How should I use the CRAFFT Screening Tool in my practice?

The CRAFFT Screening Tool was designed for use by trained healthcare professionals in a confidential healthcare setting.

Although we do not offer training at this time, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services has created the Provider Guide: Adolescent SBIRT Using the CRAFFT Screening Tool [pdf] which is available for qualified clinicians.

What ages has the CRAFFT been validated for?

The CRAFFT Screening tool has been validated for 12-18 year old youths by researchers at the Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research, Boston Children’s Hospital. However, other established researchers have validated the CRAFFT for use up to the age of 26 years old. Please visit the CRAFFT Publications page to download PDF’s of our center’s research validating the CRAFFT screening tool.

What are the advantages of using the CRAFFT Screening Interview vs. the CRAFFT Screening Questionnaire?

CeASAR recommends that you use the CRAFFT Screening Questionnaire in your practice. Our research has found that youth prefer to take this self-administered version before seeing their healthcare professional and are more likely to answer the questions honestly.

How is the CRAFFT Screening Tool confidentiality protected?

In the United States, the federal Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records rules [42CFR Part 2] protects the use and disclosure of medical records pertaining to alcohol and drug abuse prevention which includes the CRAFFT Screening Tool. The records may be shared in certain circumstances including when: 1) state law requires parental consent to treatment and 2) the minor applicant for services lacks capacity for rational choice as required by [42 CRF Part 2 subpart B, §2.14]. Please review your state laws regarding minor patients.
For more information on Substance Abuse Confidentiality Regulations please visit:

(1) The U.S. Government Publishing Office

As an added safety precaution, we recommend:
(1) That youths take the CRAFFT Screening tool in a confidential healthcare setting.
(2) That youths taking the CRAFFT paper version do not write their names on the paper to protect confidentiality of the patient.

Countries outside of the United States also have their own substance abuse confidentiality regulations. Please be advised to review your countries regulations and consult Erin Gibson with any questions or concerns.

What is the CRAFFT 2.0?

This revised version of the CRAFFT screening tool incorporates changes that enhance the sensitivity of the system in terms of identifying adolescents with substance use, and presents new recommended clinician talking points, informed by the latest science and clinician feedback, to guide a brief discussion about substance use with adolescents. The CRAFFT 2.0 provides an updated and revised version of this well-validated and widely-utilized adolescent substance use screening protocol. Although the previous version of the CRAFFT will still be available, we recommend that you transition to using version 2.0 in your clinical practice.