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Drug abuse Assessment Questionnaire

Questions Your Doctor May Ask - and Why!

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Drug abuse. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist by answering questions that your doctor may ask below:

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  1. How long have you been abusing drugs?

    Why: to determine if acute or chronic.

  2. Which drugs have you been abusing?

    Why: including prescribed drugs, over the counter drugs, illegal drugs or social drugs.

  3. What is your drug of choice?

    Why: many people who abuse drugs use multiple different drugs.

  4. Do you drink alcohol?

    Why: if so estimate specific weekly consumption and maximum consumption at one sitting in the last month?

  5. Do you smoke tobacco cigarettes?

    Why: if so estimate daily number of cigarettes smoked?

  6. Do you, or have you ever injected drugs intravenously?

    Why: If so have you ever shared needles? - establish the risk of HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infection.

  7. Have people close to you complained about your drug abuse?
  8. What physical or mental problems have you experienced as a result of the drug abuse?

    Why: e.g. marijuana may cause short term memory loss or paranoid episodes; amphetamines may cause psychosis, aggressive or disinhibited behavior or weight loss; LSD may cause unpredictable behavior, suicidal tendencies, vomiting and brain damage; glue sniffing may cause aggressive and violent behavior, lung, brain or liver damage; phencyclidine (angel dust) may cause suicidal tendencies, mental disorder, self injury tendencies and hallucinations; heroin may cause loss of appetite, convulsions, overdose or mental deterioration; cocaine may cause aggressive or overactive behavior, heart arrhythmias, seizures, mental disorders, respiratory problems.

  9. What social problems have you experienced as a result of the drug abuse?

    Why: e.g. alienation from family, loss of employment, loss of assets, criminal activity.

  10. Do you find it difficult to get through the day without using your drug of choice?

    Why: helps determine dependence on the drug.

  11. Do you ever worry about the effects of the drug abuse on your body?

    Why: helps assess motivation to change habit.

  12. Have you ever unsuccessfully attempted to cut down or stop the drug use?
  13. Do you experience cravings, irritability or difficulty in concentrating or other withdrawal effects when you try to cut down or cease the drug use?

    Why: e.g. heroin withdrawal symptoms include anxiety and panic, irritability, chills, shivering, excessive sweating, "goose flesh", loss of appetite, nausea, runny eyes, tiredness, muscle aches, abdominal pains and diarrhea.

  14. Past psychiatric history?

    Why: A high proportion of individuals with mental illness are known to abuse alcohol or other drugs. e.g. according to prevalence figures from a major US study (Regier et al. 1990) 47% of people with schizophrenia and 56% of people with bipolar disorder also have a problem with substance abuse. Symptoms of mental illness may be precipitated or exacerbated by alcohol and drug abuse.

  15. Family history?

    Why: e.g. parental problems, early death, separation, divorce, alcohol or drug abuse, sexual abuse, mental illness, lack of affection.

  16. Symptoms of depression?

    Why: e.g. sadness, crying spells, lack of interest in activities, poor energy, poor concentration and attention span, poor sleep, reduced libido, poor self esteem and sometimes suicidal thoughts. - May be associated or caused by drug or alcohol abuse.

  17. Symptoms of Manic-depression?

    Why: e.g. episodes of depression (often psychotic in intensity) and at other times episodes of psychotic excitement (mania or hypomania). Symptoms of psychotic excitement may include elevation of mood, increased activity, grandiose ideas, irritability, disinhibition (which affects social, sexual and financial behavior), rapid speech and racing thought, delusions (persecutory or grandiose) and sometimes hallucinations - 56 % of people with bipolar affective disorder also have a problem with substance abuse (11 times the population risk for alcohol and other drugs).

  18. Symptoms of schizophrenia?

    Why: e.g. hallucinations, delusions, disordered thought, reduced contact with reality, poverty of speech, slowness of thought and movement, emotional flatness and lack of insight. 47% of people with schizophrenia also have a problem with substance abuse (3 times the population risk for alcohol and 6 times that for other drugs).

  19. Symptoms of anxiety?

    Why: e.g. nervousness, shakiness, tremor, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, poor concentration, heart palpitations, racing heart, sweating, dizziness, diarrhea, lump in throat and frequency of urination. - May be associated or caused by drug or alcohol abuse.

  20. Symptoms of panic attacks or panic disorder?

    Why: e.g. sudden, unexpected, short-lived episodes of intense anxiety. Panic disorder may present with detachment. - May be associated or caused by drug or alcohol abuse.

  21. Symptoms of bulimia nervosa?

    Why: e.g. recurrent episodes of binge eating; preoccupation with food and weight changes; consumption of high calorie, easily digested food during the binge; termination of the binge by abdominal pain, sleep or vomiting; inconspicuous eating during a binge; repeated attempts to lose weight by frequent vomiting, fasting or use of laxatives or diuretics; frequent fluctuations of more than 4.5kg; awareness of abnormal eating pattern and fear of not being able to stop voluntarily; depressed mood after binge. May have a previous history of anorexia nervosa. - may be associated with laxative drug abuse.

  22. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa?

    Why: e.g. refusal to maintain normal body weight, loss of more than 25% of original body weight, intense fear of becoming fat, preoccupation with calorie counting, avoidance of all carbohydrate, fainting. - may be associated with laxative drug abuse.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Drug abuse:

The following list of conditions have 'Drug abuse' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Drug abuse or choose View All.

View All A B C D F G H L M N O P S Y

Conditions listing medical complications: Drug abuse:

The following list of medical conditions have 'Drug abuse' or similar listed as a medical complication in our database.

 

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