Substance Abuse Assessment Tools

Although a patient may never have abused prescription medications in the past, any type of substance abuse could impact the effectiveness of opioid treatment. Current drug or alcohol abuse, or a history of substance abuse, significantly raises the patient's risk of future abuse of opioid prescription medications. All patients should be assessed for current substance use problems prior to prescribing chronic opioid therapy, but especially if opioid use is anticipated for more than a few days or if the patient is unknown to the prescriber. The proper use of a substance abuse screening tool should reveal a patient's vulnerabilities to the clinician. However, the initial substance abuse assessment tools for substance abuse offers no guarantee of successful opioid treatment.

This section includes reference pages on the following widely used substance abuse assessment tools: CAGE-AID, AUDIT, DAST, and NIDA-Modified ASSIST.