AUDIT Screening Tool & Overview

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) screening tool, developed in 1982 by the World Health Organization, is a simple way to screen and identify people at risk of alcohol problems.

Items

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

4. How often during the last year have you found that you were not able to stop drinking once you had started?

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

5. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?

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

6. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking?

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

7. How often during the last year have you needed an alcoholic drink first thing in the morning to get yourself going after a night of heavy drinking?

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

8. How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?

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

9. Have you or someone else been injured as a result of your drinking?

(0) No
(2) Yes, but not in the last year
(4) Yes, during the last year

10. Has a relative, friend, doctor, or another health professional expressed concern about your drinking or suggested you cut down?

(0) No
(2) Yes, but not in the last year
(4) Yes, during the last year

Directions, Scoring & Interpretation:

Add the numbers carefully. Scores for each question range from 0 to 4, with the first response for each question (never) scoring 0, the second (less than monthly) scoring 1, the third (monthly) scoring 2, the fourth (weekly) scoring 3, and the last response (daily or almost daily) scoring 4. For questions 9 and 10, which only have three responses, the scoring is 0, 2 and 4. A score of 8 or more is associated with harmful or hazardous drinking, a score of 13 or more in women, and 15 or more in men, is likely to indicate alcohol dependence.

What are the strengths?

  • Test and manual are free.
  • Validated in multiple settings including primary care.
  • Brief, rapid, flexible.
  • Focuses on recent alcohol use.
  • Consistent with ICD-10 definitions of alcohol dependence and harmful alcohol use.

What are the weaknesses?

  • Does not screen for drug use or abuse, only alcohol.

As indicated above, the AUDIT screens across three domains using 10 items, as summarized in the following table:

Domains and Item Content
Domains Question Number Item Content
Hazardous Alcohol Use 1 Frequency of drinking
2 Typical quantity
3 Frequency of heavy drinking
Dependence Symptoms 4 Impaired control over drinking
5 Increased salience of drinking
6 Morning drinking
Harmful Alcohol Use 7 Guilt after drinking
8 Blackouts
9 Alcohol-related injuries
10 Others concerned about drinking

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