People who suffer from substance misuse, dependence, and addiction fall on an addiction severity continuum. Where someone falls on that continuum will not change the fact that they will need an addiction treatment center program. However, it may affect decisions about what kind of treatment will be best. Professional counselors can administer the addiction severity index (ASI) and assess your substance use to help you get the best available treatment.
Pennsylvania Adult & Teen Challenge (PAATC) provides professional recovery treatment for the entire range of addictions, including alcohol, opioids, stimulants, and more. If you are worried about your substance use or that of a loved one and want to know more about the addiction severity index, reach out to PAATC today. We can answer your questions and guide you to the recovery treatment plan that is best for you. Dial 844.442.8673 or fill out our easy online form today.
What Is the Addiction Severity Index?
A. Thomas McLellan developed the addiction severity index about 40 years ago. Addiction treatment experts use this index throughout the world to establish a baseline measurement of issues related to substance abuse.
The survey establishes the overall picture of someone’s addiction profile by covering the following topics:
- Frequency of alcohol and/or drug use
- Medical conditions/history
- Employment status
- Family and social challenges
- Legal issues
- Mental health/psychiatric status
Each of the categories above is measured and rated based on its relation and significance to substance abuse. During the interview, we address a wide range of topics under the overarching umbrella of the six ASI categories.
When the assessment is complete, the results help our team create an individualized treatment plan based on where the client falls on the addiction severity continuum.
Where Do Yoy Fall on the Addiction Severity Continuum?
The continuum of substance use ranges from no use at all to dependence and addiction. Many people never stray out of the first levels within this continuum, while others fall victim to the disease of addiction.
Below is a brief overview of the continuum of substance use:
The person never uses substances.
This includes proper use of prescribed medication, coffee or tea (caffeine), moderate consumption of red wine, ceremonial tobacco. This use promotes health or sustains a spiritual or community practice.
The occasional use is based on curiosity or social pressure, with no particular drug used repeatedly after the first or second try. This level of use is easy to rationalize, results in occasional day-after discomfort and is relatively consequence-free if it never progresses.
Drug or alcohol use that occurs one to three times a month. This use is never excessive and does not have severe adverse effects.
Use is more frequent, weekly, or even daily. This level of use can involve trying more potent drugs, but use is still responsible and controlled. Though there is no significant interference with regular life, friend groups may shift to include people who also use substances. Furthermore, their stress levels may increase.
Excessive use leads to tolerance, leading to greater use, combining drugs, or shifting to stronger drugs. Life begins to revolve around drug acquisition and use. The person uses drugs or alcohol to avoid stress, emotions, mental health challenges, relationship conflicts. As a result, there are consequences at work and school, finances, reputation, principles, and health.
The body and brain are fully dependent on the substance of abuse. All life revolves around getting, using, and recovering from the drug. Withdrawal sets in quickly if the drug or the alcohol are withheld. Use of the substance becomes necessary to simply feel normal, and the high once experienced is increasingly elusive. Consequences are severe, including physical and behavioral outcomes, job loss, homelessness, and run-ins with the law.
Seeking Treatment for an Addiction
If and when people move along this continuum, they become increasingly isolated and out of touch with the realities of their drug use. Many people experience consequences so dire or hurtful that they finally are forced to admit there is a problem.
It can also be difficult for family members and friends to see when someone’s social use slips into abuse. Not everyone who is abusing a drug or alcohol will experience all the consequences. Functional alcoholics or drug abusers can fool even themselves into believing that because they have a job and a family, they can’t possibly be addicted to anything. Find out more about your options if you recognize yourself or someone you care about in the list above.
Find Treatment at Pennsylvania Adult and Teen Challenge
The programs available at PAATC address substance abuse and addiction, meeting you exactly where you are on the continuum and ensuring an individualized treatment program that includes evidence-based modalities provided by compassionate experts.
We offer medical detox, inpatient and outpatient programs, a range of proven therapies, and a safe, welcoming environment in which to begin your recovery journey. We can’t wait to hear from you and answer your questions about the addiction severity index. In addition, we can also discuss your substance use, any fears or uncertainties you have, and the help that we can provide. Call us at 844.442.8673 or fill out our easy online form.