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A Screening Questionnaire for Risk Factors Associated With Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse: An Update

RICHARD H. SCHWARTZ, MD
Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(7):701. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150070015008.
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ABSTRACT

Sir.—In the January 1987 issue of AJDC, I coauthored an article describing an in-office pencil-and-paper screening test to identify at-risk adolescents for alcohol or other drug abuse. We have completed a follow-up survey of 365 adolescents in a pediatric office using an abbreviated 27-item pencil-and-paper test. In this survey, adolescents were asked to include their name, and, consequently, one of the deficiencies of the previous anonymous survey was addressed. Only once did a parent object to the study. Of the 365 adolescents asked to participate, only 15 (4%) refused to do so, usually giving no reason for their refusal. Forty adolescents (11%) filled out the questionnaire but did not write in their name as requested. We believe that 85% of adolescents in a private practice setting will cooperate with a screening test that requests self-identification to identify potential alcohol and other drug abusers if confidentiality is promised.

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