Substance Use Disorders Diagnostic Schedule

Authors: Norman G. Hoffmann, Ph.D., Patricia A. Harrison, PhD


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The SUDDS-5 is a comprehensive interview that provides detailed documentation of substance-specific DSM-5 diagnostic indications plus age of onset for problems that may support motivational enhancement.


  • Detailed documentation of events, behaviors and experiences for substance use disorders
  • Age of onset for problems by substance to support motivational enhancement
  • Option to have patient sign output attesting to the accuracy of what was reported
  • Exploration of current stressors
  • Brief screening for common co-occurring conditions: depression, PTSD, and anxiety
  • Demographic and clinical prognostic indicators to inform treatment planning
  • Address aspects of ASAM Criteria Dimensions 1, 3, and 5

Conditions Covered

  • Comprehensive coverage of substance use disorders including age of onset
  • Identification of resent stressors
  • Documentation of major depressive episode
  • Screening for anxiety and PTSD


Initial clinical intake: The SUDDS‐5 is an ideal tool for performing a detailed substance use disorder assessment as part of any routine clinical intake.

Documentation of severity: The DSM‐5 defines severity for substance use disorders in terms of the number of positive diagnostic criteria. Research has also documented that five of the eleven criteria are more strongly associated with a severe diagnosis.

Respondent signoff: The clinician can require that the respondent sign the SUDDS-5 output attesting to the accuracy of the information provided. This makes the SUDDS-5 output an excellent document in cases involving adjudication.

Verification of improvement: Reviewing positive diagnostic findings can determine if the conditions have improved or if remission can be documented.

Informing Dimensions 1, 3, and 5 of the ASAM Criteria:

Dimension 1: The SUDDS‐5 questions on recent use patterns can identify possible withdrawal

Dimension 3: The screening of the most common co-occurring conditions informs this dimension.

Dimension 5: Both demographic and clinical content covered by the SUDDS‐5 are related to relapse
risks after addictions treatment as determined by empirical research.

Motivational enhancement: Reviewing SUDDS‐5 results with clients including age of onset for problems can aid in motivational enhancement. Individuals who are presented with the detailed behaviors and symptoms of their conditions may be more likely to accept referral and become engaged in their treatment plans.


  • Time requirement typically from 35 to 45 minutes depending on the number of positive responses
  • Two online administration options:
    • Computer prompted - clinician/technician reads questions and enters response
    • Computer administered - clinician/technician sets up interview and patient interacts directly with the program
    • Training on the use of the paper version available from Evince Diagnostics
    • Purchased in packets of 25 interviews with summary form for scoring