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The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) - Fifth Edition is an assessment tool. It’s used by medical professionals to assess someone with substance use problems.
The assessment looks at seven key areas that are affected by substance use. The assessment takes approximately an hour to complete. It is conducted using an interview format.
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The Addiction Severity Index looks at the ‘big picture’ of the issues people with substance use problems are facing.
The ASI takes into account a person’s:
The ASI also measures seven factors of addiction and asks questions related to each factor, including:
ASI screening questions fall into one of seven categories, including:
People undergoing the screening have the right to refuse to answer any question. This is important for people if they consider the topic too personal, uncomfortable, painful, or traumatic.
However, it’s important to remember that you’ll benefit from answering as many questions as possible and doing so honestly.
The information compiled from the assessment is used to design a comprehensive treatment plan that is appropriate for your individual needs.
The ASI uses a scale ranging from 0 to 9 to rate the severity of each factor. Overall, this helps to assess the seriousness of the patient’s problem.
The higher the overall score in each category, the greater the need for intervention or treatment.
The score is also used to help with planning a treatment program.
Severity ratings are as follows:
The Addiction Severity Index is an accurate and consistent tool for assessing substance use issues.
It helps medical professionals identify problem areas related to substance use. Once these issues are identified, ASI results make designing a course of treatment easier.
There is also evidence that ASI is effective for:
The ASI is an evolving tool.
Someone struggling with substance use can utilize the assessment to self-report via telephone or the internet.
This allows the assessment to be anonymous and it costs less to administer the assessment.
The tool might one day be used to create a national database for tracking substance use treatment.
The ASI is important because of the complexities of substance abuse. SUD is affected by a variety of factors that impact many areas of someone’s life.
The more information healthcare providers have about your situation, the better able they are to create an effective treatment plan.
The questions are used by medical professionals when dealing one-on-one with a patient. It helps them devise treatment plans that address every aspect of the addiction.
For example, if you struggle with maintaining employment or you’re dealing with legal issues the recovery plan can focus on these issues, as well as the medical aspects of addiction.
Additionally, addiction often damages personal relationships, self-esteem, and other factors. The ASI allows you to identify and address these things in your treatment plan.
The ASI makes it easier for the person designing your treatment to include these issues, many of which are directly linked to substance use. The ASI provides a complete picture of what your life is like and how substance abuse plays a role.
Finally, it’s an essential tool for addressing co-occurring disorders, including anxiety and depression.
Successful treatment is only possible when you address these conditions simultaneously with substance abuse. Left untreated, the risk of relapse is far greater.
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