Background: Adolescents and young adults seeing a nurse or physician for any reason should be screened for psychoactive substance use. Several English-language questionnaires are available to screen for and assess harmful use of psychoactive substances among adolescents, but to our knowledge, no such instrument exists in French. The aim of the ADOTECNO study was therefore to develop simple and efficient tools for this purpose.
Methods: Two questionnaires widely used in French epidemiologic studies (CRAFFT-ADOSPA to screen for harmful use and POSIT to assess the seriousness of consumption from physical, psychological and social viewpoints) were completed by 1728 secondary and post-secondary school students. Statistical analyses assessed correlations between the questionnaires and calibrated optimal cutoff points for the different tools included in ADOTECNO.
Results: Correlations between psychoactive substance consumption, responses to the CRAFFT-ADOSPA questionnaire, and POSIT factor A scores showed that CRAFFT-ADOSPA provided early detection of regular alcohol intoxication and of regular and daily cannabis use. At a score of 2, CRAFFT-ADOSPA detects harmful substance use, and at a score higher than or equal to 3 it demonstrates serious substance use.
Conclusion: These findings enabled us to recommend useful cutoff values for the CRAFFT-ADOSPA tools for screening subjects at moderate or high risk of substance abuse. This simple broad screening should be complemented for the subjects found to be at risk by a computer-assisted POSIT to guide practitioners in selecting an approach (educational, school, family, psychological, psychiatric, etc.) to care and management according to the specific types of impairment resulting from substance use.