Advice to Clinicians: Substance Abuse Screening and Assessment Among Women

How screenings and assessments are conducted is as important as the information gathered. Screening and assessment are often the initial contact between a woman and the treatment system. They can either help build a trusting relationship or create a deterrent to engaging in further services.

Self-administered tools may be more likely to elicit honest answers; this is especially true regarding questions related to drug and alcohol use.

Face-to-face screening interviews have not always been successful in detecting alcohol and drug use in women, especially if the counselor is uncomfortable with the questions.

Substance abuse screening and assessment tools, in general, are not as sensitive in identifying women as having substance abuse problems.

Selection of screening and assessment instruments should be examined to determine if they were developed using female populations. If not, counselors need to explore whether or not there are other instruments that may be more suitable to address specific evaluation needs.

From: 4 Screening and Assessment

Cover of Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women
Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women [Internet].
Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 51.
Copyright Notice

This is an open-access report distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain License. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.

NCBI Bookshelf. A service of the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.