Substance-abuse screening package

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched NIDAMED, a collection of tools and resources to help primary-care clinicians screen patients for tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use.

The NIDAMED resources include an online screening tool adapted specifically for busy clinical practices from the World Health Organization's Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test (available at www.drugabuse.gov/nidamed. Accessed June 9, 2009). The interactive Web site directs the practitioner to ask the patient one pre-screening question: “In your life, which of the following substances have you ever used?” After posing seven more questions to help determine the type, frequency, and impact of the patient's substance use, the test provides a score denoting the patient's level of risk in terms of substance involvement and makes suggestions on what advice to provide.

Also accessible on the Web site are the Screening Tool Quick Reference Guide to help clinicians screen patients without using the computer and the Clinician's Resource Guide, which provides more detailed instructions on how to use the screening tool, discuss results, offer brief interventions, do biological specimen screening, and related matters.
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