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Practice Toolbox- Adolescents Assessment

Practice Toolbox- Adolescents Assessment

The Level 2—Substance Use—Child Age 11-17 assessment instrument provides a thorough analysis of alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, prescription medicine, and illicit substance use among those between the ages of 11 and 17. Its adaptation from the NIDA-Modified ASSIST guarantees validity and reliability in clinical applications by adhering to accepted norms in drug use assessment. The test has drawbacks despite its advantages, including the possibility of bias in adolescent self-reporting, the inability to record long-term trends, the emphasis on severity and frequency rather than underlying causes, and the possibility of poly-substance use being overlooked.

The Assessment Tool

The Level 2—Substance Use—Child Age 11-17 assessment instrument was chosen because it is an adapted version of the NIDA-Modified ASSIST that is specifically designed for teenagers aged 11 to 17. This measure assesses the pure domains of alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, prescription medication, and illicit substance usage in this age range. Its 15-item layout provides for a thorough examination of the intensity of substance use during the previous two weeks, encompassing a wide spectrum of substances(American Psychiatric Association, 2019). The scoring and interpretation instructions of the tool provide a systematic and quantitative approach to evaluating substance use (Brandell, 2020). This allows clinicians to track changes over time and make educated judgments based on the intensity and complexity of the adolescent’s substance use.

Why It Is Helpful For Use with Adolescents

Because of its specialized approach to the unique issues and patterns of drug use in this age range, the Level 2—drug Use—Child Age 11-17 assessment instrument is especially useful for use with adolescents. It acknowledges the wide range of substances often encountered by adolescents, including alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, and illegal drugs. The adaption of the test from the NIDA-Modified ASSIST guarantees that it complies with acknowledged standards in drug use assessment, improving its reliability and validity for clinical application (Levenson, 2020). The measure recognizes developmental distinctions in this age group, allowing for a more nuanced evaluation of substance use severity and complexity. The addition of a frequency-of-use scale enables doctors to track changes over time, assisting in the evaluation of treatment progress and intervention success.


Despite its usefulness, the Level 2—Substance Use—Child Age 11-17 assessment tool has some limitations and obstacles. The Level 2—Substance Use—Child Age 11-17 assessment tool is based on adolescent self-reporting, which may be influenced by social desirability bias or faulty recollection (Lougheed, 2019). Second, the tool’s emphasis on a two-week timeframe may fail to capture long-term trends in substance use, perhaps missing occasional or intermittent patterns. The tool focuses on frequency and severity rather than the underlying reasons or contextual factors that contribute to substance use. Finally, the tool’s categorical approach to substance types may not adequately account for poly-substance use, which occurs when teenagers misuse various substances at the same time.


American Psychiatric Association. (2019). Online Assessment Measures.; American Psychiatric Association.

Brandell, J. R. (2020). Theory & Practice in Clinical Social Work. In Google Books. SAGE Publications.

Levenson, J. (2020). Translating trauma-informed principles into social work practice. Social Work, 65(3), 288–298.

Lougheed, J. P. (2019). Parent-Adolescent Dyads as Temporal Interpersonal Emotion Systems. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30(1), 26–40.


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On that site, explore at least three different assessment tools for adolescents under the various categories. A few that you may consider are Level 2, Substance Use, Child Age 11 to
17; Severity Measure for Depression, Child Age 11 to 17; and Severity Measure for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Child Age 11 to 17.
Select one assessment tool that you can see yourself using in practice with adolescent clients.

Practice Toolbox- Adolescents Assessment

Practice Toolbox- Adolescents Assessment

Consider why you have chosen this assessment tool and its strengths and limitations.
Submit a 1-page paper analyzing the adolescent assessment tool you have chosen:
Why did you select the assessment tool?
Why might it be especially helpful for use with adolescents?

What challenges or limitations might there be for this assessment tool?
Use the Learning Resources to support your Assignment. Make sure to provide APA citations as a reference list.

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