Healthy People 2010 states, "Substance abuse and its related problems are
among society's most pervasive health and social concerns" (USDHHS, 2000).
Healthy People 2010 identified the leading health indicators to measure the
health of the nation over the next 10 years. A health indicator is characteristic
of an individual, population, or environment which is subject to measurement
(directly or indirectly) and can be used to describe one or more aspects
of the health of an individual or population (quality, quantity and time).
have been developed that are tied to each of the indicators. Three of the
indicators related to alcohol and drug use are (USDHHS, 2000):
There is no single measurement that adequately reflects the impact substance
abuse has on the community. There are a number of indicators, however, that
can be utilized to assist in identifying the problem. It is important to utilize
indicators that prove to be reliable by being measured multiple times over
a number of years. To be valid, indicators must measure what is intended to
be measured using information that can be practically collected. Further, indicators
need to provide an accurate representation of a major aspect of the substance
abuse problem. The following indicators have been selected based on the criteria
of reliability, validity, practicality, and their representation of the problems
associated with substance use in Travis County.
It is important to note that these are only a few of the indicators that
can be tracked. It is recommended that these indicators continue to be tracked,
evaluated for their usefulness to the community, and modified, as needed, to
provide the community with a general assessment of the issues.
Top Of Page
Substance Abuse Home Page