As applied to substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery, screening may generally be defined as the systematic assessment of an individual, or group of individuals, for the purpose of intervention. This assessment may take the form of a structured interview tool, a urine toxicology test (or the toxicology test of another biological specimen), or both. Because substance abuse is a major health care problem and is often characterized by compulsive drug-seeking behavior, denial, short-term breaks of recovery, and almost certain relapses, screening is an important tool at all levels. Screening may be further defined in terms of when to screen, who to screen, how and what to use for screening, and where to screen.

Screening of biological specimens for alcohol and other drugs falls most commonly ...

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