Screening Tools

Health professionals do not need to memorize how to appropriately screen for adolescent substance use through a narrative conversation. Instead, they can use one of the validated screening questionnaires below that are easy to administer, take little time to complete, and are effective at measuring where an adolescent lies on the spectrum of substance use. While these tools below do not diagnose patients, clinicians can use the result to determine the appropriate response and level of care.

Screening tools may be administered in a variety of formats and platforms, including face-to-face interview, self-administered via paper and pencil, or electronically.


The CRAFFT (a mnemonic acronym of first letters of key words in the six screening questions) is a widely used screening tool developed by Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research (CeASAR) at Boston Children’s Hospital. The CRAFFT can be self-administered or delivered through a clinician interview. There are two versions currently available. The CRAFFT 2.0 asks adolescent patients about substance use in the past year, as well as associated consequences from use. This version is available in multiple languages. The CRAFFT 2.1 is identical to the CRAFFT 2.0 except for new language that includes vaping. Free to use with permission.

Access the CRAFFT 2.0 or 2.1 (Make sure links work)

Access the official guide to using the CRAFFT


The S2BI (Screening to Brief Intervention) is a new tool developed at Boston Children’s Hospital with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The S2BI asks about frequency of use concerning seven types of substances, which has been shown to correlate with the presence of a substance use disorder. The S2BI is frequently used in correlation with the CRAFFT questions. Free to use with permission.

Access the S2BI

Access the official guide to using the S2BI


The Brief Screener for Tobacco, Alcohol, and other Drugs (BSTAD) is a longer questionnaire that builds upon a brief screening instrument first developed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The BSTAD asks questions about frequency of substance use during the past 30, 90, and 365 days. Questions are asked in an order that distinguishes between 12- to 14-year-olds and 15- to 17-year-olds. There is no need to score the instrument. Free to use with permission.

Access the BSTAD tool and validation study


The CHISPA (Cocaine, Heroin, IV drugs, Synthetic pot, Pot, Alcohol) is a new, longer screening tool developed at the University of New Mexico designed to inform a brief intervention with adolescents. It asks about substance use in the last three months, assesses readiness to quit or reduce use, and asks about past quit attempts. Free to use with permission.

Access the CHISPA
Read the CHISPA validation study