Improving Skills and Systems to Implement The ASAM Criteria




Many may be familiar with the concepts and principles of  “The ASAM Criteria – Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions.” This workshop will build on that foundation to improve skills in multidimensional assessment, individualized treatment planning and level of care decisions.

The workshop will also address systems, staff and policy issues that need to change to implement the ASAM Criteria. Examples include auditing for quality of individualized treatment and person-centered services, performance measures and data to verify individualized treatment and outcomes-driven services; length of stay by level of care and what levels of care are predominantly used.


Participants will

  1. Identify staff, policy, program and systems changes that remain challenges to implementing The ASAM Criteria.
  2. Apply ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment in assessment, treatment planning, placement and care management.
  3. Discuss quality and performance monitoring to promote fidelity to the true spirit and content of The ASAM Criteria.

Workshop Agenda

8:30 AM         Registration

9:00 AM         A.  Needs Assessment

  • Common misconceptions about the ASAM Criteria
  • Current difficulties and needs in staff, policy, programs, systems

B.  The Six Assessment Dimensions and Implications

  • Imminent Risk and ongoing assessment
  • Co-Occurring disorders – capability, enhanced, complexity
  • Contrasting Dimensions 4, 5 and 6
  • Case Presentation Format

10:30 AM       Break

10:45 AM       C.  Improving Skills in Assessment, Services and Match to Level of Care

  • Severity of illness and level of function profile
  • Using MDA to identify priorities for service planning
  • Application to clinical vignettes

12 Noon         Lunch

1:00 PM          D.  Increasing Access and Efficiency and Dealing with Relapse

  • Levels of care and lengths of stay –overlapping, continuity of care
  • Dealing with substance use in treatment and relapse
  • Improving relapse policies and procedures

2:30 PM          Break

2:45 PM          E.  Improving the System of Care to Implement The ASAM Criteria

  • Quality and performance monitoring
  • Utilization management
  • Case consultation and clinical and systems dilemmas and next steps

4:00 PM          Adjourn