ASSIST-Lite screening tool: how to use

Guidance for health and social care professionals on using the ASSIST-Lite tool to identify substance use and provide appropriate intervention.



The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Tool - Lite (ASSIST-Lite) is a short screening tool for use with adults (aged 18 or over) covering:

  • alcohol
  • tobacco
  • cannabis
  • stimulants
  • sedatives
  • opioids
  • other psychoactive substances including use of medicines not as prescribed

This guidance is for health and social care professionals who see service users who might have alcohol and drug problems or who smoke tobacco. It shows how they can use the ASSIST-Lite to identify alcohol, drug and tobacco smoking-related risk and to deliver appropriate interventions to help the service user reduce these risks.

They can also download the adapted ASSIST-Lite forms and use these with their service users. There is one form for mental health services and one for other health and social care services.

Published 2 October 2020
Last updated 7 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the cannabis health check-up tool to the guidance and tools.

  2. Updated tools for mental health and general healthcare services to include volatile substances in the 'Other substances' section.

  3. Updated link to NHS resources under 'smoking' on HTML guidance.

  4. Added link to 'Alcohol structured advice tool' in all 3 attachments.

  5. First published.