devastating toll substance use conditions take on our nation's health, the National Quality Forum (NQF) today, for the first time ever, released a groundbreaking set of endorsed national voluntary consensus standards on evidence-based practices to treat substance use conditions. The standards were developed with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Substance use problems and illnesses have substantial impact on health and societal costs, and often are linked to catastrophic personal consequences. Data from the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health reveal that an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older met diagnostic criteria for substance dependence or abuse with alcohol or illicit drugs in the past year, and an estimated 71.5 million used a tobacco product within the previous month(1).

"We cannot effectively address the disturbing effects of excessive drug and alcohol use without quality treatment for people with substance use conditions," said Janet Corrigan, PhD, NQF President and CEO. "NQF believes these standards will accelerate the use of effective, evidence-based treatments."

During the past 15 years, scientific knowledge about evidence-based therapies to treat people with substance use conditions has increased substantially. The NQF consensus standards provide clear guidance to the field on evidence-based practices that if adopted in all health care settings would substantially improve patient outcomes. The NQF report also identifies areas where further research is needed to identify preferred treatment practices and provides recommendations for the development of quality measures to evaluate and improve performance.

The endorsement of these practices by NQF's over 365 member organizations, which include healthcare providers, consumer groups, professional associations, purchasers, federal and state agencies, research and quality improvemen
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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