The ASAM Criteria

ASAM Textbook Chapter 4-5

Article Index

Excerpted by permission of the publisher from: Principles of Addiction Medicine, Third Edition AW Graham, TK Schultz, MF Mayo-Smith,RK Ries & BB Wilford, eds. (2003).

Chevy Chase , MD : American Society of Addiction Medicine. Copyright 2003; all rights reserved.

The ASAM Placement Criteria
and Matching Patients to Treatment

David Mee-Lee, M.D.
Gerald R. Shulman, M.A., M.A.C., FACATA

When considering treatment matching, treatment planning, and the use of patient placement criteria, certain distinctions and definitions must be clarified, particularly the distinction between "placement matching" and "modality matching." In placement matching, a patient is referred to a particular setting, such as intensive outpatient or residential care, while modality matching attempts to match a patient's needs to a specific treatment approach (such as motivational enhancement therapy), regardless of setting. When placement matching is disconnected from modality matching, treatment is likely to be less effective because it fails to respond to the individual needs of the patient.

Good treatment planning thus combines modality matching (for all pertinent problems and priorities identified in the assessment) with placement matching (which identifies the least intensive level of care that can safely and effectively provide the resources that will meet the patient’s needs (Mee-Lee, 1998).

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