Standards for public agencies

2020 Edition

Day Treatment Services (PA-DTX) 8: Substance Abuse Services

The agency provides coordinated substance use prevention, treatment, and recovery services based on the individual’s assessed needs and goals.
NA The agency does not provide substance use services.
2020 Edition




Individuals who receive Day Treatment Services improve psychosocial, educational, vocational, and cognitive functioning, and learn to manage their symptoms.
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions: exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement.
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented. 
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.

Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  

  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.  
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner.  
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.  
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Procedures for communication/collaboration among team members
  • Criteria for determining the level of care
No On-Site Evidence
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Clinical/Medical director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Persons served
  • Review case records

Fundamental Practice

PA-DTX 8.01

A qualified team of health professionals, with experience, training, and competence in engaging, diagnosing, and treating persons with substance use disorders, provide services including:
  1. administering or reviewing diagnostic, toxicological, and other health related examinations;
  2. determining the optimal level and intensity of care including clinical and community support services;
  3. evaluation for psychotropic medications and medication-assisted treatment; 
  4. prescribing and managing medication including appropriate management of pharmacotherapy for individuals with co-occurring conditions; 
  5. review of complicated cases where co-occurring substance use, health, and mental health conditions intersect; and
  6. coordinating care with other service providers, including primary care and mental health providers, when appropriate and with the consent of the service recipient.

PA-DTX 8.02

The agency directly provides a comprehensive range of prevention and treatment services including:
  1. illness management and psychoeducation interventions;
  2. clinical monitoring and drug screening; 
  3. coping skills training; 
  4. relapse prevention; 
  5. acute care; and
  6. support groups and self-help referrals.
Examples: Other services may include intensive outpatient care, medical care, psychiatric rehabilitation, and targeted case management services.

PA-DTX 8.03

Therapeutic services help individuals develop the knowledge, skills, and supports necessary to: 
  1. manage mental health and/or substance use disorders; 
  2. develop and practice prosocial behaviors;
  3. cultivate and sustain positive, meaningful relationships with peers, family members, and the community; 
  4. develop self-efficacy; and
  5. promote recovery, resilience, and whole-person wellness.
Examples: Recovery is a holistic process of change where individuals learn to overcome or manage their diagnosed symptoms and conditions in order to improve overall well-being and achieve optimal health.

PA-DTX 8.04

Individuals, and their families, when possible, are connected with peer support services appropriate to their request or need for service.
Examples: Peer support refers to services provided by individuals who have shared, lived experience. Services promote resiliency and recovery and can include peer recovery groups, peer-to-peer counseling, peer mentoring or coaching, family and youth peer support, or other consumer-run services.