DAST Screening Tool & Overview

The Drug Abuse Screening Test (DAST) was developed in 1982 and is still an excellent screening tool. It is a 28-item self-report scale that consists of items that parallel those of the Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST).

Directions, Scoring & Interpretation: The following questions concern information about your involvement with drugs. Drug abuse refers to (1) the use of prescribed or “over-the-counter” drugs in excess of the directions, and (2) any non-medical use of drugs. Consider the past year (12 months) and carefully read each statement. Please be sure to answer every question. A score of “1” is given for each YES response, except for items 4,5, and 7, for which a NO response is given a score of “1.” Based on data from a heterogeneous psychiatric patient population, cutoff scores of 6 through 11 are considered to be optimal for screening for substance use disorders. Using a cutoff score of 6 has been found to provide excellent sensitivity for identifying patients with substance use disorders as well as satisfactory specificity (i.e., identification of patients who do not have substance use disorders). Using a cutoff score of <11 somewhat reduces the sensitivity for identifying patients with substance use disorders, but more accurately identifies the patients who do not have a substance use disorders. Over 12 is definitely a substance abuse problem.

 YES/NO

1. Have you used drugs other than those required for medical reasons? ___

2. Have you abused prescription drugs? ___

3. Do you abuse more than one drug at a time? ___

4. Can you get through the week without using drugs (other than those required for medical reasons)? ___

5. Are you always able to stop using drugs when you want to? ___

6. Do you abuse drugs on a continuous basis? ___

7. Do you try to limit your drug use to certain situations? ___

8. Have you had “blackouts” or “flashbacks” as a result of drug use?___

9. Do you ever feel bad about your drug abuse? ___

10. Does your spouse (or parents) ever complain about your involvement with drugs? ___

11. Do your friends or relatives know or suspect you abuse drugs? ___

12. Has drug abuse ever created problems between you and your spouse? ___

13. Has any family member ever sought help for problems related to your drug use? ___

14. Have you ever lost friends because of your use of drugs? ___

15. Have you ever neglected your family or missed work because of your use of drugs? ___

16. Have you ever been in trouble at work because of drug abuse? ___

17. Have you ever lost a job because of drug abuse? ___

18. Have you gotten into fights when under the influence of drugs? ___

19. Have you ever been arrested because of unusual behavior while under the influence of drugs? ___

20. Have you ever been arrested for driving while under the influence of drugs? ___

21. Have you engaged in illegal activities in order to obtain drug? ___

22. Have you ever been arrested for possession of illegal drugs? ___

23. Have you ever experienced withdrawal symptoms as a result of heavy drug intake? ___

24. Have you had medical problems as a result of your drug use (e.g., memory loss, hepatitis, convulsions, bleeding, etc.)? ___

25. Have you ever gone to anyone for help for a drug problem? ___

26. Have you ever been in a hospital for medical problems related to your drug use? ___

27. Have you ever been involved in a treatment program specifically related to drug use? ___

28. Have you been treated as an outpatient for problems related to drug abuse? ___

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