Connecting the dots in the collusion against us
Dr. Elinore F. McCance-Katz, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use, SAMHSA:
Every day the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) responds to questions about the opioid crisis. How many Americans are prescribed opioids? How many are receiving treatment in specialty substance use disorder treatment facilities? Where can people find opioid treatment services? Finding the correct answers to these kinds of questions is vital to communities across the nation that are working tirelessly to address the devastating impact of the opioid crisis. Fortunately, SAMHSA collects data for several national surveys that help provide the answers to these critical questions.
As a physician, I understand the importance of access to data. Good data, and the broadest access to it, is a vital weapon in combating the opioid crisis. As part of a 5-Point Strategy to Combat the Opioid Crisis, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) identified Better Data as one of the five key strategies.
I am pleased to share the good news that after more than two years of no access to SAMHSA data, I have re-established public access to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA), which is the main platform for disseminating data collected with our various national mental health and substance abuse surveys. SAMHDA makes public-use data files available to anyone for download, in a variety of formats. Once downloaded, a user can use their own software to manipulate and explore the data.
SAMHDA also provides open access to other important data systems.
- The Public-use Data Analysis System (P-DAS) provides access to all downloadable public-use data files through an online interface. It is ideal for people who may not have the software or resources to download and analyze data files on their own computer. This system provides reliable local, state, and national data on not only opioid related conditions, but also several mental health and substance use disorders and related services for anyone to access.
- The Restricted-use Data Analysis System (R-DAS) tool provides access to restricted-use National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data files through an online interface. NSDUH is the primary source of information on the prevalence, patterns, and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and abuse and mental disorders in the U.S. civilian, non-institutionalized population, age 12 and older. This helps promote public awareness and provides a better understanding of behavioral health.
In an effort to broaden researcher access to see and use restricted micro-level data, SAMHSA is collaborating with the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) to host the SAMHSA restricted use micro data through NCHS Regional Data Centers (RDCs).
Providing access to SAMHSA data through the NCHS RDCs will not only save taxpayer money, but promote broader researcher access to these data sets. Ensuring that researchers can access the restricted use micro data at RDCs promotes the integration of public health data, as these Centers are the platform for several national public health data sets.
Subtitle F–Advancement of the National Institutes of Health Research and Data Access
(Sec. 1101) The NIH must standardize data in the clinical trial registry data bank.
Subtitle G–Facilitating Collaborative Research
(Sec. 1121) The NIH and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) must implement a system that allows further research on clinical trial data.
(Sec. 1122) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) must expand surveillance of neurological diseases.
(Sec. 1124) The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must revise health information privacy rules to allow: (1) use of protected information for research purposes to be treated as use for health care operations, (2) remote access to information by researchers, and (3) individuals to authorize future use of their information for research.
This is the first post of a series examining the emerging role of big data in America’s collusion against pain patients and exposing the players involved in the phony war against a feigned “Opioid Crisis”