The University of Pennsylvania/Veterans Administration Center for
Studies of Addiction
Supported by Grants from the National Institute of Drug Abuse and the
Treatment Research Institute
600 Public Ledger Building, 150 S. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106-3475
PREFACE TO THE FIFTH EDITION OF THE ASI WORKBOOK
April - 1990
At this writing the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is ten years old. The ASI was created for the special
purpose of enabling a group of clinical researchers to evaluate treatment outcome in a six-program, substance abuse
treatment network. Since the programs were quite different the ASI had to be fairly generic. Since the budget for
the project was small, the data had to be collected by technicians rather than health-care professionals. Since the
data had to be collected as part of the clinical process in a relatively short period of time the instrument had to focus
on a minimum number of questions and they had to be relevant to the treatment plan that was to be provided.
Finally, since a major purpose of the project was to measure outcome (an issue that still remains open to various
definitions) the questions had to cover a broad range of potential areas that could be affected by substance abuse
treatment and the format of these questions had to be suitable for repeat administration at follow-up contacts.
Perhaps this set of initial requirements more than any other rationale explains the resulting orientation and
construction of the ASI.
There are three purposes to this fifth edition of the ASI workbook. The first is to provide additional
information regarding the intent of the questions in the ASI, special circumstances that affect the overall
administration of the ASI as well as exceptions and amplifications to instructions for specific questions within the
interview. A second purpose of the present edition is to disc