Nov 17, 2020  |   2 minute read

Frequency – Drugs | NIDA M-ASSIST

National Institute on Drug Abuse – Modified Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (NIDA M-ASSIST)

Recommended frequency: Every 2 weeks


The NIDA M-ASSIST is intended to track change in the severity of an individual’s use of alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, prescription or illicit substance over time. This measure may be completed at regular intervals as clinically indicated, depending on the stability of the individual’s symptoms and treatment status. Consistently high scores on the measure may indicate significant and problematic areas that might warrant further assessment, treatment, and follow-up. Your clinical judgment should guide your decision.

Psychometric Properties

This measure was adapted from WHO ASSIST by NIDA. The WHO ASSIST has been shown to have excellent accuracy and high capacity to discriminate between substance use, abuse and dependence.

The ASSIST showed internal Consistency (Chronbach’s alpha) was over 0.80 for the majority of domains and ASSIST items correlated well against similarly worded items of other questionnaires. In addition, the ASSIST shows excellent concurrent, construct, predictive and discriminative validity and can adequately screen for low, moderate and high risk substance use for any substance.


The Scale

During the past TWO (2) WEEKS, about how often did you use any of the following medicines ON YOUR OWN, that is, without a doctor’s prescription, in greater amounts or longer than prescribed?

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During the past TWO (2) WEEKS, how often did you use any of the following drugs?

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Each item on the measure is rated on a 5-point scale (i.e., 0=not at all; 1=1 or 2 days; 2=several days; 3=more than half the days; 4=nearly every day). Scores on the individual items should be interpreted independently because each item inquires about the use of a distinct substance. The rating of multiple items at scores greater than 0 indicates greater severity and complexity of substance use.

Copyright Information

Courtesy of National Institute on Drug Abuse.