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Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test

What is AUDIT

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is a screening test to identify persons with hazardous and harmful patterns of alcohol consumption. The AUDIT was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a simple method of screening for excessive drinking and to assist in brief assessment. It can help identify excessive drinking as the cause of the presenting illness. It provides a framework for intervention to help risky drinkers reduce or cease alcohol consumption and thereby avoid the harmful consequences of their drinking. The AUDIT also helps to identify alcohol dependence and some specific consequences of harmful drinking. It is particularly designed for health care practitioners and a range of health settings, but with suitable instructions it can be self-administered or used by non-health professionals.

AUDIT Printable PDF

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AUDIT Scoring and Interpretation

PsyPack can automatically score the AUDIT assessment and prepare corresponding tables and graphs.

Further, PsyPack automatically plots a graph to help you easily track progress over time.


Alcohol Use

What does AUDIT measure

The purpose of the evaluation is to:

  • identify persons with hazardous and harmful patterns of alcohol consumption,
  • identify excessive drinking as the cause of the presenting illness, and
  • identify alcohol dependence and some specific consequences of harmful drinking.



Type of outcome tool


Assessment modes


Age and eligibility

14 years and above

Estimated time

2 to 4 minutes


The guidelines should be considered tentative, subject to clinical judgment that takes into account the patient’s medical condition, family history of alcohol problems and perceived honesty in responding to the AUDIT questions.

While use of the 10-question AUDIT questionnaire will be sufficient for the vast majority of patients, special circumstances may require a clinical screening procedure. For example, a patient may be resistant, uncooperative, or unable to respond to the AUDIT questions. If further confirmation of possible dependence is warranted, a physical examination procedure and laboratory tests may be used.

In some cultural settings and linguistic groups, the AUDIT questions cannot be translated literally. There are a number of sociocultural factors that need to be taken into account in addition to semantic meaning. For example, the drinking customs and beverage preferences of certain countries may require adaptation of questions to conform to local conditions.

Patient instructions should also clarify the meaning of a standard drink. Questions 2 and 3 of AUDIT ask about “drinks consumed”. The meaning of this word differs from one nation and culture to another. It is important therefore to mention the most common alcoholic beverages likely to be consumed and how much of each constitutes a drink (approximately 10 grams of pure ethanol). For example, one bottle of beer (330 ml at 5% ethanol), a glass of wine (140 ml at 12% ethanol), and a shot of spirits (40 ml at 40% ethanol) represent a standard drink of about 13 g of ethanol. Since the types and amounts of alcoholic drinks will vary according to culture and custom, the alcohol content of typical servings of beer, wine and spirits must be determined to adapt the AUDIT to particular settings.

  • Hazardous drinking is a pattern of alcohol consumption that increases the risk of harmful consequences for the user or others. Hazardous drinking patterns are of public health significance despite the absence of any current disorder in the individual user.
  • Harmful use refers to alcohol consumption that results in consequences to physical and mental health. Some would also consider social consequences among the harms caused by alcohol.
  • Alcohol dependence is a cluster of behavioural, cognitive, and physiological phenomena that may develop after repeated alcohol use. Typically, these phenomena include a strong desire to consume alcohol, impaired control over its use, persistent drinking despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drinking than to other activities and obligations, increased alcohol tolerance, and a physical withdrawal reaction when alcohol use is discontinued.

Elements of Brief Interventions

  • Present screening results
  • Identify risks and discuss consequences
  • Provide medical advice
  • Solicit patient commitment
  • Identify goal—reduced drinking or abstinence
  • Give advice and encouragement

Attribution and References

Saunders J.B., Aasland O.G., Babor T.F., de la Fuente J.R. and Grant M. Development of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT): WHO Collaborative Project on Early Detection of Persons with Harmful Alcohol Consumption II. Addiction 1993; 88:791-804.