New constructs and assessments for relapse and continued use potential in the ASAM patient placement criteria

David R. Gastfriend, Dennis M. Donovan, Amy Rubin, Terence Gorski, Estee Sharon, G. Alan Marlatt, Winston M. Turner, Steven Maisto, Raymond F. Anton, Terry K. Schultz, Gerald D. Shulman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


One area of intensive study in recent years in addiction research is the characterization and prediction of relapse risk. Given the growing list of findings and assessment tools in this area, in preparation for the second edition, revised volume of the Patient Placement Criteria (PPC) of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), a workgroup of the Coalition for National Criteria was assigned the task of creating a revised conceptual organization for Dimension 5: Relapse/ Continued Use Potential. The workgroup conducted a review of the previous Dimension 5 constructs and criteria, including a decision analysis of the previous Dimension 5 decision rules. Following that analysis, field data from the ASAM Criteria Validity Study at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School were analyzed from a large cohort of public and indigent patients in eastern Massachusetts. After determining the concurrent validity of the Dimension 5 decision rules and their limitations, the decision rules were rewritten to gain improved validity. This exercise revealed techniques that can and should be used to improve the discrimination of levels of care among all Dimensions. Finally, the workgroup expanded and refined the constructs that should comprise a revised Dimension 5. This revised list of constructs is sequential and hierarchical. It offers face validity on several levels of current basic and clinical research knowledge: behavioral pharmacology, behavioral psychology, learning theory and psychopathology. While the Second Edition-Revised volume of the ASAM PPC (PPC-2R) does not go so far as to propose final decision rules for Dimension 5 based on these new constructs, it does recommend pilot adoption of several new assessment tools for this dimension and provides the framework incorporating those constructs and assessments in the next complete PPC edition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-111
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Addictive Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL.1
StatePublished - Jan 12 2004


  • ASAM criteria
  • Craving
  • Relapse
  • Substance abuse assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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