Screening and Assessment in TANF\Welfare-to-Work: Ten Important Questions TANF Agencies and Their Partners Should Consider. Drug Abuse Screening Test-20 (DAST-20)


Barriers Identified
Substance Abuse (drugs not including alcohol)

Number and Types of Questions
Twenty 'yes' or 'no' questions

Target Population
Clients of Addiction Treatment

Methodological Information
This tool was found to be correct about 75 percent of the time, according to one study. No validity data is available for the DAST-20 at this time. One review finds that the DAST - 20 is very useful for identifying minimal and heavy substance users; however, this same review states that the DAST - 20 is probably not the best option for screening individuals with moderate substance abuse issues.5

While no training is needed to administer this paper and pencil tool, it is recommended that it be administered by experienced workers or professionals.


Source or Publisher
Dr. Harvey Skinner
Addiction Research Foundation
33 Russell St., Toronto
Canada, M5s 2s1

State(s) Believed to be Using
Louisiana (DAST 10)       North Carolina

5  Impara, James C. and Barbara S. Plake, editors. The Thirteenth Mental Measurements Yearbook. Lincoln, NE University of Nebraska Press 1998, pp. 379-381.

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