After 12 years, a new edition of The ASAM Criteria is here. Completely redesigned and updated from its 2001 edition, The ASAM Criteria applies the newest science in the field of addiction medicine, is compliant with the DSM-5 and incorporates a user-friendly functionality.
New content includes emerging areas of focus, such as gambling and tobacco use disorders, as well as population-specific sections, including working with older adults, persons in safety-sensitive occupations and persons in criminal justice settings.
View the videos below for more information on the new edition:
For more than 50 years, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and its more than 3,000 physicians and associated professionals have been leading the way in addiction treatment through research, education and the establishment of treatment criteria.
Used nationwide and mandated for use in more than 30 states, The ASAM Criteria is the leading resource for appropriate treatment services and level of care placement decisions for patients. Gain an understanding of the key elements of the criteria and what goes into a multidimensional assessment and determining appropriate levels of care.
Learn about the criteria from the only eTraining series endorsed by ASAM. Develop essential skills in assessment, placement and effective service planning with these engaging, interactive courses hosted by Dr. David Mee-Lee, Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria.
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Text from The ASAM Criteria book is also available online. This web-based version of the criteria was developed specifically for managed care users. Easily search for keywords and copy and paste specific text for evidence when supporting and/or denying claims.*
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In this webinar for ATTC Network, Dr. David Mee-Lee discusses recent data on healthcare and addiction treatment in the US and how the new editions of The ASAM Criteria and DSM-5 can help address concerns.Download slides
David Mee-Lee, MD, is the guest on One Hour at a Time with host Mary Woods. Listen as he discusses the new edition of The ASAM Criteria.
Carson City, Nevada – April 16, 2014 – David Mee-Lee, MD, Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria and Senior Vice President of The Change Companies®, will be presenting on the new edition of The ASAM Criteria and its implications for drug courts and treatment providers at the National Association of Drug Court Professionals (NADCP) 20th annual training conference.
Dr. David Mee-Lee discusses recent data on healthcare and addiction treatment in the US and poses this question: If there are millions more people who in 2014 can now be covered by health insurance with access to addiction treatment, how will addiction treatment agencies increase access to care when we already have waiting lists and can’t even meet treatment-on-demand now, for the 2.5 million people who did eventually receive specialty addiction treatment? Dr. Mee-Lee explains how the new editions of The ASAM Criteria and DSM-5 can help address these concerns.
Carson City, Nevada – Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2014 – David Mee-Lee, MD, Senior Vice President of The Change Companies®, has been invited by Caroline Cooper, JD, Director of the Justice Programs Office (JPO) of the School of Public Affairs at American University, to join the Senior Fellows program. His participation will add a medical perspective, including principles in The ASAM Criteria and how a national set of standards for providing client-centered, outcome-informed care in the treatment of addiction can benefit the justice system as a whole.
If you truly embrace the spirit and content of The ASAM Criteria, it will change how you use the criteria to engage people into recovery, collaborate on treatment planning, design and deliver levels of care and the continuum of services, and manage and pay for care from acute services to ongoing disease management. This article aims to help you really “use” The ASAM Criteria.Read article
In this podcast for Psychiatric Times, David Mee-Lee, MD, chief editor of The ASAM Criteria, addresses these 3 questions:
Dr. Mee-Lee also discusses how the forthcoming book — The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-occurring Conditions — will facilitate application of criteria to addiction medicine in daily practice.
Mee-Lee, D. Psychiatric Times (Producer). (2013, September 6). Update from the American Society of Addiction Medicine: New Criteria. Retrieved from http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/addiction/update-american-society-addiction-medicine-new-criteria
A new edition of the Patient Placement Criteria of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is coming soon. In October, the new edition will be unveiled at ASAM’s State of the Art in Addiction Medicine conference in Arlington, Va. As the most comprehensive set of guidelines for assessment, service planning, placement, continued stay and transfer/discharge of individuals with addiction and co-occurring conditions, ASAM’s criteria are required in more than 30 states and in U.S. Department of Defense addiction programs around the world. Many payers also manage care using the criteria, which are the most intensively researched set of addiction placement criteria in the U.S. and Europe.
In everything from format to terminology, the new and long-awaited clinical criteria to be issued this fall from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) will represent a significant change from the standards that were last updated in 2001. Yet the new ASAM Criteria also are meant to assist addiction professionals in fulfilling what their architect, David Mee-Lee, MD, has seen as their purpose from the start: not simply justifying insurance coverage decisions, but guiding truly patient-focused treatment.
Twelve years in the making, the third edition of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) guidelines for determining what kind of treatment patients need will be out in October, and there are several changes. The title is new: no longer will they be called the “ASAM Patient Placement Criteria,” but just the “ASAM Criteria.”
The revised ASAM criteria will soon make its debut through a new publication, The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Substance-Related Addictive and Co-occurring Conditions, and The ASAM Criteria Software. David Mee-Lee, MD, chief editor of The ASAM Criteria, discussed key ways the new criteria will be particularly useful to addiction medicine specialists and how the book and software will facilitate application of criteria to addiction medicine daily practice. He and other ASAM criteria experts also addressed the user-friendly features of these two soon-to-be-released resources during Thursday's Component Session 1, "Update on The ASAM Criteria: The Revision and Software."Read article
The ASAM Criteria is the most comprehensive set of guidelines for assessment, service planning, placement, continued stay and transfer/discharge of individuals with addiction and co-occurring conditions. The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) produces the criteria to improve access to care, multidimensional assessment, patient-centered service plans and efficient outcomes-driven treatment and recovery services. The development of the criteria is overseen by the Steering Committee of the Coalition for National Clinical Criteria, whose members are representative of major stakeholders in the addiction field, including NASADAD, NAATP, NAADAC, NCADD, managed behavioral health, the Department of Defense and Veterans Health. The criteria reflect an interdisciplinary clinical consensus of adult and adolescent addiction treatment specialists, developed in conjunction with an extensive field review process. Since their creation in 1991, the criteria have become required in some form in over 30 states.
New content, new terminology and new treatment perspectives comprise the vanguard of The ASAM Criteria. Incorporating feedback from addiction treatment clinicians, the 2013 edition will include special sections for those working within the criminal justice system, with older adults, with parents or prospective parents receiving addiction treatment concurrently with their children, and with patients in safety-sensitive occupations. Furthermore, new sections on tobacco use disorder and gambling disorder speak to emerging understandings of addiction. Updated diagnostic terminology will be consistent with the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, and existing text has been rewritten to incorporate strength-based, recovery-oriented language. Finally, new perspectives on subjects such as the role of the physician and the definition of addiction help broaden the scope of the criteria’s application.
The ASAM Criteria has been reformatted and redesigned in the interest of reader usability. Book sections parallel the clinical thinking process, moving from multidimensional assessment through service planning to level of care placement. Tabbed chapters and a clear visual layout of criteria data allow readers to easily access the information they need.
The updated title reflects some of the larger conceptual shifts applied to this new edition. Previous versions highlighted “patient placement,” suggesting a finite process within circumscribed levels of care. In contrast, The ASAM Criteria expands the discussion of “placement” to incorporate the entire admission, treatment and continuing care process, encouraging an integration of addiction services with general healthcare, mental health and a variety of other subjects and settings.
Because both addiction treatment clinicians and payers spend significant amounts of time and resources communicating back and forth in the treatment payment approval process, the new edition will include a section on working effectively with managed care and in the context of healthcare reform. The book works hand in hand with The ASAM Criteria Software (now called Continuum, The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine™) to streamline the utilization review and care management process.
Because The ASAM Criteria is the most comprehensive set of guidelines for assessment, service planning and placement in addiction treatment, it provides a common language for not only addiction treatment providers, but also for general and mental health systems seeking to better integrate addiction services. ASAM’s criteria are consensus guidelines to promote consistent delivery of services and improve matching patients to their assessed level of care. Beyond just placement criteria, however, The ASAM Criteria guides chronic disease management of addiction, integration with mental and general health care systems and encourages effective and efficient use of resources.
The ASAM Criteria articulates comprehensive multidimensional assessment and a seamless continuum of services necessary for the treatment of people who pathologically pursue reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Whether a counselor or clinician is a seasoned practitioner with many years of experience or a person at the beginning of his or her career, The ASAM Criteria provides a strong foundation for how to design and deliver person-centered, individualized, outcomes-driven services. As such, the criteria assist not only in providing evidence-based services, but also in working effectively with many payers that manage care using the criteria. Most importantly, The ASAM Criteria aims to increase access to care and use treatment resources efficiently and effectively so that as many as need services can receive them.
Yes. The criteria are the most intensively studied set of addiction placement criteria in the United States and Europe. Research beginning in 1994 under the leadership of David Gastfriend, MD, at Harvard Medical School made the ASAM Patient Placement Criteria (PPC) the most nationally accepted placement criteria in addiction treatment. The US federal government, through NIAAA, NIDA and CSAT, contributed about $6 million to its research validation from 1994-2006. This involved systematic conversion of each decision rule to one or more research-quality, quantitative question-and-response item sets, and an algebraic algorithm to calculate the results of the PPC decision tree through computerized software. This allowed the first edition of the criteria to undergo testing for feasibility, reliability and predictive validity.
Changing service configurations in the field were recognized over the years, between 1991 and 1995. The ASAM Criteria text was revised in 1996 and published as the PPC-2 through a similar interdisciplinary committee, expert consensus process.
Based on emerging research data and continuing changing needs in the field, the PPC were again revised and published in 2001 as the Second Edition Revised (PPC-2R) through expert clinical consensus. The PPC-2R was then analyzed, computerized and tested in a study funded by the federal government of Belgium, in collaboration with Harvard Medical School. This study, which was presented to the International Society of Addiction Medicine in 2004, demonstrated the feasibility and predictive validity of the PPC-2R.
The ASAM Criteria and The ASAM Criteria Software (now called Continuum, The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine™) are companion text and application. The text delineates the dimensions, requirements and decision rules that comprise ASAM’s criteria. The Continuum™ software provides the approved structured interview to guide the assessment and calculate the complex decision tree to yield suggested levels of care for adults. The text and the software should be used in tandem: the text to provide the background and guidance for proper use of the software, and the software to enable comprehensive, standardized evaluation. Effective, reliable treatment planning requires that both be used together.
The ASAM Criteria is designed and structured to guide the clinician through the process from assessment to service planning and level of care decisions. Specifically designed eTraining courses, both onsite and offsite training, consultation and supervision, and ongoing coaching is available to provide the best mix of learning opportunities to meet the needs of clinicians and agencies.
Some states require the use of The ASAM Criteria as a common language of multidimensional assessment between addiction and mental health services. Other states define their continuum of care in terms of The ASAM Criteria's levels of care. Some states require providers, payers and care managers to use The ASAM Criteria as utilization guidelines for publicly funded addiction care. A survey of all 50 US state authorities conducted for NASADAD, found that 43 states (84%) required the use of standard patient placement criteria. Among the states that require patient placement criteria, approximately two-thirds require providers to use The ASAM Criteria, and this percentage is growing. Read a NASADAD survey of state use. The US Department of Defense has endorsed The ASAM Criteria, and a national survey of Veterans Healthcare Administration addiction program leaders reported that 48% were very familiar with The ASAM Criteria. A wide variety of public and private managed care companies and payers use The ASAM Criteria for decisions on authorizing addiction treatment.
As ASAM’s criteria have evolved, support has broadened and resulted in adoption by payers, single-state agencies and state Medicaid programs. Even when programs and providers are not state-mandated to use The ASAM Criteria, many use the multidimensional assessment and levels of care to design and deliver services.
In 1997, ASAM’s criteria were adopted for worldwide use by the US Department of Defense and by the US Department of Veterans Affairs for its 171 hospitals nationwide, and familiarity with The ASAM Criteria within the Veterans Healthcare Administration has become broad since its endorsement there.
The six ASAM criteria dimensions were endorsed by the US Department of Health and Human Services in 2001 and over 80% (43 states) now require the use of patient placement criteria. Among those requiring patient placement criteria, approximately two-thirds require use of The ASAM Criteria; this percentage is growing among states.
International collaboration has been initiated for training and/or evaluation of The ASAM Criteria and software in countries as diverse as Belgium, Iceland, Israel, Norway and Uzbekistan. The ASAM Criteria Software (now called Continuum, The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine™) has the potential to radically alter and streamline payer-provider negotiations in substance abuse treatment. In 2003, SAMHSA estimated that, of $21 billion in substance abuse treatment expenditures, providers spent $1.3 billion on insurance administration costs. A major goal of The ASAM Criteria is to provide guidance on how to design, deliver and improve a seamless continuum of care that uses healthcare resources efficiently and effectively to increase access to the care individuals need to achieve health and wellness.
American Society of Addiction Medicine Coalition for National Clinical Criteria offers online submission forms to report incidents of misuse. If you are a Payer or Managed Care Organization wishing to report an incident, submit your report here. If you are a Patient or Provider of Services wishing to report an incident, submit your report here.
With healthcare reform likely to significantly increase the number of patients who can now access addiction treatment, placement and treatment criteria will assume an even greater role in efficient and effective use of healthcare resources. In fact, the provision in the Affordable Care Act of 2010 that allows young adults to be covered under a parent’s health plan has already resulted in significant increases in the number of young adults, without their own coverage and sometimes without their own jobs, to present to addiction service providers with a need for care.
As more focus is placed on healthcare cost containment and “bending the cost curve” (meaning decreasing the rate of increase in healthcare costs), it is increasingly incumbent on all parties (i.e., clinicians, provider organizations, care managers and payers) to manage care with clinical and fiscal integrity.
The new edition provides principles and guidance on how to improve communication and resolve conflicts about care management and placement issues. With universal implementation of The ASAM Criteria continuum of care, access to care can be broadened and resources used more efficiently and effectively to increase the length of treatment and improve outcomes.
In conjunction with the publishing of the new edition of The ASAM Criteria, training solutions are being developed to serve a range of service providers and needs. For starters, you can view samples of The Change Companies®' eTraining courses featuring Dr. David Mee-Lee. Also, see the upcoming conferences and events related to The ASAM Criteria. If you or your organization has an interest in receiving training on The ASAM Criteria, please contact The Change Companies® at 888-889-8866 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. The ASAM Criteria and The ASAM Criteria Software (now called Continuum, The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine™) are companion text and application. The text delineates the dimensions, requirements and decision rules that comprise ASAM’s criteria. The Continuum™ software provides the approved structured interview to guide the assessment and calculate the complex decision tree to yield suggested levels of care for adults. The text and the software should be used in tandem: the text to provide the background and guidance for proper use of the software, and the software to enable comprehensive, standardized evaluation. Effective, reliable treatment planning requires that both be used together.
Yes. An enhanced web-based version of the book includes the book’s full text in electronic form, as well as interactive features such as searchable and highlightable text, video content and eTraining tools, an interactive table of contents, glossary, multimedia presentations and advanced search functions.
Orders of The ASAM Criteria will receive 45-day access to the enhanced web-based version. Following this free trial period, subscription options are available to continue access to the web-based version.
The enhanced web-based version of the book is an electronic resource that will be accessible online after the user sets up a username and password. This web-based version is a tool designed to help practitioners effectively apply The ASAM Criteria in their everyday work. It will include the book’s full text as well as interactive features such as searchable and highlightable text, video content and eLearning tools, an interactive table of contents, glossary, multimedia presentations and advanced search functions. Orders of The ASAM Criteria include 45-day access to the enhanced web-based version. Following this free trial period, subscription options are available to continue access to the web-based version.
The ASAM Criteria Software (now called Continuum, The ASAM Criteria Decision Engine™) is an application developed for SAMHSA by FEi Systems that provides the approved structured interview to guide the assessment and calculate the complex decision tree to yield suggested levels of care for adults. Continuum™ will permit both providers and researchers throughout the addiction field to speak the same language and arrive at the same level of care determinations.
In support of The ASAM Criteria and in collaboration with ASAM, The Change Companies® has developed a suite of Interactive Journals designed to enhance practitioner implementation.
These resources combine the assessment, service planning and treatment guidelines of The ASAM Criteria with the evidence-based materials of The Change Companies® to create effective solutions for guiding behavior change.
Click below to combine your order of The ASAM Criteria with the materials on this page. Easily remove any unwanted items in your shopping cart during checkout.Add these items to your order now
Learn about the ASAM criteria from the only eTraining series endorsed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. Hosted by Dr. David Mee-Lee, Chief Editor of The ASAM Criteria (2013), these engaging and interactive courses teach essential skills in assessment, placement and effective service planning.
Once you purchase your subscription, you will have an opportunity to add your desired eTraining course(s) to your subscription.
The user-friendly design of the new edition effectively guides practitioners from the process of assessment through service planning and ongoing treatment within the continuum of care.
Learn more about the redesigned edition of The ASAM Criteria, including the use of tabs, color, as well as helpful illustrations, graphics and icons.
Order the new edition of The ASAM Criteria and get free 45-day access to the beta enhanced web version. The Enhanced Web or Basic Web subscription options below are also available for purchase.
View demo of the enhanced web version.
The ASAM Criteria is also available electronically via
subscription to the enhanced or basic web versions.
Subscriptions may be purchased with or without a physical book purchase.
The enhanced web version includes the entire text of The ASAM Criteria in electronic format, plus many interactive features.
The basic web version includes the entire text of The ASAM Criteria in electronic format.