It is never easy to treat alcoholism or any other addiction, especially if one does not determine how deep alcoholism has affected an individual. The effects of alcoholism will vary depending on an individual’s overall health and how long this individual has been an alcoholic. A widely used tool in the assessment of alcoholism, the alcohol severity index has helped many in the treatment and rehabilitation of alcoholics. There are a few who do not focus on the pre-treatment stage of alcoholism, but the alcohol severity index provides a valuable advantage by targeting the root cause and other factors contributing to the problem.
The alcohol severity index is an interview designed to determine events in an individual’s life that may have pushed him or her to substance abuse. It is widely used as an initial assessment tool when alcoholics check themselves in for treatment. Information regarding the severity, duration, and frequency of alcohol-related symptoms experienced within the last 30 days and throughout the individual’s lifetime is gathered. It also checks certain aspects of an alcoholic’s life such as medical status, drug use, alcohol use, employment status, legal status, family and social status, and psychiatric status, all of which have been previously shown to be affected by alcoholism. The interview takes less than an hour and helps treatment centers in the planning of an alcoholic’s treatment program.
The alcohol severity index has generally proven useful in the treatment and management of alcoholism and substance abuse. Through the information gathered in the interview, addiction treatment specialists can plan treatment programs and compare variables with other treatment programs to determine similarities and measure improvement. As with other addiction treatment methods, the alcohol severity index is constantly being improved as more information about alcoholism and its effects arise. The battle against alcoholism is a constant struggle, and the alcohol severity index is an invaluable weapon in its elimination.