Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) promotes the access and use of the nation's preeminent substance abuse and mental health research data by assuring accurate public use data files and documentation to support a better understanding of this critical area of public health. We are committed to using innovative methods to optimize data utility for a diverse audience.
The goal of the archive is to provide ready access to substance abuse and mental health research data. This will increase the use of data for understanding and assessing substance abuse and mental health problems, as well as the impact of related treatment systems. SAMHDA holdings consist mainly of data derived from surveys and administrative records. These data were originally collected for specific research or administrative purposes. However, the data have research potential that outlives the original purposes for which they were collected. SAMHDA preserves these valuable data resources and makes them publicly available for secondary analysis. The public-use files in the SAMHDA holdings may not always match the original research data. Given the sensitive nature of some data, great lengths are taken to ensure that respondent identity is protected. For this reason, variables that pose an identification (or disclosure) risk are modified or removed from the data file.
For every study archived by SAMHDA, the Web site allows users to download the data set(s) to a personal computer for analysis using their own statistical software. Users can also view or download all available documentation files for the study. In addition, many studies are available to users for online analyses using the online Survey Documentation and Analysis system (SDA). Some SAMHDA studies have an available feature called Quick Tables, which allows users to produce analytic tables by choosing from pre-selected high-interest variables available in drop-down menus. Another way users can explore data visually is through Interactive Maps, allowing users to explore data geographically. You will at least need basic statistical skills for using SDA, Quick Tables, or Interactive Maps and more advanced skills for running analyses with your own software. You can view findings that others have published based on SAMHDA holdings by selecting the Related Literature link on any given study home page.
September 13, 2010