Thorburn Substance Adddiction Recognition Indicator
Thorburn
Substance Addiction Recognition Indicator

Short Version: 31 Questions:
(Long Version included in book: Drunks, Drugs & Debits)


The Thorburn Substance Addiction Recognition Indicator, or TSARI, is a unique tool for estimating a probability of alcohol or other drug addiction in others, ranging from acquaintances to long-time friends and family members. Part 1 is intended to ascribe a likelihood of addiction when addictive use cannot be confirmed. Part 2 is designed to confirm addiction where such use can be observed. The probabilities are derived from the author's experience. It is also based on powerful evidence suggesting that people rarely engage in the behaviors listed in Part 1 unless they have brain damage resulting from addiction.

IMPORTANT: This test is designed to be taken by a person other than the subject.
The reason for this is that you will be much harsher on yourself than on another person.
It simply does not work when answering the questions for yourself.
TO REPEAT:
THIS IS AN INDICATOR THAT SHOULD BE TAKEN ONLY WITH ANOTHER PERSON IN MIND.

XCopyright © Doug Thorburn - All Rights Reserved

Yes

No

XPART I - Behavioral Indications of Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction
1.
Does s/he smoke?
yes no
2.
Has s/he had repeated financial difficulties?
yes no
3.
Does s/he have loose sexual morals, including serial adultery?
yes no
4.
Are there other non-substance complusions dangerous to self or others including gambling, sexual, or complusive eating disorders?
yes no
5.
Does s/he have intense mood swings, erratic behavior or indications of any psychological disorder or mental illness?
yes no
6.
Are others frequently overly cautious, "walking on eggshells" around him or her?
yes no
7.
Does s/he have a pervasive "the rules don't apply to me" attitude?
yes no
8.
Is s/he a supremely good liar?
yes no
9.
Has s/he made false accusations with malicious intent?
yes no
10.
Are there any other signs of a massive over-inflated ego?
yes no
11.
Has s/he been convicted of any felony?
yes no
12.
Should s/he have been convicted of any felony?
yes no
13.
Does s/he have severe problems at work and/or home due to his/her behavior?
yes no
14.
Does s/he engage in destructive behaviors that others repeatedly cover up?
yes no
15.
Does s/he habitually blame others for his/her circumstances?
yes no
16.
Has s/he ever pushed others into committing crimes/unethical behaviors?
yes no
17.
Is s/he frequently belligerent or nasty, or does s/he routinely engage in intimidation tactics to get his/her way in seemly unimportant matters?
yes no
18.
Is s/he often extremely sarcastic in a mean-spirited way, or regularly belittling of others?
yes no
19.
Does s/he repeatedly engage in verbal or physical abuse?
yes no
20.
Have there been recurring promises to "never do it again" whatever "it" may be?
yes no
21.
Is there a family history of substance addiction?
yes no
XPART II - Confirmation Using Observable Evidence
22.
Is there now (or was there ever) a high tolerance to alcohol?
yes no
23.
Does s/he frequently have red or glassy eyes, or dilated or constricted pupils?
yes no
24.
Have you found "paraphernalia" that s/he insists is a friend's?
yes no
25.
Does s/he frequently drink champagne, martinis or hard liquor mixed with soda?
yes no
26.
Does s/he often drink heavily before eating?
yes no
27.
Has s/he ever said defiantly regarding any substance, "I can stop any time I want?"
yes no
28.
Does s/he hide or minimize the extent of use of any substance?
yes no
29.
Does s/he ever push others to drink or use other drugs?
yes no
30.
Does s/he have drinking or drug "buddies?"
yes no
31.
Does s/he gulp alcoholic beverages?
yes no

  1. ..

* = Any behavior which in and of itself points to what is believed to be a high (over 50%) probability of substance addiction in either the person or a close other.

** = Any behavior which in and of itself points to a virtual certainty of substance addiction in that person.

1 = For our purposes, felonies do not include "victimless crime," which are those neither party to the "crime" wants to report to the police. However, victimless does not mean harmless.

Even two or three of the non-asterisked “yes” answers should cause us to look for addiction. If more than three are answered “yes,” there is a high probability of either active substance addiction, or in the case of the recovering addict, imminent relapse. While at first the codependent may be confused for the addict, when any six or more of these questions are answered “yes,” there is usually confirmation of substance addiction.