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Drug-Assessment Instruments: Making Wise Choices

NCJ Number
Corrections Today Volume: 65 Issue: 6 Dated: October 2003 Pages: 28,30,30
Date Published
October 2003
2 pages

This article discusses the effectiveness of drug-screening instruments.


Reliable, cost-effective drug-assessment instruments are needed in order to quickly screen the large number of drug-involved offenders presenting to correctional facilities with limited resources. This article suggests that a recent article published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment maintains that some drug screens perform better than others in certain respects. Exploring the limitations of various drug-screening instruments, the article evaluates drug screening instruments in terms of their ability to identify drug and alcohol disorders. Results indicate that factors such as cost, length, scope, and treatment accommodations greatly influenced the performance of various drug-screening instruments. This article suggests that it is important to work continuously to improve and develop drug-screening instruments that are both cost-efficient and highly accurate as a drug assessment tool. A table presents the results for all screening instruments in detecting drug or alcohol dependence disorders.

Date Published: October 1, 2003