AUDIT-C Screening Tool & Overview

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Consumption screening tool (AUDIT-C) is a 3 question screen that can help identify patients with alcohol misuse.

The AUDIT-C can help identify individuals who are hazardous drinkers or who have alcohol use disorders (including alcohol abuse or dependence). The AUDIT-C is a modified version of the 10 question AUDIT screening instrument.

The instrument has clinical utility in reliably identifying patients who are hazardous drinkers or who have alcohol use disorders.


1. How often do you have a drink containing alcohol?

(0) Never (Skip to Questions 9-10)
(1) Monthly or less
(2) 2 to 4 times a month
(3) 2 to 3 times a week
(4) 4 or more times a week

2. How many drinks containing alcohol do you have on a typical day when you are drinking?

(0) 1 or 2
(1) 3 or 4
(2) 5 or 6
(3) 7, 8, or 9
(4) 10 or more

3. How often do you have six or more drinks on one occasion?

(0) Never
(1) Less than monthly
(2) Monthly
(3) Weekly
(4) Daily or almost daily

Directions, Scoring & Interpretation

The AUDIT-C is scored on a scale of 0-12 points (scores of 0 reflect no alcohol use in the past year). In men, a score of 4 points or more is considered positive for alcohol misuse; in women, a score of 3 points or more is considered positive. Generally, the higher the AUDIT-C score, the more likely it is that the patient’s drinking is affecting his/her health and safety.

Brief Research Summary

Bush et al. 1998In terms of overall screening performance, the AUDIT-C performed almost as well as the 10-question AUDIT (including identifying heavy drinking or active abuse/dependence at a statistically similar rate), and better than the CAGE.

Graham et al. 2007Oral and electronic administration of the AUDIT-C both have advantages (both derived and explicitly noted) over standard written administration in terms of social desirability bias and recruitment.

Bradley et al. 2007The AUDIT-C performed as well as the full AUDIT and significantly better than the CAGE and several other truncated methods of screening.

Dawson et al. 2006The AUDIT-C performed as well with pregnant women, college students, and past-year emergency room patients as with the general population.

Reinert et al. 2002The AUDIT-C generally performs equally well in multicultural settings (and, in fact, was initially developed based on the need for such a screening tool to be widely useable). It is slightly less specific for females, and some scholars have recommended lowering the cutoff for females by one point.

links above all broken  bc are behind iu library system so if not logged in, throws error… rick to decide how/wehther to fix

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