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Key Findings

  • National trade media coverage produced the greatest interest among programs and the greatest number of decisions to adopt
  • Conference presentations produced fewer decisions to adopt than national media, but were the most effective channel when compared to the number of programs they reached
  • Peers were the greatest influence in moving clinic staff from the decision to adopt to implementation


The ACTION Campaign's goal was to persuade leaders in substance abuse treatment programs in the U.S. to adopt one of 12 practices that would increase patient access to and retention in treatment and improve between-level-of-care transitions.

The Need

Less than 10 percent of the estimated 23 million Americans in need of treatment and recovery support receive it. Our field has made great gains in improving clinical practices with behavioral treatments and new medications, but we have yet made major changes to the business practice of substance abuse treatment - until now. Research shows that organizations focusing on increasing access and keeping clients engaged see positive results. By focusing on these areas, the ACTION Campaign works to impact the lives of 55,000 lives currently affected by addiction.


The ACTION Campaign is made up of an unprecedented partnership of funders, such as SAMHSA/CSAT, researchers, national advocacy organizations, provider groups, and recovery groups, all coming together to reach the widest possible audience and create positive change in the field.

The ACTION Campaign focuses on three areas:

  • Providing Rapid Access to Services
  • Increasing Client Engagement and Continuation
  • Creating a Seamless Transition between Levels of Care

By signing up for the ACTION Campaign, treatment agencies gain access to members-only areas on the ACTION Campaign Web site, which offers resources designed to help improve the way agencies do business. These resources include ACTION Kits for each of the suggested promising practices, complete with instructions, data collection tools, and case studies to guide participants through making changes. The Campaign also offers tutorial calls, technical assistance, and access to local experts.

Funding Period:
October 2007 - March 2009
Principal Investigators:
David Gustafson Sr., Ph.D


  • Addictive behaviors.
    Promoting New Practices To Increase Access To And Retention In Addiction Treatment: An Analysis Of Five Communication Channels

    Johnson KA, Ford JH, 2nd, McCluskey M