Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test (MAST)

There are several self administered diagnostic tools that are available to determine whether your behavior falls into the category of addiction or dependence. The Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test is one that has stood the test of time. Though it addresses alcohol addiction, it can be adapted to almost any type of addiction by replacing the references to alcohol and drinking with the other type of addictive process.

The MAST Test
The MAST Test is a simple, self-scoring test that helps assess if you have a drinking problem. Answer yes or no to the following questions:
1. Do you feel you are a normal drinker? ("normal" is defined as drinking as much or less than most other people)
___ Yes ___ No
2. Have you ever awakened the morning after drinking the night before and found that you could not remember a part of the evening?
___ Yes ___ No
3. Does any near relative or close friend ever worry or complain about your drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
4. Can you stop drinking without difficulty after one or two drinks?
___ Yes ___ No
5. Do you ever feel guilty about your drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
6. Have you ever attended a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)?
___ Yes ___ No
7. Have you ever gotten into physical fights when drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
8. Has drinking ever created problems between you and a near relative or close friend?
___ Yes ___ No
9. Has any family member or close friend gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
10. Have you ever lost friends because of your drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
11. Have you ever gotten into trouble at work because of drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
12. Have you ever lost a job because of drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
13. Have you ever neglected your obligations, family, or work for two or more days in a row because you were drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
14. Do you drink before noon fairly often?
___ Yes ___ No
15. Have you ever been told you have liver trouble, such as cirrhosis?
___ Yes ___ No
16. After heavy drinking, have you ever had delirium tremens (DTs), severe shaking, visual or auditory (hearing) hallucinations?
___ Yes ___ No
17. Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
18. Have you ever been hospitalized because of drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
19. Has your drinking ever resulted in your being hospitalized in a psychiatric ward?
___ Yes ___ No
20. Have you ever gone to any doctor, social worker, clergyman, or mental health clinic for help with any emotional problem in which drinking was part of the problem?
___ Yes ___ No
21. Have you been arrested more than once for driving under the influence of alcohol?
___ Yes ___ No
22. Have you ever been arrested, or detained by an official for a few hours, because of other behavior while drinking?
___ Yes ___ No
Scoring the MAST Test
Score one point if you answered "no" to the following questions: 1 or 4. Score one point if you answered "yes" to the following questions: 2, 3, 5 through 22. A total score of six or more indicates hazardous drinking or alcohol dependence.

This test can help you come to a decision to seek professional help. Keep in mind that a large number of so called professionals in the field of addiction treatment, especially in countries with poor regulation of mental health care services, are often recovering people who choose to set up therapeutic communities or treatment facilities either because they are unemployable otherwise or because they find it difficult to stay sober in or fit into mainstream social life and might have unresolved treatment issues themselves.

Familiarize yourself with the credentials and track record of any addiction professional you may want to go to for help. In India, you can direct your queries regarding the credentials of addiction professionals to the International Alcohol and Drug Counselor Certification Trust For India.

Source: NCADD

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