The SASSI Network is a blog dedicated to professionals who support early intervention.  This platform is to provide useful information about our research projects, instruments, staff spotlights, as well posts from representatives of the recovery community.

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Adolescent Vaping: Examining the Dangers

October 15, 2020

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… Read more

Adolescent SASSI-A3 Available December 1st, 2020

October 1, 2020

Our Team at the Institute has been working tirelessly on a two-year research project to bring you an updated adolescent instrument that is validated against the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.  Our research has produced multiple publications and allowed the SASSI-A3 to include some new features, including a brief scale, Prescription Drug (Rx), to accurately identify teens likely to be abusing prescription medications. The updated version also includes new subtle items to reflect current teen alcohol and… Read more

Hope Remains: Attacking some of the Veiled COVID-19 Challenges

September 24, 2020

This has been an interesting year hasn’t it? I’ve worked in the behavioral health field, primarily substance use disorder, since 1989. During those 31 years I’ve never come across the types of challenges I’ve seen this year, for those struggling with substance addiction and for those healthcare providers trying to help them. “Social isolation” is the new mantra in the culture and yet it is the very thing that is anathema to behavioral health counselors… Read more

Notes from the Clinical Director: Important Notice Regarding the Helpline

September 17, 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be reducing the free Clinical Helpline hours temporarily beginning Monday, October 5th. Clinical consultants will now be available Monday through Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST). We will, of course, continue to closely monitor voice mail messages and return those as soon as possible. This change only applies to the clinical helpline. Our customer service remains available during normal business hours. Please contact us if you have… Read more

Coming Soon: Adolescent SASSI-A3

September 3, 2020

               We wanted to provide you some important SASSI updates. We’re excited to announce that the research findings on the adolescent SASSI-A3 have been published! Within the coming weeks and next few months, we will be concentrating our efforts on publishing the SASSI-A3 instrument, which similarly to the adult screening tool, now includes a prescription drug scale and greater sensitivity to opioids and prescription medications. The updated instrument will be available on our online platform… Read more

The Behaviors & Attitudes Drinking & Driving Scale (BADDS): A First Hand Historical Perspective from Co-Developer Dr. Jeremy Jewell

August 27, 2020

In 2002 I was in my second year as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, when I was approached by Dr. Greg Luttrell, a faculty member in Civil Engineering, who wanted to study the effectiveness of the Fatal Vision goggles. Joined by my colleague Dr. Steve Hupp, I thought this would be a straightforward study. First, we needed to find a questionnaire that measured individual’s attitudes toward drinking… Read more

Notes from the Clinical Director: Clinical Interpretations

August 13, 2020

One of the trickier aspects of incorporating the SASSI results in a substance use assessment is extracting the clinical interpretation of what elevated scores mean and the relationship between the scales. If you have taken SASSI training, especially the Clinical Interpretation session, you were introduced to ‘Profile Configurations.’ This section gets more in-depth into interpreting the scales and clinically drawing on information that can better inform how to work with your client as well as… Read more

Adult SASSI-4 Substance Use Disorder Screening Accuracy with Criminal Offenders

July 30, 2020

The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) has been used successfully in correctional screening in multiple settings since its release. These include outpatient evaluations of offenders as well as assessments of incarcerated individuals in federal, state, and local correctional centers. Many clients served in behavioral health and substance abuse treatment programs have histories of involvement with the criminal justice system in addition to mental health and substance use disorders. Samples in the SASSI-4 validation study… Read more

Enhancing Your Clients’ Insight and Motivation Using the SASSI

July 16, 2020

Through the years, we have had the opportunity to share inspirational stories with our colleagues about their experience using the SASSI. One such story came recently from a psychologist who uses the SASSI in his practice. This was a gratifying story for us to hear and we are pleased that he has allowed us to share it with you. The mother of a 22-year-old woman called me because she felt very strongly that her daughter… Read more

The Latest Research and COVID-19 Update from the CEO

July 2, 2020

In a previous post, we discussed how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the substance use disorder field throughout the country. Unfortunately, last week showed a dramatic increase in the number of reported cases nationally, particularly towards the end of the week (more than 40,000 additional reported cases, mostly from the west coast and southwest). As a result, many colleagues that had reopened for business to provide clients with critically needed services, unfortunately, had to close… Read more

An Update from the CEO

June 18, 2020

                We at The SASSI Institute wanted to update you on the COVID-19 crisis and how we see it affecting the substance use disorder field, not only here in southern Indiana, but also as reported from our many contacts throughout the country. The unfortunate reality is that many private practitioners, and even some long-standing programs, have had to furlough operations or sadly, cease operating altogether. We have lost many colleagues and personal friends to this… Read more

We Mourn the Loss of a Close Friend, a Pioneer in the Recovery Movement for Indiana

June 9, 2020

It is with a heavy heart that The SASSI Institute reports the passing of a dear friend and colleague, Mr. Stan DeKemper. Stan was not only a friend to the Recovery Field but also a personal and close friend of mine. Stan was the Executive Director of Indiana Credentialing Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (ICAADA). Our prayers and condolences go out to his family. Rest in Peace, old friend! Nelson Read the full press… Read more

Defensiveness and Non-voluntary Clients

June 4, 2020

The Importance of Additional Assessment Data The client is a 38-year-old male named Jim (not his real name), who was referred for a substance use evaluation following a second arrest for domestic violence. The practitioner calling in the profile reported having collateral evidence substantiating a significant history of alcohol abuse for this client. The SASSI results indicate that Jim has a low probability of having a substance use disorder. He is not acknowledging any significant… Read more

Adolescent SASSI-A3 Research Update

May 21, 2020

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… Read more

SASSI Plan for COVID-19: Exposure, Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

May 11, 2020

The SASSI Institute takes the health and safety of our employees very seriously.  With the spread of COVID-19, the Company must remain vigilant in mitigating the outbreak.  We are committed to helping people who suffer from substance use problems and the professionals who serve them. In order to be safe as we reopen operations, we have developed this COVID-19 Exposure, Prevention, Preparedness, and Response Plan.  Of course, we will continue to monitor the related guidance… Read more

Recognizing National Correctional Officers and Employees Week

May 7, 2020

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. Read more

SAM Contributes to SASSI-4 Accuracy

April 30, 2020

This SASSI-4 profile of a 37-year-old female was called in to our clinical support line. As we look at her results, it appears that she answered the items in a meaningful manner (RAP=0).  She is likely to have a high probability of a substance use disorder (SYM=6, SAM=8) based on decision rule 8. Notice that despite the relatively low DEF score and apparent lack of defensive responding, the SAM scale score, when combined with the… Read more

Staff Spotlight: Ms. Stevie Roach

April 16, 2020

Stevie joined SASSI as a Customer Service Representative in April 2019.  She previously worked as a dispatcher with our local law enforcement and with a shelter helping women and children in need.  She is a mother of 3 young children, two boys and one girl. When Stevie is not at work, she loves binge watching TV episodes with her mom, whom she considers her best friend. She also keeps very busy with her children’s extra… Read more

An Update from the CEO

April 9, 2020

The SASSI Institute is committed to helping you stay connected and feel supported during the COVID-19 crisis. The sudden changes and disruptions to our daily lives coupled with the unknowns about the immediate future can be scary and stressful. For those in the substance use disorder field, these disruptions can be particularly stressful as we are already addressing the critical needs of our clients. As you can see by visiting our site, blogs or other… Read more

SYM Scale and Environmental Factors

April 2, 2020

We had the opportunity to consult with a treatment provider who had called in SASSI-4 scores for a Native American couple residing in Canada. Since both profiles nicely illustrate important clinical features of each client, we decided to present the interpretations in this sample. We are grateful to the treatment agency in Northern Canada that granted us permission to use the information included in this sample. To facilitate the presentation of the profiles in a… Read more

SUD Screening, Telehealth, and the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 18, 2020

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… Read more

A Tribute to a Dear Friend and Colleague

March 13, 2020

We wish to pay tribute to Dr. Linda E. Lazowski, former Research Director of The SASSI Institute, who passed away on February 13, 2020. Linda first joined The SASSI Institute as a Research Psychologist in 1995 and retired in 2018. Linda was a Brooklyn, NY native and earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Psychology from Baruch College in New York City. She then relocated to California to get her Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in Social… Read more

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

March 4, 2020

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. … Read more

Welcome to our blog!

February 19, 2020

We are excited to bring you a new stream of information through our website.  Previously we sent colleagues in the field our Newsletter through email or hard copy.  With this new format, you can expect greater variety and a more frequent stream of information.  We will still include sample interpretations, instrument updates, and ongoing research projects, but also look for engaging video content and periodic guest columns covering a range of topics. Thanks for visiting… Read more