Here’s a terrifically quick and easy drug abuse test that you can use to check yourself for a substance use disorder. It’s designed to be used by doctors during examinations but you can use it on yourself, or ask the questions to someone you care about, and in seconds learn your odds of having a current substance use disorder.
The Two Item Drug Abuse Test
This test is called the Two Item Conjoint Screen for Alcohol and Drug Disorders.
Answer each question about your behaviors over the previous 12 months.
- Over the last 12 months, have you ever drunk or used more drugs than you meant to?
- Over the last 12 months, have you ever wanted to cut down on your drinking or drug use?
According to research published in The Journal of The American Board of Family Medicine:1
- If you answered yes to one or more questions you may have a substance use disorder and should continue to investigate your situation.
What does your score really mean?
Well, when measuring the test's predictive power, researchers found that:
- Of people that responded with no positive answers, 7.3% actually had a substance use disorder. This means that the test correctly identified people with no positive answers as not having a substance use disorder 92.3% of the time.
- Of people that answered yes to only one of the two questions, 36.5% actually had a substance use disorder.
- Of people that answered yes to both questions, 72.4% actually had a substance use disorder.
So if you answered yes to both questions, there’s an almost three in four chance that you have a substance use disorder.
If your test results indicate a possible or likely substance abuse problem, try these additional tests which may offer more insights:
- The APA’s addiction test (7 criteria).
- The addiction severity test – how serious is your addiction?
- The TWEAK alcohol abuse screening test (for women).
Early Intervention Benefits
If your test results (or other test results) indicate a possible or likely problem – what should you do?
Well, you have a number of options, but ‘doing nothing’ is probably the worst decision you could make.
- Substance use disorders occur along a continuum of severity, and with time and continued drug or alcohol abuse, most people progress from mild to more serious disorders.
- Substance use disorders are quite easily treated in the early stages. You might not require any treatment at all (just self-directed behavioral change) nor would you necessarily have to choose abstinence as your only option.
- Treating later-stage substance use disorders is far more difficult. Addiction-related changes to brain function and structure make abstinence the only workable option for most people and long-term damage to mental, physical and cognitive health can compromise your recovery abilities and quality of life.
Education is the key – learn about substance use disorders and
about how addiction changes your brain and make smart decisions today to
protect your health and happiness for tomorrow and the rest of your days.
To begin your reading, learn the basic facts about addiction.
Page last updated Jun 30, 2014