The SASSI 4 is here!

The fourth revision of the Adult SASSI has just been published, and will soon be available in an anglicised version. Organisations or individuals wanting immediate access can currently be supplied with the US version.  (There are some stocks of SASSI 3 still available on a first come, first served basis).

What’s different about the SASSI 4?

The SASSI Institute is constantly carrying out research to improve the accuracy of the screening instrument and to enhance its relevance and usefulness to substance misuse professionals.  As well as these general upgrades in performance, there are two specific differences between the SASSI 4 and the SASSI 3.

First, the SASSI 4 is now normed on the recently published DSM V criteria.  These criteria, published by the American Psychiatric Association, provide for classifications of Mild, Moderate or Severe Substance Use Disorder, which roughly correspond with the previous categories of Substance Abuse Disorder and Substance Dependence Disorder encompassed by the DSM IV.

This means that the new SASSI 4 will identify people across the whole spectrum of classifiable substantive substance misuse problems.  It effectively broadens the range of applications, circumstances and institutions in which the SASSI can be useful. SUD identification is enhanced by the addition of a greater number of”subtle” items to the SAT scale.

Second, the SASSI 4 now additionally screens for prescription drug abuse.  Over-use of opioid pain medications and sedatives prescribed for anxiety and sleep problems may not be recognised as problematic by the individual using them, and the SASSI 4 can be useful in identifying any cause for concern here.

The SASSI 4 distinguishes likely Substance Use Disorders from other psychological disorders, i.e. it is able to identify SUDs, even when other psychological symptoms are present.