Does ASAM’s criteria recommend a standard number of support groups a patient attend?

ASAM’s criteria does not set a standard number of support groups a patient attend as such a decision depends on the individual needs of each patient. However, by ASAM’s criteria, there are a minimum number of clinical service hours (not just group treatment) that define Outpatient, Intensive OP and Partial Hospital levels of care. These hours are outlined in the third edition of ASAM’s criteria.

For inpatient treatment, for example, a person needs 24 hour care as they are in imminent danger if not in a 24 hour setting. There should be groups, but how many in general in the program is not defined by ASAM’ criteria or any other national standards. Certain states may have standards requirements defined as quality care. How many groups any particular patient goes to depends on their individualized assessment and treatment plan needs. For more information about creating a treatment plan, please refer to the third chapter of ASAM’s criteria, on service planning and placement.

The ASAM Criteria: Treatment Criteria for Addictive, Substance-Related, and Co-Occurring Conditions, 3rd edition, may be purchased online or by calling ASAM’s publisher, The Change Companies, at 1-888-889-8866.