Addiction Severity Index ASI
The Addiction Severity Index, ASI, is a framework for interview, which is used in assessing and planning treatment for substance abuse. This instrument is quite effective because it is designed to collect very useful information regarding the particular areas of a victim’s life, which may be associated with the abuse of drugs (Feit et al., 2015). Therefore, ASI offers much customized assessment and treatment programs for those who are victims of substance abuse. Its popularity in terms of dealing with substance abuse shows it is quite effective. It is commonly used by all the state agencies as well as treatment providers in health care facilities.
The strength of this tool is that it is quite simple to use and very cost effective. This makes it able to give users high level of convenience and affordability. People who use this tool include clinicians, researchers and the trained technicians. Moreover, it is noteworthy that the ASI tool can be used in various places regardless of language barriers since it has been translated into 18 languages. This tool is advantageous because it takes into account the age appropriateness as well as cultural sensitivities.
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This tool of substance abuse assessment pays attention to the wider picture by considering the fact that addiction to abuse of drugs may result from various life occurrences. Therefore, instead of focusing on the problem of substance abuse, this tool considers life areas like employment, health and family or social status. Such a very broad focus enables this tool to establish the victim’s degree of stability. The assessment is done in a process that is not time-consuming since it takes only one hour for the interview to be administered. The fact that this assessment is done face-to-face makes it quite effective since complex questions can be explained to the victim for simplification. Through the use of the severity rating scale, the interviewer is able to establish the level of seriousness of the victim’s substance abuse problem.
A lot of researchers observe that ASI is quite consistent and reliable because of its high level of accuracy. It is even able to predict the outcome of the treatment process. However, its value as an important assessment tool is yet to be determined. Research has to be done to establish its value and find out ways of improving it.
Michigan Alcohol Screening Test
Michigan Alcohol Screening Test, MAST, is a simple assessment tool for alcoholism and involves self-scoring (Feit et al., 2015). It remains to be one of the oldest screening tests for alcoholism. Its aim is always to identify drinkers who are dependent to alcohol. The best thing about this tool is that it is designed for use by the general public population. The tool is scored on a point scale system, whose results determine the level of addiction to alcohol. It is vital to mention that this tool comprises about 25 questions used for assessment.
The weakness of this MAST tool is that its length makes the process of administering it quite inconvenient for a lot of the busy primary healthcare facilities together with the emergency room environments. Moreover, this tool simply pays attention to the problems of the victim throughout their lifetime, instead of concentrating on the existing complications as evident in the signs shown by the patient. Another weakness of this tool is that questions are normally stated in the past tense making it difficult to detect any challenges with drinking alcohol during the early stages.
However, on the strengths side of this tool, the long duration of questioning gives the victim an opportunity of bonding and creating a good rapport with provider even before the process advances to the next stage. Moreover, various versions of this tool that exist make it able to deal with diverse conditions of alcoholism. Therefore, it can be observed that this tool has its significant benefits, but the weaknesses are higher than the strengths of it.
Drug Abuse Screening Test
Drug Abuse Screening Test, DAST, is a substance assessment tool that was developed to be applied in various settings in order to offer fast index of the problems associated with drug abuse (Feit et al., 2015). This tool usually gives a quantitative index of the magnitude of adverse effects associated with the abuse of drugs. The most convenient thing about DAST is that it only takes a record five minutes to be fully administered. Its administration may be conducted in the form of questionnaires or interviews. Furthermore, it is quite brief and clear.
There are various versions of this tool, which make able to deal with diverse situations of drug abuse problems. It is quite cost effective. Despite identifying the drug abuse problem being experienced by a victim, it is also possible to establish the degree of severity of the issue. Most evaluations of this tool prove it is quite effective and reliable for various populations and settings. This tool also offers the reference standard for keeping track of the changes in a given population over time.
However, this tool has its significant limitations that include lacking diverse language translations. This weakness means that it cannot be applied in areas where there is a problem of language barrier. With its highly obvious content, it is very possible for individuals to fake outcomes. Furthermore, relying on the scores given by this tool may give lead to wrong treatment, where the results are defective. Therefore, there is need for caution while using this tool.
Life Event Checklist
The Life Event Checklist (LEC) is a measure based on self-report, which is designed to screen for the possible traumatic events within the lifetime of the client (Feit et al., 2015). This tool evaluates the subjection to about 16 events, which are known to lead to distress or trauma in life. It includes an additional item meant to assess any other extra-ordinary stressful occurrence that is not part of the initial 16 events. The strength of this tool is that it shows enough psychometric features serving as s stand-alone examination of the exposure to trauma, specifically when evaluating consistency of occurrences that happened to the client. The major weakness of this tool is that it does not assess the exposure to peri-traumatic experiences. Furthermore, it cannot give the severity of the trauma.
However, it is a tool that can be applied in the assessment of drug abuse. Use of drugs is causes individuals to engage in traumatic events. For instance, some are injured while fighting while others fall to hard surfaces breaking their body parts. It is also possible for the drug addicts to experience trauma because losing their wives or partners because of their bad lifestyle. This trauma causes health complications hence must be identified using the LEC tool for proper treatment to be administered.
Events included in the LEC tool are as follows:
Natural calamities like floods, earthquakes and hurricane
Explosions or infernos
Road or air accidents
Exposure to toxic substances like chemicals
Physical assault through acts like being beaten up
Subjection to military war
Being seriously sick
The sudden death of a close relative
Any other occurrence that is highly stressful
These are just among some of the life traumatic events that this LEC tool focuses on during the assessment.
Feit, M. D., Fisher, C., Cummings, J., & Peery, A. (2015). Substance use and abuse: Screening Tools and assessment instruments. In Evidence-Informed Assessment and Practice in Child Welfare (pp. 123-133). New York, NY: Springer International Publishing.