Alcohol Addiction Screening Tools

Alcohol Addiction Screening Tools

Content Overview

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is an alcohol screening tool that was originally developed by the World Health Organisation. AUDIT is considered a highly accurate screening assessment for alcohol use disorders and is 92% effective at screening for alcohol problems that have developed in the last year. It has been validated across genders and different ethnic and racial groups. It is estimated that 82% of dependent drinkers in England are not seeking treatment. Alcohol abuse is the biggest risk factor for poor health, disability, and death in the 15-49 year age group.

In the UK the AUDIT has been updated to make it relevant to local people and it is used to draw your attention to your drinking habits with a view to reducing alcohol-related harm in a constructive manner. Four shorter versions have been developed for use by medical professionals, to enable them to screen patients briefly and efficiently for their risk level from alcohol harm in busy clinical environments. There is a self-assessment version of AUDIT available for people who would like to evaluate their own drinking habits and reduce their risk of harm.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)

The full The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a ten-question evaluation that can be used in different healthcare and social environments. It includes three questions about the amount and frequency of alcohol consumption, three questions about alcohol dependence, and four questions on alcohol problems.

In the full The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, you will be asked a series of questions that relate to how often you drink alcohol and the amount you consume on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. You are asked to self-evaluate any binge drinking patterns as well as your desire and ability to stop when you want to. The questionnaire asks you how often alcohol impacts your obligations, as well as how often you drink in the morning. It enquires about whether you experience negative emotions about your alcohol consumption and if alcohol has caused problems with your ability to recall events that happened while drinking. It also asks you to evaluate injuries to yourself or a third party and how recently they have happened. It concludes with an evaluation of how other people perceive your drinking habits.

Each response is scored out of a total of four points and then all the scores are added up. Your final score will be used to determine the type of intervention best suited to reducing your level of risk of alcohol harm. The AUDIT aims to increase awareness of the dangers of drinking alcohol and encourage low-risk drinking patterns. Anyone with an increasing or high risk of alcohol dependence will be referred to a specialist for help.

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How The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Screening Tests Are Evaluated

Each of the screening tools has a personalised scoring system. This means that, although available online, it may be better if someone more experienced in assessments analyses the results. This could be your GP, a medically trained friend or family member, a nurse or an addiction specialist.

If you are thinking about entering rehab for an alcohol problem, these tests will give you a clearer overview of how your condition has developed and where you’re currently at.

AUDIT-PC

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test; Primary Care is a five-question variation of the AUDIT that has been developed specifically for use by nurses and doctors in primary care settings like clinics and surgeries. Its purpose is to screen for increasing or high-risk patterns of drinking. A positive score necessitates the primary care provider to complete the full AUDIT questionnaire to screen for alcohol dependence.

AUDIT C

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption is a three-question screening test that assesses your patterns of alcohol consumption. Its purpose is to give healthcare providers an efficient screening tool to evaluate your level of risk. Patients who show evidence of increasing, higher risk or possible dependence can be given the full AUDIT screening test.

Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST)

Developed for use in emergency departments, FAST is a two-part alcohol harm assessment tool. A positive score on the first question means that the healthcare provider will ask three more follow-up questions. Respondents whose answers are FAST-positive will be asked to complete the full AUDIT screening tool.

Modified Single Alcohol Screening Questionnaire (M SASQ)

The M SASQ is a single-question alcohol use test developed for use in emergency departments. It helps emergency responders assess a person’s risk of alcohol harm in a time-efficient manner. M SASQ positive respondents are asked to complete the full AUDIT.

A note on results

You are encouraged to answer the questions as honestly and accurately as possible. Your responses will be kept in confidence and are used by healthcare professionals to help you in a constructive and non-judgmental manner. The objective is to ensure you receive the appropriate level of care and treatment and to reduce your level of risk from alcohol addiction.

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