Worried About Your Teen’s Alcohol Use? Consider the CRAFFT Screening Tool
Posted Nov 19 2009 10:02pm
by Lisa Frederiksen
There are a number of short assessment / screening tools for anonymously assessing your or someone else’s drinking, such as: CAGE, WHO Audit, NIAAA Clinician’s Guide and NIAAA’s Rethinking Drinking. Keep in mind that when done by a layperson, these tools are for assessing NOT diagnosing. They are simply a way of validating a person’s concern about their own or someone else’s drinking patterns. Why use one? Mostly so you can stop the denial that a problem exists, if it does. People are often looking for a better understanding of what is considered a drinking problem and what is not, so they can feel more confident in believing what they think is happening after completing an anonymous assessment. Using one of these screening / assessment tools can prompt them to want to learn more about drinking problems and what can be done about them. See related post, “ And They All Fall Down… This ‘Thing’ They Call ‘Denial ‘”.
Below you will find a screening tool designed specifically for persons under 21, known as CRAFFT (the acronym comes from the bold letter in each line). It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Substance Abuse for use with adolescents. As with the other screening tools, this should be administered by a medical professional to be considered a diagnosis, but as a person in a young person’s life, it may be helpful for you to answer the questions, yourself, as a starting point for yourself to decide what you may or may not want to do next.
If you think there may be a problem (based on any ‘yes’ answers), here are some resources that can provide you with more information and possible next steps: