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Substance Abuse (cont.)

Screening and Assessment for Substance Abuse

While there is no one test that establishes the diagnosis of a substance use disorder with certainty, there are screening tools, including online tests, that may help identify people who are at risk for having a substance use problem. Therefore, health-care professionals assess this group of illnesses by gathering thorough mental-health, medical, and family information. The practitioner will also likely ask that the individual's primary-care doctor perform a physical exam, including lab tests to assess the person's medical health and to explore whether or not the individual has a medical condition that can produce the same symptoms as a mental-health problem.

Exploring the presence of mental-health symptoms includes determining if the person has a substance use disorder, a mood disorder like depression and/or mania or anxiety, or if he or she suffers from the hallucinations or delusions associated with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or other psychotic disorders. The possible presence of a personality or behavior disorders like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is also usually explored. Practitioners may use a quiz or self-test as a screening tool for substance-use disorders.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/6/2014

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