NIDA Launches Drug Use Screening Tools for Physicians

Source: NIH News, 4/21/2009

NIDAMED Helps Doctors Provide the Best in Medical Care

Washington, D.C. – The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, today unveiled its first comprehensive Physicians’ Outreach Initiative, NIDAMED, which gives medical professionals tools and resources to screen their patients for tobacco, alcohol, illicit, and nonmedical prescription drug use. The NIDAMED resources include an online screening tool, a companion quick reference guide, and a comprehensive resource guide for clinicians. The initiative stresses the importance of the patient-doctor relationship in identifying unhealthy behaviors before they evolve into life threatening conditions. 


NIDAMED’s screening tool was adapted from the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST), developed, validated, and published by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an effective screening tool for identifying substance use. NIDA-modified ASSIST tools are specifically designed to fit into today’s busy clinical practices. Doctors can access the new tools at by clicking on the NIDAMED icon.


NIDAMED was unveiled in conjunction with NIDA’s recently updated Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment: A Research Based Guide. This publication summarizes the 13 evidence-based principles of effective treatment, answers common questions, and describes types of treatment, providing examples of scientifically based and tested treatment components. The principles are based on three decades of scientific research and clinical practice that have yielded a variety of effective approaches to drug addiction treatment.

More information on all NIDAMED products and the Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment: A Research Based Guide can be found at

Click here to read this press release in its entirety.

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