What using the asam criteria really means




The third edition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s criteria was released October, 2013: “The ASAM Criteria – Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions.” This workshop will review the underlying concepts and the six dimensions of The ASAM Criteria as well as inform participants about what is included in the ASAM Criteria continuum of care.  The focus will be on improving clinical and systems application of The ASAM Criteria, especially with engaging clients into recovery (Dimension 4) and dealing with continued use or relapse (Dimension 5).

The workshop will explain what using The ASAM Criteria really means; and increase skills in applying the ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment in individualized treatment. To truly implement the spirit and content of the Criteria, systems changes are also needed and will be discussed. Participants are encouraged to bring clinical and care management cases to focus application of The ASAM Criteria.


Participants will

  1. Review the underlying principles and concepts of The ASAM Criteria and the current third edition.
  2. Apply ASAM Criteria multidimensional assessment in assessment, treatment planning and care management.
  3. Discuss program and systems changes necessary to truly implement the spirit and content of The ASAM Criteria.



8:30 AM        Registration

9:00 AM        A.  Underlying Principles and Concepts of The ASAM Criteria

  • Generations of care
  • Individualized treatment based on multidimensional assessment (MDA)
  • Flexible continuum of care

B.  Overview of ASAM Assessment Dimensions and Levels of Care

  • Specifics of each ASAM Criteria assessment dimension
  • Assessing needs and strengths and services to match
  • What’s new in the third edition of The ASAM Criteria

10:30 AM       Break

10:45 AM       C.  How to Organize Assessment Data to Match 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.  Dimension 4 and 5:  Improving Skills and Systems

  • Stage-matched interventions
  • 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

  • Case Presentation Format
  • Working effectively with managed care
  • Staff and Program changes to implement a flexible continuum of care

4:00 PM          Adjourn