The SEOW utilizes numerous data resources to provide the latest findings on substance use and consequences at the state and jurisdiction levels used to estimate key indicators in the broader context of behavior health.

Data Resources
The following sources provide data on primary indicators. These data aid SEOW in its goal to support prevention and treatment planning and needs for Maryland and its jurisdictions using data-driven analyses.

  • Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System (AEDS)
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
  • Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)
  • Health Services Cost Review Commission (HSCRC)
  • IMS National Prescription Audit
  • Maryland Automated Accident Reporting System (MAARS)
  • National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)
  • National Vital Statistics System (NVSS)
  • State of Maryland Automated Record Tracking (SMART) System
  • Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS)
  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)


IndicatorsIndicators are benchmarks that allow estimation of important substance use behaviors, risk factors and consequences associated with alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. Primary indicators must meet epidemiologically-derived criteria, while secondary indicators may not meet criteria established for primary indicators, but have intrinsic value to the state's public health mandate. The SEOW reports primary and secondary indicators.

Primary Indicators: Criteria for Inclusion

  1. Geographic Availablity
    The indicator should be available at the state level and national and/or sub-state levels. The ability to generalize the prevalence of an indicator to the nation provides both context and an assessment of a particular indicator's relative severity in Maryland. Such knowledge helps prioritize statewide prevention and treatment efforts, as well as evaluate active initiatives. Similarly, comparison of sub-state regions identifies areas to target resources and initiatives.
  2. Historical Availability
    The indicator should be available over time. Evaluation of indicators over time provides a sense of change and effectiveness of prevention and policy initiatives.
  3. Validity and Reliability
    The data from which the indicator derives should have accepted validity and reliability. If sample sizes are inadequate, then reliable estimates cannot be made. If the data are not collected uniformly or routinely, then the indicator may not be valid.
  4. Evaluability
    The chosen indicator must be related to the problem being assessed.
  5. Timely and Current
    The indicator should be current and available. The lag time between data collection and availability is important in prioritizing needs, resource allocation, and targeting of initiative efforts. Currently available data provides a more accurate snapshot of consequences and consumption of alcohol and substances.


For more information about data sources and indicators used by the Maryland SEOW, please review the most recent Statewide Epidemiological Profile and Jurisdiction Profile.