The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is a semi-structured interview instrument used by clinicians and researchers to evaluate an individual’s need for substance abuse treatment. The ASI is a tool that guides treatment planning that also assesses the history, severity, and consequences of a person’s substance abuse issues.
The ASI collects information about an individual’s substance abuse habits and how they are linked to physical, mental, and psychosocial factors. These factors include physical health status, employment, financial status, family history and relationships, legal status, and psychological functioning. The higher the score an individual receives on the ASI, the greater the need is for treatment.
If a person is being assessed for substance abuse treatment, an addiction specialist may use the ASI as a means to ascertain the extent of his/her problem. The ASI can be a very helpful tool. Therefore, individuals must be as honest as possible about their substance abuse and other critical factors in their life.
An ASI, generally speaking, can be performed in one hour using the multimedia version. A trained interviewer will gather information about the individual’s recent history as well as lifetime trends and issues.
The Addiction Severity Index
The ASI provides a general overview of substance abuse problems rather than focusing on any specific area. A person’s input is essential because it allows healthcare providers to develop the most effective treatment plan. Any information recorded in the ASI is 100% confidential.
In each of the above mentioned areas, a person will be asked to answer questions based on a 1-5 scale, and asked how bothered they are by issues in each area. He or she will also be asked how important they believe treatment is for themselves in those areas. The scale is this:
1 – Not at all
2 – Slightly
3 – Moderately
4 – Considerably
5 – Extremely
Individuals being interviewed have the right to refuse to answer any question, especially if they consider the topic too personal, uncomfortable, painful, or traumatic. However, one should keep in mind that there are benefits to answering as many questions as possible and honestly because this information will be used to devise a comprehensive treatment plan that is most appropriate for the person’s individual needs.
Why Is the ASI Important?
An assessment tool such as the ASI is important because substance abuse is a complex disorder that includes many factors and has repercussions that affect many areas of an individual’s life. The more information that a professional involved in a person’s treatment has about their unique circumstances, the more informed they will be when they devise a plan for him or her.
These programs function quite a bit differently than 12-step peer support groups. Moreover, they are more comprehensive and can address every aspect of an individual’s health and psycho-emotional well-being in addition to substance abuse. For instance, if a person also struggles with maintaining employment or has legal issues, a recovery plan can help overcome these challenges.
Addiction is a disease that often causes damage to a person’s relationships, self-esteem, and a wide range of life aspects that can be addressed if a qualified treatment planner has the information they need to help see the importance of these problems in one’s life. In other words, the ASI can provide an interviewer with a complete picture of what a person’s life is like and how substance use fits into that life and impacts it.
The ASI can also be vital for addressing co-existing conditions, such as anxiety or depression. These disorders must be addressed in concurrence with substance abuse because if they are left unaddressed, relapse is more likely to occur. The whole point of using the ASI and comprehensive addiction treatment is to repair as many parts of an individual’s life as possible, and not just the substance abuse problem itself.
Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse
Just Believe Recovery offers integrated, personalized programs that are outcome-driven and designed to assess and address addiction as well as any co-occurring emotional and physical health conditions. We employ highly-trained addiction specialists who seek to give those we treat every opportunity to recover and achieve long-lasting abstinence and well-being.
Our programs include a wealth of therapies and services clinically proven to be beneficial for the recovery process. These services include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Individual counseling
- Family counseling
- Peer group support
- Health and wellness education
- Substance abuse education
- Art and music therapy
- Aftercare planning
Our compassionate staff also provides those we treat with the care and support they need to overcome other problems in their lives, such as those related to family, the legal system, finances, and employment.