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Substance Abuse Early Intervention (ASAM Level 0.5)

Our substance abuse program is a Maryland State Licensed Level 0.5 Early Intervention Services and Level 0.5 Education Program. Our Early intervention programs are services for specific individuals who, for a known reason, are at risk of developing substance‐ related problems, or a service for those for whom there is not sufficient information to document a substance use disorder. They are designed for adults or adolescents who are at risk of developing a substance use disorder but do not display any diagnostic criteria to be admitted to rehab.

During our early intervention program, treatment focuses on the risk factors that predispose the person to drug addiction and educates the individual about the negative repercussions of drug misuse.

The duration of early intervention services greatly depends on the patient’s understanding of the perils of substance use and whether he or she makes behavioral changes to avoid the path to drug addiction. Patients are closely monitored for symptoms that indicate they need a higher level of treatment.

An individual who is an appropriate candidate for level 0.5 services evidences problems and risk factors that appear to be related to substance use or addictive behavior. However, the individual may not meet the diagnostic criteria for a substance use or addictive disorder defined in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM‐5) as described below: 

Substance Abuse
  • Alcohol is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended.
  • There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control alcohol use.
  • A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain alcohol, use alcohol, or recover from its effects
  • Cravings or a strong desire or urge to use alcohol.  
  • Recurrent alcohol use resulting in a failure to fulfill major role obligations at work, school, or home. 
  • Continued alcohol use despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of alcohol.
  • Important social, occupational or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of alcohol use. 
  • Recurrent alcohol use in situations in which it is physically hazardous. 

  • Alcohol use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by alcohol.
  • Tolerance, as defined by either of the following:
    • a. A need for markedly increased amounts of alcohol to achieve intoxication or desired effect.
    • b. A markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of alcohol. 
  • Withdrawal, as manifested by either of the following: 
    • a. The characteristic withdrawal syndrome for alcohol.
    • b. Alcohol (or a closely related substance, such as a benzodiazepine) is taken to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms

Where the Level 0.5 service is a Driving under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI) program , the length of service is often 12 hour education program, and completion of the program may be required for reinstitution of driving privileges or removal of charges from their criminal record.  

Our Level 0.5 program services encompass educational programs for groups such as DUI (Driving under the Influence) offenders and other populations with increased risk (other substance use –related offenses).  

Substance Abuse

Our Interventions offered at Level 0.5 may involve individual. Group or family Counseling, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) services, as well as planned educational experiences focused on helping the individual recognize and avoid harmful or high‐risk substance use and/or addictive behavior.

Prior to admission into our program, a diagnostic assessment will be performed to determine whether the potential client meets the diagnostic admission criteria of Level 0.5, which requires that a person does not meet diagnostic criteria of a substance use disorder. If the assessment of such an individual indicates a need for more intensive treatment than Level 0.5 services, the client will be refer to a program that provides more intensive, clinically appropriate level of care such as outpatient services.

To refer your client to us, please click here to fill out the online form or download our referral form, fill out the hard copy and email us at or fax us at 443-759-8870 the completed copy.