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Substance Use Screening Tools

Despite the high prevalence of mental health and substance use problems, too many people go without treatment–in part because disorders go undiagnosed. Regular screening in primary care and other healthcare settings enables earlier identification of mental health and substance use disorders, which translates into earlier care. Screenings should be provided to people of all ages, even the young and the elderly.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides a chart of screening and assessment tools in order to find the right tool for you or your patient based on substance type, age, and how the tool is administered. Please visit https://www.drugabuse.gov/nidamed-medical-health-professionals/screening-tools-resources/chart-screening-tools to access this chart and each tool.

Some of the most commonly used screening and assessment tools are listed below.

  • Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): World Health Organization. A simple 10-question instrument to screen and identify people at risk of alcohol problems.
  • AUDIT-C: World Health Organization. A 3-item modified version of the AUDIT used to identify patients who are hazardous drinkers or have active alcohol use disorders.
  • CRAFFT Screening Tool: The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research. A 6-question behavioral health screening tool to screen adolescents for high risk alcohol and other drug use disorders simultaneously.
  • NIDA Modified ASSIST Drug Use Screening Tool: National Institute on Drug Abuse. A short screening tool to assess a patient’s risk level based on Substance Involvement (SI) score.

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