ADULT MALE, 23 years old
FVA 0, FVOD 19, SYM 7, OAT 7, SAT 0, DEF 5, SAM 10, FAM 9, COR 7, RAP 0
The overall SASSI result suggests a high probability of Substance Dependence Disorder, according to DSM IV criteria. This may inform appropriate goal setting and/or triage decisions.
The high Face Valid Other Drug score suggests a laudable openness and willingness to be candid about psychoactive drug use, and classifies the person by his own self-report. Examination of individual items may reveal what sort of drug issues the person is experiencing and reasons for using.
The low Face Valid Alcohol score is likely to be accurate. (Why would a person under-report consumption of a legal substance, when they are so forthright about consumption of illicit substances?). Absence of any experience with alcohol is unusual, and could indicate a cultural prohibition or a reaction to parental consumption history? These issues can be explored with the client.
This face valid Symptoms score, which reports on symptoms and correlates of substance misuse, is very high. Individual items may yield further information. Endorsement of symptoms does not necessarily imply the subject appreciates causality however. There may be scope for some motivating education here.
High score on this Obvious attributes subtle scale suggests the person is able to admit to faults and weaknesses, and will respond positively to feedback, even if that feedback is critical. He may relate easily to other people with similar problems, and may therefore benefit from group work. All of these are positive and praiseworthy, and tend to indicate treatment readiness. It may be worth checking , though, both whether he believes change is possible for him, and whether he believes change might be beneficial to him. If not, he may need some help with self-efficacy issues, or in developing a longer-term perspective on the benefits and drawbacks of impulsive decision-making.
The Subtle attributes score here is extraordinarily low. People with low scores like this tend to be emotionally sensitive and extremely good at self-analysis; both qualities which bode well, in terms of recovery. The disadvantage of low scores like this can be manifest in great feelings of rejection, which may lead the person to anticipate and see rejection where it does not exist, and/or a “chip on the shoulder”, where the person maintains that nothing ever goes right for them, and that their (ultimate) failure is somehow pre-determined. These issues need to be discussed with the client.
This Defensiveness score is the only score on the main part of the test which is within the average range. It suggests that the person is neither defensive, nor burdened with feelings of low self-esteem. On the contrary, he seems able to appraise his strengths, weaknesses and faults without being overwhelmed by them. He may express a belief in his self-efficacy which may indicate confidence and firm motivation to overcome his problems. (Cross-reference with the OAT score above. There is potentially much to commend here).
This supplementary scale score (Family versus controls) is within the normal range, suggesting the respondent has an ordinary ability to relate to other people, and is well adjusted in social terms.
The COR (Correctional) score does not reach the significant cut-off mark of 13, and therefore one would have to say that this person does not appear to have anything particular in common, psychologically, with people who are known to be prolific offenders. If he has indeed committed a crime, or crimes, it may be instructive to examine the nature of the offending. Was it committed in order to obtain or fund the drug habit? Was it committed whilst under the influence? If so, and given the respondent’s apparent dependency, (“difficulty controlling onset, termination or levels of use” ICD 10), the COR score may help construct a picture of someone whose offending is effectively “out of character”, and may be driven solely by the substance misuse. This could provide a powerful opportunity for redemption, by encouraging this man to step away from the “old skin” of substance misuse, and to return to the man of integrity he really is, and can remember being before the drug use started.
The findings, suggestions and interpretations here are intended as points of discussion with the client. Until they are endorsed or rejected by him, they should be seen as hypotheses only. While some ideas about feedback are presented, the focus here is interpretation. More suggestions for feedback strategies can be derived from the SASSI user’s guides, manuals and training materials.
(Training focuses on administration, scoring, interpretation, engagement and motivational feedback skills, and report writing. Participants learn how to “read” the SASSI independently, but consultation on individual profiles is always available, and is free of charge).