About this collection

Standardised alcohol and other drug (AOD) screening and withdrawal tools are crucial for early prevention, intervention and client/patient safety. Over the past decade, several documents have been produced that synthesise AOD screening and brief intervention assessment tools. 

However, there was no online, central location where Australian AOD services could readily access these instruments. There was a need for a specific online collection of commonly used AOD screening and assessment tools, along with a description of each tool’s utility.

What we did

Step 1

Identiļ¬cation of tools commonly recommended in Australia

Tools mentioned in publicly available Australian government and non-government AOD-related documentation were identified. Documentation included frameworks, reviews, clinical guidelines, policies and websites. 


Tool selection criteria

  • Specifically screened for AOD use and monitoring AOD withdrawal 
  • Recommended at least twice in searched materials
  • Peer reviewed 
  • Consistent with Australian guidelines

Step 2

Consultation with stakeholders

Views on an initial tool list were sought from Australian AOD sector stakeholders. Upon their recommendations, the parameters of the website were expanded.

Step 3

Desktop review to produce an overview of each tool

For each tool, a desktop search was undertaken to ascertain:

  • Purpose
  • Drug(s) of concern
  • Time-frame/observation period
  • Populations with whom the tool has been tested
  • Setting in which the tool has been tested or considered suitable 
  • Diagnostics: utility, Australian validation and psychometric properties
  • Electronic tool format links
  • Administrator, rater, scoring and interpretation
  • Resources, e.g. tool citation, copyright, manual/training available, brief intervention (if appropriate)


Step 4

Knowledge gaps identified

For each tool an assessment was made of knowledge gaps and recommendations for future research.


Step 5

Identification of electronic tool formats

Internet searches were conducted to locate electronic formats of each tool, including home portals, PDFs, Word and online interactive formats and apps. In some circumstances, the original validated tool was not easily located. In such instances, the tool was formatted into a Word file.