ABC: Addiction Behaviors Checklist

Used with permission from Dr. Bruce D. Naliboff


  • Length/Time: 20 items, about 10 minutes to administer and score
  • Developed by: SM Wu, et al., 2006
  • Target Population: Adults
  • Intended Settings: Primary care
  • Assesses: Characteristic addictive behaviors in chronic pain patients prescribed opioid medications
  • Administered by: Patient Interview


  • Psychometric findings support the ABC as a viable assessment tool that can increase a provider's confidence in determinations of appropriate vs. inappropriate opioid use (Wu, et al, 2006)
  • The ABC shows strong interrelated correlations, reliability and concurrent validity (Wu, et al, 2006)


  • Items of the ABC are focused on observable behaviors noted both during and between clinic visits
  • May be used in training clinics to cue clinicians to the range of possible problem behaviors and the need to examine specific signs of misuse


  • Developed specifically for ongoing clinical assessment of chronic pain patients on prescription opioid therapy
  • Concise, easy to complete, and useful in a busy clinical setting

More Information on ABC

View References

Wu SM, Compton P, Bolus R, et al. The Addiction Behaviors Checklist: validation of a new clinician-based measue of inappropriate opioid use in chronic pain. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2006; 32:342-51.