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brief intervention for substance use

ASSIST

ASSIST

CAN BE COMPLETED AS PART OF A ROUTINE CONSULTATION

CAN BE COMPLETED AS PART OF A ROUTINE CONSULTATION.

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assist on ice thai version

ASSIST

ASSIST

CAN BE USED IN A RANGE OF COMMUNITY SETTINGS.

can be used in a range of community settings.

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assist lite

ASSIST

ASSIST

AND ASSIST-LITE CAN BE COMPLETED ON A COMPUTER TABLET.

and ASSIST-Lite can be completed on a computer tablet.

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assist with substance

LEARN HOW

LEARN HOW

THE ASSIST-LITE CAN BE COMPLETED IN THE EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT

the ASSIST-Lite can be completed in the Emergency Department

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assist on ice screening tool

WATCH ASSIST

WATCH ASSIST

WITH SUBSTANCE AND LEARN HOW NURSES CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

with Substance and learn how Nurses can make a difference.

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ice portal

ENQUIRE ABOUT

ENQUIRE ABOUT

FACE-TO-FACE ASSIST WORKSHOPS.

face-to-face ASSIST workshops.

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ASSIST DIGITAL SCREENING TOOLS

The ASSIST and the ASSIST-Lite are available in electronic format. The eASSIST and the eASSIST-Lite are web based versions that can be used on a personal computer.The ASSIST Checkup and ASSIST Checkup Lite are downloadable apps for completion on any smartphone or tablet.

The eASSIST is an electronic version of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST).

The ASSIST was developed for the World Health Organisation (WHO), by an international group of specialists, as a tool that is easy to use to detect substance use and related problems. The ASSIST is an eight-item questionnaire and takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. The ASSIST helps identify the risks associated with substance use.

The eASSIST provides feedback on any risks and can help you explore options for addressing those risks.

LAUNCH eASSIST

ASSIST Checkup

Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite android apps Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite ios apps

The ASSIST Checkup is a free downloadable app so you can complete the ASSIST on your mobile device. You will receive instant feedback and tips on how to cutback or stop your substance use including information on where to seek help. The ASSIST Checkup is confidential and you can complete it every three months to track your progress.

The ASSIST Checkup is suitable for most iPhones and an android version is currently being developed.

Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite android apps Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite ios apps

ASSIST Checkup Lite

Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite android apps Assist checkup & Assist checkup lite ios apps

Find ASSIST Resources

Assist Potal- assist drug screening tool & drug and alcohol testing Resources & Tools

Resources & Tools

Need to download ASSIST resources or tools?

Download a full range of ASSIST and ASSIST-Lite tools and resources.

EXPLORE ALL RESOURCES
ASSIST Checkup apps and ASSIST-Lite apps Instructional videos

Instructional videos

Like to see the ASSIST and ASSIST-Lite in action?

The instructional videos demonstrate how to administer the ASSIST and ASSIST-Lite in a range of settings.

WATCH ALL VIDEOS
The ASSIST screening test version 3.0 by Ho2 Who Assist Fact Sheet Bibliography

Bibliography

Looking for research evidence for the ASSIST and where it has been used?

Find a list of over 400 articles on the ASSIST and ASSIST-Lite.

DOWNLOAD BIBLIOGRAPHY

ASSIST eLEARNING

Register to complete the ASSIST eLearning package. You can also join the ASSIST Community to connect with experts and network with other members. Once registered, you can keep up to date with the latest news and conference presentations.

ASSIST NOTICEBOARD


SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES


ANNOUNCEMENT:

Are you currently using Best Practice in your workplace?

Frustrated at the lack of options available online for screening for alcohol and other drugs?

Well, have we got news for you. It gives us great pleasure to announce that we have reached an agreement with Best Practice - the leading medical records software in Australia - for the inclusion of ASSIST into their software for a period of 24 months.

You will now be able to complete an ASSIST with your patient, and have the results stored on their medical record. That means you can conduct routine screening to see how their substance use behaviours change over time. It also means you now have the capacity to conduct an ASSIST assessment as part of a medication review, of if you think substance use might be a part of the presenting complaint.

The opportunities that inclusion into Best Practice brings cannot be overstated. Inclusion into the leading software platform represents a significant step in the right direction for primary health. It is hoped that this will lead to increased uptake and utilization of screening and brief intervention methodologies for substance use disorders by primary healthcare providers, More standardized approaches to SBIRT among primary health is a critical component for improving public health outcomes related to substance use.

The ASSIST will be available from the April 2022 update so keep an eye out!

You can read more from the Best Practice webpage here:

... See MoreSee Less

ANNOUNCEMENT:

Are you currently using Best Practice in your workplace?

Frustrated at the lack of options available online for screening for alcohol and other drugs? 

Well, have we got news for you. It gives us great pleasure to announce that we have reached an agreement with Best Practice - the leading medical records software in Australia - for the inclusion of ASSIST into their software for a period of 24 months.

You will now be able to complete an ASSIST with your patient, and have the results stored on their medical record. That means you can conduct routine screening to see how their substance use behaviours change over time. It also means you now have the capacity to conduct an ASSIST assessment as part of a medication review, of if you think substance use might be a part of the presenting complaint. 

The opportunities that inclusion into Best Practice brings cannot be overstated. Inclusion into the leading software platform represents a significant step in the right direction for primary health. It is hoped that this will lead to increased uptake and utilization of screening and brief intervention methodologies for substance use disorders by primary healthcare providers, More standardized approaches to SBIRT among primary health is a critical component for improving public health outcomes related to substance use.

The ASSIST will be available from the April 2022 update so keep an eye out!

You can read more from the Best Practice webpage here:

https://bpsoftware.net/the-assist/

Comment on Facebook

WOW! That is big news

Great news! Well done

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT:

Title: Disparities in smoking prevalence and associations with mental health and substance use disorders in underserved communities across the United States

Published in: Cancer

By: Lin et al., 2022

WHAT WAS THE STUDY ABOUT?
This study presents an investigation into the relationship between smoking and other substance use and mental health disorders in disadvantaged communities across USA.

WHAT DID THEY DO?
The researchers in this study identified 1735 adult past and current smokers from a larger, nationally representative survey (HCPS) of individuals who receive healthcare and other health services from government-funded pubic health services. These individuals are typically uninsured or using some form of Medicaid. The researchers pulled the data to assess rates of SUDs and other mental health disorders, based on individual’s current smoking status. The ASSIST was used to identify risk of harm for substance use disorders, and the K6 was used to assess common mental health disorders.

WHAT DID THEY FIND?
Demographically, the sample consisted of 28% current smokers, majority female (64%) and non-Hispanic white (50%). Almost half (47%) were not in the labour force (not looking for work), with 34% not having completed high school. Half of respondents (52%) lived rurally, 41% were on Medicaid (26% uninsured), and 55% were living below the federal poverty line.

Compared to non-smokers, current smokers were 7 times more likely to experience a comorbid substance use disorder (based on ASSIST score >27), and twice as likely to experience a comorbid mental health disorder (based on K6 score >13). Current smokers were almost 11 times more likely to experience high-risk of alcohol dependence and 7.5 times more likely to experience other drug dependence. No differences were found between high-risk non-prescription opioid use and smoking status. Current smokers were also between two and three times more likely to experience depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, serious psychological distress, bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia than non-smokers. These findings bring into focus the complex relationship between substance use and mental health, and in this case, smoking in particular. However, these findings also demonstrate the additional challenges that individuals in low SES areas face that may contribute to or serve to maintain their substance use.

IN THE AUTHORS WORDS:
“In addition, our study confirmed the significant comorbidity and the negative interdependencies of smoking with mental disorders and SUDs as reported in previous literature with even more concerning prevalence among the vulnerable populations served by HCs … Our findings further suggests that tobacco control strategies used with the general population have not been as effective for adults from underserved communities.”

WHAT DO WE LIKE ABOUT THIS RESEARCH?
This research shows clear a linkage between socioeconomic factors, substance use and mental health. In the Australian context, substance use disorders are overlooked in primary and mental health sectors, largely due to constraints on time and resources. Limitations on knowledge and skills to identify and respond to risky substance use also present a barrier for healthcare practitioners. As the authors point out: “Continual investment in effective primary care integration with behavioural health and SUDs can support primary care teams and improve patient access to coordinated care.”

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DOES THIS RESEARCH PRESENT?
One of the primary barriers to screening raised by primary and mental health practitioners is time. In fact many objections to the use of ASSIST have focused in on this point. In response to this challenge, we have re-designed the ASSIST to fit onto a single page, with capacity for automatic calculation of scores; saving you valuable time and energy during consultation. You can find a copy of the smart-form here: https://assistportal.com.au/download/…

Over the years, we have found that primary healthcare workers struggle with skills and confidence in asking about drugs (other than tobacco and alcohol). When individuals present with health complaints, routine screening for other drugs is scarcely done. But when an individual does report using drugs, they are often sent to specialist services for further treatment, regardless of their current level of substance use. We have also found that mental health practitioners may also struggle with confidence in dealing with substance use disorders. Often, mental health practitioners will deal with the presenting mental health complaint, and similarly refer clients on to specialist treatment services for further assessment, regardless of the level of their substance use. Consequently, specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services are overburdened with unnecessary referrals. This can be addressed by building the capacity of these workforces to deal with low-to-moderate risk substance use as part of their toolkit.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can build your capacity, or the capacity of those you work with to identify and respond to risky substance use through screening and brief intervention, visit our portal at

There you will find information and resources that might be helpful. You can also sign up to our online learning program, where you will also be automatically updated about any new resources we develop, or new training opportunities that present.

If you would like to know more about ASSIST you can visit our resources page and navigate to the appropriate tabs:


If you struggle to find patient take-home information, or know young people who use drugs and want to know where to send them for information designed for them, you can ask them to visit our consumer website at:


There, you will find our newly developed self-help materials. These are especially useful for people who want to cut-down or stop using, but are unsure of where or how to start.

While there, they can also download our free smartphone apps to keep track of their substance use, and find important tips and tricks about cutting down and quitting.

You can read the full report of trial study here:
https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/…
... See MoreSee Less

RESEARCH SPOTLIGHT:

Title: Disparities in smoking prevalence and associations with mental health and substance use disorders in underserved communities across the United States

Published in: Cancer

By: Lin et al., 2022

WHAT WAS THE STUDY ABOUT?
This study presents an investigation into the relationship between smoking and other substance use and mental health disorders in disadvantaged communities across USA.

WHAT DID THEY DO?
The researchers in this study identified 1735 adult past and current smokers from a larger, nationally representative survey (HCPS) of individuals who receive healthcare and other health services from government-funded pubic health services. These individuals are typically uninsured or using some form of Medicaid. The researchers pulled the data to assess rates of SUDs and other mental health disorders, based on individual’s current smoking status. The ASSIST was used to identify risk of harm for substance use disorders, and the K6 was used to assess common mental health disorders.
 
WHAT DID THEY FIND?
Demographically, the sample consisted of 28% current smokers, majority female (64%) and non-Hispanic white (50%). Almost half (47%) were not in the labour force (not looking for work), with 34% not having completed high school. Half of respondents (52%) lived rurally, 41% were on Medicaid (26% uninsured), and 55% were living below the federal poverty line.

Compared to non-smokers, current smokers were 7 times more likely to experience a comorbid substance use disorder (based on ASSIST score >27), and twice as likely to experience a comorbid mental health disorder (based on K6 score >13). Current smokers were almost 11 times more likely to experience high-risk of alcohol dependence and 7.5 times more likely to experience other drug dependence. No differences were found between high-risk non-prescription opioid use and smoking status. Current smokers were also between two and three times more likely to experience depression, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, serious psychological distress, bipolar disorder and/or schizophrenia than non-smokers. These findings bring into focus the complex relationship between substance use and mental health, and in this case, smoking in particular. However, these findings also demonstrate the additional challenges that individuals in low SES areas face that may contribute to or serve to maintain their substance use. 

IN THE AUTHORS WORDS:
“In addition, our study confirmed the significant comorbidity and the negative interdependencies of smoking with mental disorders and SUDs as reported in previous literature with even more concerning prevalence among the vulnerable populations served by HCs … Our findings further suggests that tobacco control strategies used with the general population have not been as effective for adults from underserved communities.” 

WHAT DO WE LIKE ABOUT THIS RESEARCH?
This research shows clear a linkage between socioeconomic factors, substance use and mental health. In the Australian context, substance use disorders are overlooked in primary and mental health sectors, largely due to constraints on time and resources. Limitations on knowledge and skills to identify and respond to risky substance use also present a barrier for healthcare practitioners. As the authors point out: “Continual investment in effective primary care integration with behavioural health and SUDs can support primary care teams and improve patient access to coordinated care.”

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES DOES THIS RESEARCH PRESENT?
One of the primary barriers to screening raised by primary and mental health practitioners is time. In fact many objections to the use of ASSIST have focused in on this point. In response to this challenge, we have re-designed the ASSIST to fit onto a single page, with capacity for automatic calculation of scores; saving you valuable time and energy during consultation. You can find a copy of the smart-form here: https://www.assistportal.com.au/download/condensed-form/?wpdmdl=1044&masterkey=61ad4714cc7ae

Over the years, we have found that primary healthcare workers struggle with skills and confidence in asking about drugs (other than tobacco and alcohol). When individuals present with health complaints, routine screening for other drugs is scarcely done. But when an individual does report using drugs, they are often sent to specialist services for further treatment, regardless of their current level of substance use. We have also found that mental health practitioners may also struggle with confidence in dealing with substance use disorders. Often, mental health practitioners will deal with the presenting mental health complaint, and similarly refer clients on to specialist treatment services for further assessment, regardless of the level of their substance use. Consequently, specialist alcohol and other drug treatment services are overburdened with unnecessary referrals. This can be addressed by building the capacity of these workforces to deal with low-to-moderate risk substance use as part of their toolkit.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can build your capacity, or the capacity of those you work with to identify and respond to risky substance use through screening and brief intervention, visit our portal at www.assistportal.com.au

There you will find information and resources that might be helpful. You can also sign up to our online learning program, where you will also be automatically updated about any new resources we develop, or new training opportunities that present. 

If you would like to know more about ASSIST you can visit our resources page and navigate to the appropriate tabs:
www.assistportal.com.au/resources

If you struggle to find patient take-home information, or know young people who use drugs and want to know where to send them for information designed for them, you can ask them to visit our consumer website at:
https://assistplus.com.au/resources

There, you will find our newly developed self-help materials. These are especially useful for people who want to cut-down or stop using, but are unsure of where or how to start.

While there, they can also download our free smartphone apps to keep track of their substance use, and find important tips and tricks about cutting down and quitting.

You can read the full report of trial study here:  
https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/cncr.34132

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keep an eye out for our new ASSIST with Mental Health Resource - coming out later this year

Excellent and very timely work

Marisyl Mangayan Arqulita ok Ra ma

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RELATED WORKS

ASSIST Community, eLearning and eASSIST - ASSIST Portal

edX Course

Join the ASSIST Community in discussions, eLearning and activities related to the eASSIST and managing addiction.

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Video Library

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Need Help?

Are you concerned about your own or someone else’s alcohol or other drug use? Call the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline for free and confidential advice about alcohol and other drugs.

24 hour support line: 1800 250 015

ASSIST PORTAL - ACKNOWLEDGING COUNTRY

Acknowledgement of Country

The ASSIST Program team acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the lands and waters of Australia and the Torres Strait. We respect all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people—their customs and their beliefs. We also pay our respects to Elders past and present, with particular acknowledgement to the Kaurna people, the original custodians of the Adelaide Plains and the land on which the University of Adelaide's campuses at North Terrace, Waite, Thebarton and Roseworthy are built.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

ASSIST PORTAL - ACKNOWLEDGING COUNTRY