Data Resources

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

YRBS is a survey of 9-12 grade students administered by the Montana Office of Public Instruction through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on odd number years. It is conducted biennially the last week of February in odd-numbered years in Montana high schools, middle schools, non-public accredited, and alternative high schools. Questions focus on risk behaviors from 6 health areas: unintentional injuries and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug abuse, sexual behaviors, unhealthy dietary behaviors, and physical inactivity. Data is weighted, allowing direct comparison of states. State and national data is available through the CDC, although county level data may be available upon request by contacting the state YRBS coordinator.

It is developed and administered by ISA/ Pride Surveys (a survey research and evaluation services firm) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services - Addictive and Mental Disorders Division and has been administered throughout Montana since 1998. For schools agreeing to participate in the Montana survey, all students in grades 8, 10, and 12 are asked to complete the survey. Schools also have the option to have all students in grades 7, 9, and 11 participate if they so choose. The survey collects information on risky behaviors associated with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, such as school dropout, delinquency, and violence - that can result in injury or impede positive development among youth. The survey also collects information on risk and protective factors, which are attitudes and opinions research has shown to be highly correlated with these risky behaviors. Weighting of data began in 2020, improving representativeness of the sample. Results cannot be used for comparison with other states.

Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

FARS is a national census of yearly fatal injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. The data set is presented by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To be included, a traffic collision must occur on a normally accessible public road and a fatality must occur within 30 days of the collision as a result of the event.

Montana Incident-Based Reporting System (MTIBRS)

MTIBRS consists of data reported by Montana police departments and sheriff’s offices. The data is used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to look at crim trends across the country.

NOTE: Crime data is not considered representative of changes in substance use in an area. Changes in arrests may reflect changes in criminal behavior, officer patrolling, or reporting procedures. 

For example, an increase in arrests for possession of an illicit substance may reflect
(1) changes in other criminal activities, such as theft,
(2) an increase in officers in areas where the substance is exchanged, or
(3) a new procedure for reporting the specific substance. 

Due to these confounding factors, it is not considered to reflect an increase in the exchange or use of the drug for the area.  Results are useful for comparing crime activity but should not be interpreted as changes in substance use.

The Substance Use Mental Health Data Archive provides access to the following datasets:

  • Treatment Episode Data- Admissions (TEDS-A)
    • TEDS-A data is a national data system of annual admissions to substance abuse treatment facilities. It is the results of surveys and questionnaires collected upon admission to substance abuse treatment; it is maintained by SAMHSA. TEDS-A contains records on admissions aged 12 or older, and includes information on admission demographics (age, sex, race/ethnicity, employment status, etc.) and substance abuse characteristics (substances used, age at first use, route of use, frequency of use, number of prior admissions, etc.). TEDS-A records represent admissions rather than individuals, as a person may be admitted to treatment more than once.
    • TEDS-D is a sister dataset to TEDS-A with results reported based on when the patient was discharged from rather than admitted to treatment.
  • National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) 
    • NSDUH is a nationwide study that provides up-to-date information on tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, mental health and other health-related issues in the United States. Each year, NSDUH interviews approximately 70,000 people age 12 and older for this important study. The study results are released each Fall and are used to inform public health programs and policies.
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
    • BRFSS is a cross-sectional telephone survey conducted annually in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and three U.S. territories. It is co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (MT DPHHS) and has been administered throughout Montana since 1984.  The survey collects data relevant to health risk behaviors, chronic health diseases, and preventative health practices. It also collects information on various demographic factors including age, gender, race, income level, educational attainment, and more. The survey includes a core survey which is collected every year and additional modules funded to occur on a scheduled basis.

  • Hospital Discharge Dataset (HDD)
    • HDD describes patient discharges from participating hospitals. The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) has a memorandum of agreement with the Montana Hospital Association (MHA) to receive a subset of inpatient admission (2000 onward) and emergency department (ED; 2010 onward) data elements based on the Uniform Billing 2004 form (UB-04). The MHDDS currently includes short stay non-Federal hospitals that participate with MHA. Large Montana hospitals all submit data annually to MHA, most critical access hospitals also submit data; this captures an estimated 95% of admissions in Montana. Data is parsed into Emergency Department encounters and hospitalizations. Information about the reason for encounter can be derived from universally used ICD codes.
  • Mortality (death) records
    • Information in the vital statistics system consists of six vital events that are required to be reported and maintained by law; live births, deaths, fetal deaths, induced abortion, marriage, and divorce. The Office of Vital Records (OVR) utilizes an electronic registration system for births, deaths, and fetal deaths. For deaths, the system collects identifying information on the decedent; demographic data such as address, age, sex, race, and occupation; circumstances of the death, such as date and place; the underlying cause of death and contributing causes of death. Deaths to infants less than one year of age are matched to their corresponding death certificates and the resulting linked infant birth/death files contain all the data mentioned above from both the birth and death certificates.