The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 27, 2001


Carlisle selected for survey of substance abuse

This summer and fall Carlisle residents will be asked to participate in the U.S. Public Health Service's National Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). This annual survey is the federal government's primary source of national data on the use of alcohol, tobacco, illicit substances, and other topics associated with substance abuse. It furnishes data necessary to make decisions about national mental health and substance abuse treatment and prevention programs. The study began on July 9, and a few initial families in Carlisle have already been asked to participate. It is expected that all selected households will have been contacted and interviewed within the next three months.

Interviews in the home

Households asked to participate are randomly selected and one or two persons from each are chosen. The Research Triangle Institute (RTI) interviewer conducts the interview in the home. After some initial questions the major part of the survey is conducted on a laptop computer with the person interviewed entering data directly into the computer. The survey takes about 60 minutes to complete. Information is completely confidential under Section 501 of the Public Health Service Act. Participants' names are not recorded. Primary objectives are to collect timely data on the magnitude and patterns of alcohol, tobacco and illegal substance use and abuse, to assess the consequences and to identify groups at high risk. Since the goal is to identify the national incidence of substance abuse, both individuals who are using and those who are not using are considered to furnish data of equal value.

Web sites for more information

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency in the U.S. Public Health Service responsible for conducting the survey. Under a competitive bidding process, SAMHSA awarded the contract for conducting the survey to Research Triangle Institute. RTI is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and has conducted the survey since 1988. More information about SAMHSA is available online at; information about RTI is available at and additional information about NHSDA is available at

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