Alcohol, Smoking, and Substance Involvement Screening Test

Original/alternative title:  ASSIST


The ASSIST's aim is to detect psychoactive substance use and related problems among primary care patients. The ASSIST is especially designed for international use by health care workers in a range of health care settings. It may also be useful for professionals who work with people at high risk of problems related to substance use. It can be linked to a brief intervention to help high-risk substance users to cut down or stop their drug use and so avoid the harmful consequences of their substance use. The ASSIST extends the WHO efforts that led to development of the AUDIT, with a focus on drugs other than alcohol.

The ASSIST provides information about: the substances people have ever used in their lifetime; the substances they have used in the past three months; problems related to substance use; risk of current or future harm; level of dependence; and injecting drug use. Substances addressed include: tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine type stimulants, sedatives, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids, and other drugs.

Additional information

WHO ASSIST Working Group. The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST): development, reliability and feasibility. Addiction 2002;97:1183-1194.

McNeely J, et al. Validation of an audio computer-assisted self-interview (ACASI) version of the alcohol, smoking and substance involvement screening test (ASSIST) in primary care patients. Addiction 2016;111(2):233-44. doi: 10.1111/add.13165

O'Grady KE, Gryczynski J, Mitchell SG, Ondersma SJ, Schwartz RP. Confirmatory factor analysis of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) in community health center patients. Am J Addict 2016;25(4):259-63. doi: 10.1111/ajad.1236

Ali R, Meena S, Eastwood B, et al. Ultra-rapid screening for substance-use disorders: the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST-Lite). Drug Alcohol Depend 2013;132(1-2):352-61. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.03.001

Hides L; Cotton SM; Berger G; et al. The reliability and validity of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) in first-episode psychosis. Addict Behav 2009;34(10):821-5.

Humeniuk R, Ali R, Babor TF, Farrell M, Formigoni ML, Jittiwutikam J, de Lacerda RB, Ling W, Marsden J, Monteiro M, Nhiwatiwa S, Pal H, Poznyak V, Simon S. Validation of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST). Addiction 2008;103(6):1039-47.