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New products and services will explain the workings of the ASAM criteria

January 4, 2012
by Gary Enos, Editor
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Clinician and patient materials are about to be released under Change Companies partnership

In their continued attempt to help addiction treatment professionals become more patient-driven than program-driven in their service delivery, the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and The Change Companies are ready to introduce several tools for making ASAM’s level-of-care criteria more accessible to the field.

Within the next several days, the partnership between the association representing addiction medicine specialists and the publishing and training company will introduce both an interactive training module for professionals and an interactive journal for patients. Both of these tools will assist in the understanding of the dimensions of the Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, the field’s most widely accepted clinical standards for level-of-care and treatment planning.

ASAM and The Change Companies last spring announced a business arrangement to co-brand several products that have the Patient Placement Criteria as their foundation. Criteria chief editor David Mee-Lee, MD, serves as a senior vice president at The Change Companies.

“We’re trying to help the field be more focused on people, on individualized treatment, on change,” says Mee-Lee. That effort must involve system change to be more patient-centered in the delivery of services, he says.

An e-learning training module in “ASAM Multidimensional Assessment” will be available in the coming days and has been approved for five hours of continuing education (CE) credit from three providers. The interactive training features Mee-Lee walking professionals through some of the tricky elements of ASAM’s six assessment dimensions.

The dimensions are: 1) acute intoxication and/or withdrawal potential; 2) biomedical conditions and complications; 3) emotional, behavioral or cognitive conditions and complications; 4) readiness to change; 5) relapse, continued use or continued problem potential; and 6) recovery environment.
The Change Companies already is working on a second online training that will delve further into utilizing the Patient Placement Criteria for treatment planning, Mee-Lee says.

In addition, release of an interactive journal in “Understanding the Dimensions of Change” is imminent. Here the focus is on the client, with the journal designed to help patients assist the assessment process in a clinician-guided format, by helping patients identify both their assets and their needs along each of the six dimensions of the level-of-care criteria.

Full information about both new products will be available on The Change Companies’ website ( in the coming days.

Mee-Lee also hopes that by the end of this month a new website devoted to the criteria will be up and running. He says the site will start small with some articles and other resources, along with information about products and services available for purchase.