PREAMBLE ::: 'My Addiction' scales explained
The scales are dependence (strength of addiction): LDQ; psychological well being: CORE10; and social well being: SSQ. The aim of any intervention, whether self directed or with professional help, is to reach the score for someone in the general population - these are the target scores shown in the charts. For social wellbeing (SSQ) higher scores are better and for the other scales lower scores are better.
The BEFORE and AFTER scores are taken from a study of people in specialist treatment.
LDQ :: LEEDS DEPENDENCE QUESTIONNAIRE
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Dependence is at the heart of addiction. It is itself a mental health problem which can easily be mistaken for other common problems such as anxiety or depression. Measuring dependence is key to deciding how strong a person's addiction has become and what help is going to work best.
The LDQ has 10 questions measuring different aspects of dependence and takes a few minutes to complete. People with problems find it informative. A reduction in dependence follows quickly on from a period of abstinence. There is extensive scientific evidence supporting the LDQ for use in research and in routine care. For a more scientific evaluation of the best scales Compare Dependence Scales
CORE-10 :: CLINICAL OUTCOMES in ROUTINE EVALUATION
Psychological wellbeing is so interwoven with addiction that it is often difficult to unravel the extent to which someone's problems are to do with addiction or with psychological health. It is usually important to have some control over addiction before the two can be disentangled.
The CORE10 has 10 questions which take a few minutes to complete. Each of the questions is an important insight into a person's mental health and, taken together, the answers may suggest that there is mental illness. Psychological wellbeing tends to improve with recovery from dependence though more slowly. For a more scientific evaluation of the best scales Compare Psychological Wellbeing Scales
SSQ :: SOCIAL SATISFACTION QUESTIONNAIRE
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Social wellbeing is a goal for everybody but it is often disrupted, or even destroyed, by an addiction. Asking about social satisfaction is a positive approach and one which points to areas in a person's life that can be built on as part of the process of recovery from addiction.
The SSQ has eight questions taking a couple of minutes to complete. It taps into the key social aspects of life. Seeing areas of social satisfaction is often motivational. Social circumstances are generally slow to improve but are important to a sustained recovery. For a more scientific evaluation of the best scales Compare Social Wellbeing Scales
SUSS :: SUBSTANCE USE in SPECIALIST SERVICES
Substance use itself is the most obvious, but one of the most difficult, aspects of addiction to measure. Substance use includes the frequency, the quantity, and the pattern of use. People may not know what drug or how much of it they use. Heavy use does not always mean addictive use.
SUSS taps into mainly the frequency of use of commonly used substances. This is the quickest way to get a useful picture of what may be a complex pattern of drinking and drug taking. The amount of alcohol consumed can be linked to physical ill-health but for most other drugs there is no such documented relationship. For a more scientific evaluation of the best scales Compare Substance Use Scales
With the exception of alcohol the target for tobacco and other drug use is zero. For many people zero is not realistic or desirable and a 'harm reduction' target might be self imposed or agreed with a practitioner who is knowledgable about potential harms.