ASAM Criteria

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) represents more than 6,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine. ASAM is dedicated to increasing access and improving the quality of addiction treatment, educating physicians and the public, supporting research and prevention, and promoting the appropriate role of physicians in the care of patients with addiction.

ASAM provides a collection of guidelines known as The ASAM Criteria. They enable clinicians to standardize treatment planning and where patients are placed in treatment, as well as how to provide continuing, integrated care and ongoing service planning. 

The ASAM criteria are useful to patients, treatment providers, managed care providers, and other stakeholders and professionals. They are the most widely used set of guidelines for assessment, service planning, placement, continued stay and transfer/discharge of patients with addiction and co-occurring conditions.




Patients may work with their treatment providers to create an individualized treatment plan based on ASAM’s assessment dimensions. The criteria view patients comprehensively, rather than looking at a particular medical or psychological condition in isolation. 


Treatment Providers and Professionals


For treatment providers, the ASAM criteria provide a holistic approach for determining individualized and outcome-driven treatment plans for patients.

Practitioners can:

• Assist a patient from assessment through treatment

• Work with the patient to determine goals

• Help rank and rate all the patient’s risks, using the criteria’s multidimensional approach

• Determine intensity and frequency of service needed 


Managed Care Providers


The ASAM criteria provide one common language for assessing patient need and describes the continuum of addiction care treatment settings. With the ASAM criteria, managed care organizations can easily work with treatment providers to ensure plan participants are receiving the treatment that best fits their needs.


More information about The ASAM Criteria at