ASAM Releases New Free Paper-Based ASAM Criteria Assessment Interview Guide
Developed by ASAM and the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs with funding from the California Department of Health Care Services, this addiction treatment resource supports increased quality and consistency of patient assessments and individualized, patient-centered care.
Today the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and the University of California, Los Angeles Integrated Substance Abuse Programs (UCLA ISAP) released a new, paper-based resource to support more consistent and effective implementation of The ASAM Criteria®, a national framework for patient-centered, evidence-based addiction care.
The ASAM Criteria Assessment Interview Guide is the first publicly available standardized version of The ASAM Criteria assessment. With this release, ASAM and UCLA hope to increase the quality and consistency of patient assessments and treatment recommendations. As discussed in the recently released Speaking the Same Language: A Toolkit for Strengthening Patient-Centered Addiction Care in the United States, this resource can also help assist states looking to facilitate continuity and consistency in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment delivery and coverage. Because it is paper based, offered free to all clinicians, and can be used in many different clinical contexts, the Guide enhances the public utility of The ASAM Criteria’s multidimensional assessment approach for the addiction treatment community.
“ASAM is focused on providing tools to help addiction treatment providers and health plans in states across the country adopt more standardized, evidence-based addiction care,” remarked R. Corey Waller, MD, MS, FACEP, DFASAM, editor-in-chief for The ASAM Criteria. “This new assessment guide will help support a more consistent application of The ASAM Criteria to improve care delivery and coordination across diverse healthcare systems.”
The ASAM Criteria is the most widely used and comprehensive set of guidelines for placement, continued stay, and transfer of patients with addiction and co-occurring conditions. It defines the standards for assessing patients with substance use disorder to determine the type and intensity of treatment needed. The ASAM Criteria assessment addresses the broad biological, psychological, and social factors that influence the patient’s prognosis, evaluating the patient’s needs related to substance use and co-occurring physical and mental health problems, as well as social and environmental factors that influence risk. The Guide helps providers conduct full assessments and implement the Criteria in clinical interviews.
“We hope this paper-based tool will increase access to the ASAM Criteria,” said Anne B. Lee, MSW, project director at UCLA ISAP. “Not all substance use disorder providers have comprehensive, consistent access to digital platforms and we want to do all we can to ensure all populations have the opportunity to benefit from standardized interview guides supported by the ASAM Criteria.”