Psychological Testing

"There is no psychological test that can reliably screen for substance abuse. The MAC-R Index on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2 (MMPI-2) detects only addiction potential, not current use. If someone has been addicted in the past but is currently living a sober lifestyle, that person is still likely to test positive for addiction potential as this is more a personality style instead of a measure of current status (Friedman, Lewak, Nichols, & Webb, 2001). The idea behind the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) (Miller, 1994) is a good one. Essentially, it is an attempt to identify substance abuse through a self-report of symptoms that are associated with substance abuse without directly asking the central question. The Michigan Alcohol Screening Test (MAST) (Selzer, 197 1) is considerably less subtle, asking questions more directly. NCS also has an Alcohol Use Inventory (Horn, Wanberg, & Foster, 1987) that it markets."


Schleuderer, Claude and Campagna, Vicky, "Assessing Substance Abuse Questions in Child Custody Evaluations," Family Court Review (Madison, WI: Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, April 2004) Vol. 42, No. 2, p. 380.