Screening and assessment tools for drug and alcohol use

Here you will find a comprehensive list of screening tools for substance misuse and related disorders.

Alcohol Screening Tools

AUDIT: Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

Used to assess whether or not there is a problem with alcohol dependence.

SADQ: Severity of Alcohol Dependence Questionnaire

Used where alcohol dependence has been identified, to measure the severity of dependence.

CIWA-Ar: The revised Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment for Alcohol scale assessment

Used to assess the severity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome.

Drug Screening Tools

DAST: Drug Abuse Screening Test

Used to assess drug use, not including alcohol or tobacco use, in the past 12 months.

COWS: Clinical Opiate Withdrawal Scale

Used by clinicians to rate common signs and symptoms of opiate withdrawal and monitor these symptoms over time.

SOWS: Subjective Opiate Withdrawal Scale

Used to allow patients to be involved in assessing their withdrawal symptoms.

OOWS: Objective Opiate Withdrawal Scale

Used to objectively measure of the severity of opiate withdrawal symptoms.

Amphetamine Withdrawal Scale

Used where the person has solely had an amphetamine use problem.

CIWA-B: Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment Scale – Benzodiazepines

Used to measure the severity of benzodiazepine withdrawal.

CUDIT-R: Cannabis Use Disorder Identification Test – Revised

Used as a brief measure of cannabis use.

Screening tools for Young People


Used by a trained clinician as a brief interview with an adolescent patient.

DAST-A: Drug Abuse Screening Test for Adolescents

Used to screen the severity of drug use problems in adolescents.

Other useful screening tools

Leeds Dependence Questionnaire

Used for patients to self complete, to measure alcohol and opiate dependence.

GAD-7: Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment

Used as a screening tool and severity measure for generalised anxiety disorder.

PHQ-9: Patient Health Questionnaire

Used for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression.

MMSE: Mini Mental State Exam

Used as a brief, quantitative measure of cognitive status in adults.

Fagerström Nicotine Dependence Scale

Used to assess the intensity of physical addiction to nicotine.

Glasgow Coma Scale

Used as a reliable, objective way of recording the conscious state of a person.


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