The Brief Screener for Tobacco, Alcohol, and other Drugs (BSTAD) tool consists of frequency of use questions to identify risky substance use by adolescent patients.

The Screening to Brief Intervention (S2BI) screening tool consists of frequency of use questions to categorize substance use by adolescent patients into different risk categories.

How do you query the API?

The BSTAD and S2BI APIs do not have any parameters and will return all questions or summaries for a given screening tool. As such, simply using the API endpoints is enough. To access the APIs you must have an API key. The API key must be passed as a header value assigned to the x-api-key property.

You can register for an API key by completing the API Gateway Registration form.

For additional information, terms of use, and FAQs, please see our NIDA Screening Tool APIs: Overview for Developers page.

Questions API

BSTAD and S2BI share the same question API. However, each endpoint presents different data. The endpoints are as follows:

  • BSTAD:
  • S2BI:

What does the question response data look like?

Below is an example of the response from the endpoints.

              questions: [
                  id: "20520",
                  title: "In the PAST YEAR, on how many days did you smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products?",
                  description: "",
                  field_type: "slider",
                  answers: "365",
                  starting_question: "1",
                  drugs: "Tobacco",
                  dependencies: "",
                  hasSubs: "No",
                  risk_value: null
wrapper for questions
the system ID
the question being asked
this property can be used to switch input types on the frontend display. Values are slider, text and radio or none.
The answers to the question. Answers can be a single string or multiple answers separated by double pipes '||'
Indicates if this should be the first question. A value of 1 is true and a value of 0 is false
Drug the question is related to. Drugs can be a single string or multiple drugs separated by double pipes '||'
Indicates the parent questions of this question. The value consist of a question id and answer pair with a single pipe. Multiple dependencies are separated by commas. If the questions dependencies equate to true, the question should show.
Not used.
Not used.

Summaries API

The Summaries API is the same for BSTAD and S2BI and they present the same data. To access the API you must have an API key. You can register for an API key here: (coming soon). The endpoints are as follows:

  • BSTAD:
  • S2BI:

What does the summary response data look like?

Below is an example of the response from the endpoints.

                summary: [
                  title: "Tobacco Risk Level: Lower Risk",
                  riskLevel: "Low",
                  description: "<h4>Implications of the Score</h4> <p>Adolescents reporting tobacco&nbsp;use in the past twelve months with this frequency have not yet established a regular pattern of use, and are at lower risk for currently meeting criteria for a nicotine use disorder. However, use may become more frequent and, given the very high addiction potential of nicotine, a disorder may develop with continued use. Patients may also be underreporting their use of other tobacco or nicotine-related products, such as e-cigarettes, hookah, or smokeless tobacco.</p> <h4>Suggested Clinician Action</h4> <p>The recommended intervention for all teens with lower risk tobacco use is to deliver a cessation message encouraging them not to use again.</p> <h4>Advise to Quit</h4> <ul> <li>&ldquo;I would recommend for the sake of your health that you do not use tobacco or other nicotine products like e-cigarettes.&rdquo;</li> <li>&ldquo;I know that being healthy is important to you. One of the best things you can do to keep your body fit is to avoid using tobacco or other nicotine products like e-cigarettes.&rdquo;</li> </ul> <h4>References and Additional Resources</h4> <ul> <li>National Cancer Institute. Smokefree teen. <a href=""></a></li> <li>American Academy of Pediatrics Julius B. Richmond Center of Excellence. Counseling about smoking cessation. <a href=""></a></li> <li>Massachusetts Department of Health. QuitWorks. <a href=""></a></li> <li>Fiore, M. C., Ja&eacute;n, C. R., Baker, T. B., et al. (2008). <a href=""><em>Treating tobacco use and dependence:&nbsp;2008 update.</em></a> Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of&nbsp;Health and Human Services. Public Health Service.&nbsp;<a href="">​</a></li> <li>Committee on Environmental Health, Committee on Substance Abuse, Committee on Adolescence, and Committee on Native American Child Health. (2009). Policy statement: Tobacco use: A pediatric disease. <em>Pediatrics. 124</em>(5), 1474&ndash;1487. Reaffirmed May 2013. <a href=""></a></li> <li>Karpinski, J. P., Timpe, E. M., &amp; Lubsch, L. (2010). Smoking Cessation Treatment for Adolescents. <em>The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics: JPPT, 15</em>(4), 249&ndash;263. <a href=""></a></li> </ul>",
                  drug: "Tobacco",
                  toolType: null
The title of the summary
The risk level at which the summary should be displayed
The body of the summmary presented in HTML format
Drug the question is related to.
Not used.

How do you use the question and summary data together?

First please consider going through the tools that exist at and

Going through both of these tools will give a general idea of how the two api parts should work together. In short:

  1. A patient or clinician (user) is expected to either go through or administer these screenings
  2. The application makes a call to the API go get all the questions
  3. The application will guide the user through the questions based on dependencies while storing the answers
  4. The application will make a call to the API to get all the summaries once all relevant questions are answered
  5. The application will provide a summary based on the results of the answers.

In general, your application will need to make a call to get the all the questions and handle the logic to proceed through the questions. The logic for the questions is handled via the dependency field on each question.

Question Dependencies

Each question has a dependency. This is how the application knows what question to display. The dependencies are based on the id of the parent question or questions and how they were answered. So if a question has a value of 20520|!0, that means that if the question with the id of 20520 had an answer that was not 0, this question should be displayed. Multiple dependencies are separated by commas.

Summary Risk Levels

Risk Levels are used to display the correct summary result information. In S2BI and BSTAD, the risk level is assessed based on what questions are asked and how they are answered. There are three risk levels minimal, low, and high and the risk levels are specific to each drug.

  • A user starts out with a minimal risk level
  • If a user answers never, no, or indicates no days of usage, the stay at minimal
  • if a user answers 'once or twice', or indicates a value greater than 0 they are given a risk level of low
  • if a user answers with any value that is not already mentioned, they will given a high risk level
  • the appropriate risk level for each drug should be displayed
  • an overall risk level could be provided by the application based on the highest risk level