As Gloucester Police Chief police chief Leonard Campanello said in his interview with The Atlantic, "Addiction itself is not a crime, it's a disease.” In April of 2016, Screening for Mental Health launched the Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) tool to all current clients that had been using our Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) screening tool. The ASSIST provides an additional measure by which individuals can be screened for their use of substances, and includes additional questions about alcohol use.
The ASSIST screening was developed by the World Health Organization in response to the public health epidemic of substance misuse. The ASSIST tool plays a crucial part in identifying substance misuse behaviors and provides appropriate resources for those who screen consistent with substance use disorders. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) surveyed the nation on substance use and found that 24.6 million people over the age of 12 needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol misuse problem in the United States.
The ASSIST is an important step for individuals to determine if they or someone they love is having difficulty controlling their substance use. If you would like more information please contact the CommunityResponse team at Community@MentalHealthScreening.org.