Roughly seven percent of the adult population in America has an addiction to alcohol that is severe enough for them to need treatment. Many of them don’t get the care they need because they have never had an alcohol abuse assessment so a formal diagnosis could be made.
Testing for alcohol abuse is a fairly straightforward process that should be done by a professional treatment specialist. However, there are some self-assessment tools that can help a person approximately gauge the severity of their addiction.
It helps to know some information on each of the available alcohol abuse screening and assessment tests. Taking the tests and getting an idea of the severity of their alcohol abuse may help encourage a person struggling with alcohol addiction to seek treatment.
What Are Alcohol Abuse Screenings And Assessments?
An alcohol abuse screening and assessment is a questionnaire that is based on 11 different criteria developed by the DSM-IV, which are:
- Is alcohol being used in a way that could harm the addicted person or others?
- Is someone’s alcohol use causing them social or relationship problems?
- Is someone’s alcohol use causing them to neglect their job, school, or home responsibilities?
- Are alcohol withdrawal symptoms present when alcohol isn’t available?
- Are there signs of alcohol tolerance?
- Has alcohol consumption been increasing over time?
- How many unsuccessful attempts to stop or decrease alcohol consumption have been made?
- How much time does a person spend drinking each day?
- Is the consumption of alcohol causing any physical or mental health problems?
- Has drinking alcohol caused someone to avoid activities that they used to enjoy?
- Are there regular cravings for alcohol that make it difficult to concentrate on other tasks?
Types Of Alcohol Abuse Screenings And Assessments
There are several hundred alcohol abuse screening and assessment tests available for physicians and care providers to use in an alcohol abuse screening.
Two of the best types of testing for alcohol abuse are called the Michigan alcohol screening test (MAST) and the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT). The MAST test was invented in 1971.
It is often considered to be the most accurate since it can identify 98 percent of those who are addicted to alcohol. The AUDIT test is accurate about 92 percent of the time. It was invented by the World Health Organization in 1982, but many treatment specialists still use it today.
There are also several online questionnaires that people can take anonymously. Not all alcohol abuse assessments are accurate for testing people who might be in denial about their drinking problem.
Because of this, doctors sometimes suggest that their patients take blood tests that check their liver enzymes, blood count, and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin produced by the liver. All of these levels will offer evidence of damage to the body caused by excessive alcohol consumption.
How To Take An Alcohol Abuse Screening And Assessment
Most alcohol abuse screening tests are very easy to take. All a person has to do is answer the questions honestly. In fact, alcohol abuse assessment testing can be done right over the phone with one of our trained specialists for those who may need to ask some questions of their own as they go through it.
We can also help anyone who needs to talk about the severity of their drinking problem and some of the treatment options for alcohol use disorders that are available.
While alcohol use disorders are still prevalent in the United States, it is important to remember that there is help available for those who want to work towards sobriety.
All it takes to get started is a phone call to one of our treatment specialists to find the best treatment center for your addiction. Friends and family members who are concerned about their loved one’s drinking habits are also welcome to contact us for more information about ways they can help get treatment for an addicted person.
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- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism — Screening Tests
- National Institute on Drug Abuse — AUDIT