Substance Abuse Evaluation

Delaware Department of Justice
Opioid Gap Needs Assessment

In 2017, HZA was contracted by the Delaware Department of Justice to inventory the deficiencies in prescription opioid and heroin addiction treatment in the state. For this assessment, HZA inventoried Delaware’s current treatment network for individuals with prescription opioid and heroin addiction; assessed deficiencies in the existing treatment network both in the community and in correctional institutions; and provided the State with prioritized recommendations for correcting the identified deficiencies.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control
Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drug Project: SPF Rx

From 2016 to 2021 HZA is working with the Maine CDC on its five-year Strategic Prevention Framework for Prescription Drug Project whose goal is to increase the number of citizens living safe, healthy and productive lives by decreasing opiate addiction in Maine. HZA, in collaboration with the State’s Substance Abuse Prevention Team, existing advisory boards and councils and nine public health District Coordinating Councils, is conducting a state-level assessment to inform the statewide strategic plan. HZA is using data from the Prescription Monitoring Program database and other State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup (SEOW) data resources to gather and interpret needs assessment data, employing geographic information system (GIS) mapping to distinguish where services are most needed. Affinity workgroups, focused on major objectives, and public listening sessions with live audience polling in each of the public health districts are being used to obtain stakeholder input. HZA will work closely with the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to develop a process for tracking data indicators that will be used to measure progress in achieving the project objectives over time, e.g., rate of overdose deaths, emergency room admissions related to opiates and prevalence of prescription drug misuse and opiate use.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services,
Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services

Prevention for States: Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention Evaluation


This evaluation is being implemented from 2016 to 2020. Funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the state of Maine, this project demonstrates HZA’s knowledge of Medicaid and national health law and policy as it relates to opioids and prescription pain killers. Maine passed one of the strictest laws in the country, which goes into effect January, 2017, to restrict and monitor prescribing and dispensing practices relating to opioid (narcotic) pain medicine. The project is designed to enhance the Prescription Monitoring Program software and policies about its use. For example, under the new law all licensed prescribers must register to use the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). The software tracks the numbers of prescriptions, quantities, people receiving and specific types of medications. Through it, prescribers can see if patients have already received a similar medication. The state can track prescribing practices and use the information for training the professionals and the public. HZA staff wrote the proposal to the US CDC for the state and is serving as project evaluator. HZA is using state and federal law to determine compliance with prescribing restrictions and tracking short- intermediate- and long-term outcomes resulting from misuse of prescription drugs


Kennebec Behavioral Health, Day One and State of Maine
Evaluation of Substance Abuse Treatment Models

Working with two behavioral health providers as well as the state of Maine, HZA conducted a formative and outcome evaluation of the adolescent substance abuse treatment models: the AC-OK for screening, the GAIN for assessment and the A-CRA for treatment. Since these are already evidence-based practices, HZA assessed what it takes to train the workforce to deliver these services and whether Maine can develop practical and sustainable funding/payment strategies to support the services on-going. In addition, HZA is tracking the youth who receive them and their outcomes. Furthermore, HZA used a fidelity assessment based upon the 12-week ACR-A model.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Evaluation of Medication Assisted Treatment for Drug Addiction

In 2009, HZA received a contract to evaluate the impact of medication-assisted therapies such as Suboxone and methadone on the treatment of consumers of addiction services and on the agencies which provide these therapies. For this project, which had received a two-year Advancing Recovery grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HZA did extensive research on the practices of ten pilot agencies, the views of consumers about alternative treatment approaches and the outcomes for consumers. HZA conducted surveys and focus groups with individuals being treated for drug addiction at the pilot agencies. In addition, HZA reviewed Medicaid claims of individuals receiving no addiction treatment (but with emergency room claims), behavioral health services only and both behavioral health and medication assisted treatment. Consumers receiving both behavioral health and medication assisted therapies had the best results.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Maine Partnerships for Success Evaluation

In 2012, HZA contracted with the Maine Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services to conduct a process evaluation of the three-year Partnerships for Success II grant from SAMHSA. Maine has distributed the bulk of these grant funds to communities through Healthy Maine Partnerships, and HZA’s evaluation explores how these community groups implement new substance abuse prevention strategies for prescription drug misuse and marijuana use in youth and young adults. Part of the work includes evaluating the process for developing a statewide mass media campaign that provides consistent messages about the dangers of teen marijuana use. Another aspect entails evaluating the process that Maine’s Tribes use to implement evidence-based programs at five tribal locations.


Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Evaluation of the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant

Over a four-year period beginning in 2005, HZA evaluated Maine’s Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant, a SAMHSA-funded prevention initiative. The purpose of the project was to create and support a statewide prevention/health promotion infrastructure designed to reduce substance abuse, reduce risk factors and consequences with a demonstrated link to substance abuse and reduce consumption and other health risk behaviors linked to substance abuse. Major activities included the design of process and outcome evaluation instruments, collection and analyses of National Outcome Measures and other epidemiological and evaluative Maine data, development of an assessment and strategic planning guide for county grantees to engage in the Strategic Prevention Framework, participation in workgroups and the Executive Management Team and collaboration with national evaluators to develop data collection tools and assist in Maine’s compliance with national cross-site evaluation requirements. The evaluation demonstrated that Maine made reduced underage drinking and high risk drinking among young adults over the course of the grant. Specifically the achievements were to:

• increase the proportion of youth who report no use of alcohol in the previous 30 days,
• reduce two-week binge-drinking among youth,
• increase perceived consistency of underage drinking enforcement and
• reduce the proportion of 9-12th graders who start drinking before age 14.