Addiction Severity Index

Addiction Severity Index hero

The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is a semi-structured interview that assesses someone’s need for treatment developed in the 1980’s.

Therapists, medical professionals, and treatment centers use this index as a guideline for an interview-style conversation to understand their patients. The assessment usually lasts 45 minutes to an hour, with substance abuse during the past 30 days being the main topic of focus.

The assessor then assigns a score based on substance type and use. It also determines how the abuse has affected the person’s life and well-being.

What Does The Addiction Severity Index Assess?

Since no two people’s pathway to substance abuse or addiction is the same, an interviewer will also ask questions about a patient’s journey up to that point.

The ASI can help assess:

  • How seriously an addiction is affecting someone’s life
  • The root causes of substance abuse
  • Key problem areas
  • The type and length of treatment needed
  • Whether a treatment program has been successful
  • How a person can stay sober and avoid relapses after treatment

The addiction severity index score is solely based on past 30 days, however, an assessor will also cover a person’s childhood, family and relationship history, personal beliefs, and their entire substance abuse timeline.

Why Does the ASI Matter?

The higher the score, the greater the need for treatment. The addiction severity index provides not only an initial understanding of a rehabilitation patient’s history, but is also repeated every 30 days to monitor progress through recovery.

The ASI is helpful in determining how serious an addiction is and can give rehabilitation professionals a better idea of how best to holistically address the root causes of the addiction. Using one standard interview as the baseline for every case helps make for better treatment.

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