The TCU drug screen 5: Identifying justice-involved individuals with substance use disorders [2019]

The TCU Drug Screen II, a widely used instrument for identifying substance use problems, was originally developed based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders III-R criteria. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association revised the criteria and classification scheme for substance use disorders (SUDs) with the publication of the DSM-5. Subsequently, the TCU Drug Screen was modified to reflect the updated DSM-5. The current study examines the concordance of the TCU Drug Screen II and TCU Drug Screen 5 with adult and juvenile justice-involved samples. Both versions were administered to 305 adult male and 310 juvenile male justice-involved clients as part of standard intake procedures. Results revealed a high level of agreement between the two versions; however, the TCU Drug Screen 5 detected significantly more cases of SUDs, the majority of which corresponded to a mild SUD. Results documented appropriate discrimination in meeting diagnostic thresholds among both age groups, with fewer adolescents identified as having a disorder. Overall, the results suggest that the TCU Drug Screen 5 is comparable to the TCU Drug Screen II with the added potential benefit of DSM-5 conformity and severity specifiers.

Danica Kalling Knight, Thomas R. Blue, Patrick M. Flynn & Kevin Knight
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Volume 57, 2018 – Issue 8