This is Archived Content

This content is available for historical purposes only. It may not reflect the current state of science or language from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Find the latest information on substance use, health, and NIDA research at

Please take a moment to answer a few questions about talking with your patients about their drug use.

NOTE: Click box below to view the answer.

1.  It is important to ask patients about their past year use of which of following substances listed below:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Tobacco products
  3. Prescription drugs (for nonmedical reasons)
  4. Illegal drugs
  5. All of the above

2.  If a patient only mentions using tobacco, they aren’t at risk for drug abuse or addiction.

  1. True
  2. False

3.  Depending upon the level of risk determined during the full NMASSIST, clinicians should NOT do which of the following:

  1. Arrange: Refer all patients to drug treatment
  2. Advise: Provide medical advice about the patient’s drug use
  3. Assess: Determine the patient’s readiness to quit
  4. Assist: Offer help based on a patient’s readiness level

4.  What is the acceptable drinking limit for women?

  1. No more than 2 drinks in one day
  2. No more than 3 drinks in one day
  3. No more than 4 drinks in one day
  4. No more than 5 drinks in one day

5.  What should you do first if you used the Quick Screen and determined that a patient is at risk for illicit or prescription drug abuse?

  1. Refer the patient to treatment
  2. Continue with the NMASSIST online
  3. Determine the patient’s readiness to quit
  4. Offer to help based on patient’s readiness level

6.  When prescribing medications with abuse potential, you should:

  1. Screen for risk factors
  2. Talk with patients about proper use and disposal of medications
  3. Check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PBMP)
  4. All of the Above

7.  If an at-risk patient appears ambivalent to the idea of changing his/her substance use behavior, you should acknowledge the patient’s uncertainty and the fact that ambivalence is common.

  1. True
  2. False

8.  In a follow-up visit with a patient who has previously been identified as at risk of drug abuse and/or addiction, the patient shows no progress with change efforts. You should acknowledge that change is difficult and repeat the brief intervention.

  1. True
  2. False

Additional Resources

If you would like more information about NIDA screening tools and resources, curriculum resources, patient materials, or Continuing Medical Education (CME), click the links below.