How the SASSI can be a Useful Tool in the LGBTQIA+ Community

Here are some ways in which the SASSI can be beneficial:

  • The SASSI is designed to identify patterns of behavior that may be indicative of a substance use disorder, such as a tendency to lie about drug or alcohol use, or a history of legal or financial problems related to substance abuse. For LGBTQIA+ individuals who may be struggling with substance use but are hesitant to seek help, the SASSI can provide a non-judgmental and confidential way to identify and address these issues. This additional help may indeed open the door for those who would otherwise shy away from seeking treatment services.
  • The SASSI includes questions that are sensitive to the experiences of LGBTQIA+ individuals, such as questions related to family rejection, discrimination, and trauma that may be related to homophobia or transphobia. This can help to identify individuals who may be struggling with these issues and may require specialized support and treatment.
  • The SASSI includes a DEF scale (Defensiveness Scale) that can help indicate that an individual may be attempting to conceal problems and is resistant or “faking good,” that is, trying to manipulate their answers in an attempt to hide signs of unfavorable characteristics and/or substance misuse. This can be particularly useful for LGBTQIA+ individuals who may be otherwise hesitant to disclose their substance use due to fear of discrimination or stigma.
  • · The accuracy of the SASSI was not significantly affected by ethnic group membership in the development research. This finding can be particularly important for members of the LGBTQIA+ community who may come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Overall, the SASSI can be a valuable tool for helping members of the LGBTQIA+ community by identifying and addressing substance use disorders. It can provide a standardized and sensitive way to screen for these issues and can help to ensure that individuals receive appropriate care and support based on their unique needs and experiences.

Please be sure to read our recently published journal commentary “Are the LGBTQIA+ communities able to maintain their identity within twelve-step programs: A brief narrative.