Substance Use Screening Instruments

This paper discusses a growing body of research that indicates adolescent drug and alcohol abuse screeners are available to health care professionals to assist in identification of Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug (AAOD) use .

This paper explains that, over the last decade, mental health researchers from many different disciplines have attempted to explain many of the constructs related to AAOD use, but uniformity and a theorem, which brings the constructs together into one concise framework that explains AAOD use, abuse, and dependency, is lacking. The author points out that many health care professionals lack expertise and training to assess for AAOD; subsequently, they ignore the problem or, worse, fail to recognize the problem. The paper lists some of the requirements of a good screening instrument; it takes no more than 45 minutes to administer, can be self-administered, and can be understood at a 5th-grade reading comprehension level. Listing of instruments.

Table of Contents
Background of the Problem
Statement of the Problem
Purpose of the Study
Importance of the Study
Definition of Terms
Review of the Literature
Use in historical perspective
Overview of the problem
Introduction to Theory
Early Adolescent Substance Use
Gateway Theory
Early Adolescent Substance Use Theories
Developmental Trajectories
Co-occurrence with Psychiatric Disorders
Risk Factors
Laws and Norms Influencing Use
Social Influences
Economic Influences
Familial Influences
Peer Influences
Psychological Influences
Diagnostic Considerations
Testing Instruments: Historical Development
Inclusion Criteria for the Current Research
Testing Instruments: Types
On the Matter of Reliability and Validity
The Instruments
Critique of the Literature
Critique of the Instruments
Suggestions for Future Research
“Parents on the other hand may often be the last to know there is a problem. As such, they are reactive. This includes, blame (self and others), disbelief and even denial that the problem exists. Rather than support their adolescent, they are often angry, aggressive, accusatory or worse judgmental. Parents can also be very disruptive and hinder the assessment and therapeutic process. They can present as passive and helpless. They may, in spite of psychosocial evidence to the contrary, deny that AOD is their adolescent’s problem. Needless to say these families are often in need of a good many resources, are frequently depleted psychologically by the time they seek treatment, and usually require a good deal of professional redirection and education.”