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Foster’s Opioid Classification Addiction Status (FOCAS)  Guide

The Foster’s Opioid Classification Addiction Status (FOCAS) is a nomenclature (naming) or grouping of every one of us into a class. This allows for easier characterization of individuals/patients or potential users and users of opioids. This flowchart (algorithms) / table will allow comparable language and descriptions among providers in the healthcare field. This can also help with treatment stratification or protocols. In general, this has the potential to simplify communications between professionals.


This classification is not a risk assessment tool for the use of opioids. However, understanding patients’ addiction status allowed for better stratification concerning treatment options and possibly the level of care and intervention each patient or individual may need. Throughout the algorithm, patients’ risk level will vary and change and may be at any level regardless of the group or class they entered or are classified.


Appropriate medical, non-medical intervention, treatment, and the possible obstacles that will be faced by those of us who work with chronic and acute pain patients can be more clearly defined once we have an understanding and knowledge of each one’s Opioid Addiction Status.


This book provides a relatively simple but useful approach to a very complex problem, as well as providing information that will create a better understanding among healthcare providers/physicians that will allow uniform communications among professionals involved with the opioids use, treatment, and addiction.

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