Author: Scarlett Baker

Adolescent Vaping: Examining the Dangers

It is with great pride that we announce the release of our latest adolescent research manuscript. This article is based on one key aspect of the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) Institute’s forthcoming third iteration of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-A3). While our primary goal was to develop a screening tool for adolescents that is concordant with the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) guidelines, we found other aspects of the instrument that we felt were beneficial to investigate further. This article, Vaping and Edibles: Self-Reported Usage Patterns Among Teens In and Out of Treatment, focuses on questions regarding cannabidiol (CBD) edible consumption and the extent of vaping to review and subsequently address these dangers in teens.

Teens that begin using alcohol, drugs, and tobacco early in adolescence are more likely to engage in vaping and edible usage. They are also more likely to use at a more frequent rate. Early intervention is a critical component towards preventing possible negative outcomes for substance misusing teens. Identifying these patterns will inevitably direct the course of subsequent clinical interviews and treatment planning.

Adolescent SASSI-A3 Research Update

The SASSI Institute conducted a validation project on the accuracy of the adolescent SASSI substance use screening measure with respect to the most current nationally accepted diagnostic standards for substance use disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders diagnostic criteria (DSM-5). We are delighted to report that our data analyses is complete and presently we are preparing our findings for peer review submission and subsequent publication and dissemination.

Decision rules were formulated that would provide a good degree of accuracy using our development sample. Yet, the crucial issue is whether the SASSI-A3 scoring rules would be accurate when applied to a sample not used in formulating the decision rules. That is, how well does the SASSI-A3 cross-validate? When tested, we are pleased to report that the SASSI-A3 decision rules on the cross-validation sample results indicated an overall accuracy of 93.41%, 15.01% gain in sensitivity, 0.83% loss in specificity, and 9.75% gain in overall accuracy!

When released, SASSI-A3 will now include updated language reflecting current teen drug trends, a prescription drug abuse scale, as well as additional items. Once the publication review process is finalized, we are looking forward to making this updated tool available to professionals in the field.

We want to once again acknowledge and thank all the individuals and organizations who provided us with their valuable contributions.

Scarlett Baker, A.A. – SASSI A-3 Project Director, and SASSI Institute Director of Training

Recognizing National Correctional Officers and Employees Week

The SASSI Institute wishes to express our appreciation for those working in correctional settings, criminal justice and juvenile services. This is an unprecedented time for all, and especially hard for those working in correctional settings and their family members. Thank you for staying strong!

We also send our condolences to the family and friends of those who have lost their life during this pandemic.

Stay safe everyone.

SUD Screening, Telehealth, and the Coronavirus Pandemic

Due to the continuing outbreak of COVID-19 cases throughout the world, infectious disease experts have recommended reducing face-to-face contact and social distancing as much as possible to avoid spreading the virus. Many counseling and treatment providers are now looking to boost their adoption of virtual communication (telehealth) as a tool during this time. Congress also recently passed legislation allowing professionals to bill Medicare for patient care delivered by telehealth during the current coronavirus public health emergency (congress.gov).

Because early intervention saves lives, it is vital that screening individuals for SUD not get delayed during this pandemic and that access to treatment be available. If you are not already aware, the adult, adolescent, and Spanish SASSI screening tools can be administered to a client remotely via SASSI Online. Choose the “Email direct link to client” option when assigning a questionnaire administration, and your client can complete it at their location via the internet.

If you are not currently a SASSI Online user and would like to try it risk-free, please contact our customer service team at 800.726.0526 or sassi@sassi.com.

Thank you for all the work you do!

Article Accepted for Publication, One Step Closer to the Release of SASSI-A3

We are pleased to announce our most recent publication: “ Detecting “Faking good” with the Adolescent Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory- SASSI-A3: A Clinical Response to Alcohol & Other Drug Use Minimization among Teens in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly.

This article compares honest and “fake” responses from participants with known Substance Use Disorders (SUDs).  It is the first publication using data from our most recent validation study to monitor the concordance and accuracy of the adolescent SASSI screening measure.  The data used for this publication was collected during our Adolescent (SASSI-A3) Validation Study.  Watch for more articles, as well as the release of our updated adolescent instrument later this year. 

If you would like a copy of this publication, please email us at research@sassi.com. We have a limited number of e-prints available to share with our friends and colleagues so reach out early to reserve your copy.