Behavior Data Systems
Assessment Tests and Interviews Reliable Computer Graded Assessment


Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory
Designed for Juvenile (Male & Female) Assessment
The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory (ACDI) is designed for assessing troubled youths in school settings and in counseling or treatment programs. The ACDI is objective, straightforward, and easily understood. Specific intervention, counseling and treatment recommendations are provided in ACDI reports. The ACDI has 105 items and takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It has five scales (measures):
  • 1. Truthfulness Scale
  • 2. Adjustment Scale
  • 3. Distress Scale
  • 4. Alcohol Scale
  • 5. Drug Scale

The ACDI is a short, non-offensive, self-report test that obtains a lot of important information quickly.
** Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory **
  • Juvenile assessment in school systems and troubled youth programs
  • Intake screening in juvenile counseling, and treatment programs
  • Assistance in identifying appropriate intervention, counseling and treatment alternatives
  • Juvenile substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse intake screening


The ACDI has 105 items and takes, on average, 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It is an automated, (computer scored) self-report test for juvenile (14 to 17 years) assessment. The ACDI screens substance (alcohol and other drugs) use and abuse, overall adjustment, and troubled youth concerns.

Five ACDI Measures (Scales)

  1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures the truthfulness of the youth while completing the test. This scale identifies defensive youths that minimize their problems, or even try to "fake good."
  2. Alcohol Scale: Measures the severity of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine, and liquor.
  3. Drug Scale: Measures illicit drug use and the severity of abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, crack, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, heroin, etc.
  4. Adjustment Scale: Measures home, school, and relationship adjustment. Quality of peer, family, and authoritarian relationships are also explored.
  5. Distress Scale: Measures anxiety and depression. The term "dysthymic" combines symptoms of anxiety and depression, in the same disorder.
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Two ACDI Versions

There are two versions of the ACDI: 1. ACDI and 2. ACDI-Corrections Version II. Each version will be briefly, described, so the test reviewer can select the version that best meets their needs.

The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory, or ACDI, is described above, and this is the ACDI webpage. An example, ACDI report is presented at the end of this webpage for review.

The ACDI-Corrections Version II is designed for juvenile court, probation department, and drug court use. Version II has a Violence (Lethality) Scale. Version II has 140 items and takes 25 to 30 minutes to complete. And, Version II has seven scales: 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Violence (Lethality) Scale, 3. Adjustment Scale, 4. Distress Scale, 5. Alcohol Scale, 6. Drug Scale, and 7. Stress Coping Abilities Scale.

ACDI test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 105 items and are written at a fifth to sixth grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the ACDI. It takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete the ACDI. These test booklets are available in English and Spanish.

ACDI Reports

In brief, an ACDI report summarizes the youth's self-reported history, explains what attained scale scores mean, and offers specific, score-related recommendations.

ACDI tests are administered and scored on-site, and reports are printed on-site. Within 2½ minutes of test data entry, the automated, (computer scored) three-page reports are available on-site. These reports summarize a wealth of information in an easily understood format. For example, these reports include an ACDI profile (graph), which summarizes juvenile findings at a glance. Also included are explanations of what each score means and specific, score-related recommendations. Significant items (direct admissions) are highlighted, and answers to the built-in interview (the last sequence of multiple choice items) are presented. Emphasis has been placed on generating meaningful, reports that are helpful and easily understood.  An ACDI example report is presented at the end of this webpage.

Advantages of Screening

Screening and assessment instruments filter out individuals with serious problems, who may require referral for more, comprehensive evaluations and/or treatment. This filtering system works as follows:

Risk Category Risk Range
Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%
Problem Risk 70 - 89% 20%
Severe Problem 90 - 100% 11%

Reference to the above risk range table shows that the risk is not identified as a problem until a scale score is at the 70th percentile, or higher. These risk range percentiles are based upon the norms of thousands of troubled youths who have taken the ACDI. This procedure is, eminently, fair and it avoids both extremes, specifically, over-identification and under-identification of problems.

A court, department, or agency's policy might refer juveniles, with severe problems, for further evaluation or treatment. In that case, 11% of the people screened (severe problem) would be referred. In this example, 89% of the people screened would not be referred for additional (and expensive) services.

Potential for budgetary savings (dollars) is large, with no compromises in receiving appropriate evaluation and/or treatment services. Accordingly, more, needy juveniles could receive help. Without a screening program, there is, usually, more risk of over or under-utilization of additional, professional services.

ACDI Software

The ACDI is available in Windows formatted, test diskettes. Windows diskettes require a simple, one-time, computer setup procedure, after which the ACDI data (25 or 50 test applications) diskettes can be used.

Training manuals are provided free, and new test users can be walked through these procedures over the Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.'s (BDS) telephone line.

Proprietary, ACDI data diskettes contain the 25 or 50, test applications. These 3½" diskettes score, interpret, and print ACDI reports on-site. Once an ACDI, account is established, ordered diskettes are mailed to users. When all test applications are used, the diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, where the test data and demographics are downloaded into the ACDI database, for subsequent research analysis. The proprietary, "delete names" program is activated by test users, with a few keystrokes, to delete all names from the diskettes, before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Deleting all client names insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (Federal Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

ACDI Database

The ACDI system contains a proprietary database. Earlier, it was noted that all, ACDI used diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test data, along with related demographics, are downloaded into the ACDI database. This, expanding database allows for ongoing research and testing program, summary capabilities that had not been possible before. Ongoing research insures quality control. Test program summaries provide program, self-evaluation.

Built-In Database

The built-in database permits ongoing research and annual program summary, at no additional cost. When the 25 or 50 tests on a diskette are used, that diskette is returned to Behavior Data Systems and downloaded into the ACDI database. Advantages of a built-in database are many, and include database (research) analysis and the provision of annual summary reports. The ACDI is restandardized, annually, on a state-by-state basis, at no additional cost to users.

No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc., are ever downloaded into any, test database.

In summary, having all used ACDI tests' data centrally filed, at Behavior Data Systems' offices in the ACDI database, has many advantages. Database analysis permits ongoing, cost efficient research that includes scale alpha coefficients, frequency distributions, correlations, ANOVA, and cross-tab statistics, along with reliability, validity, and accuracy determinations.

After BDS downloads test data, the returned diskettes are destroyed.

Annual Summary Reports

Behavior Data Systems can access each of its tests' built-in databases, for statistical analysis and summarization of all tests administered over a year. Annual Summary Reports are prepared for state, department, agency and, even some, individual providers -- at no cost. These reports are provided as a professional courtesy to large volume, test users. Summary reports include demographics, court-history (when relevant), and test statistics (reliability, validity, and accuracy). Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program? Annually? At no additional cost to you? Minimum, testing volume for annual reports is 350 tests. There is no maximum limit. BDS' annual reports range in size, from 350 tests, to over 55,000 tests, annually. An example, Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this Annual Summary Reports link.


Reliability and Validity

The ACDI has a built-in database that insures inclusion of all administered test data, in a confidential (no names) manner. And, these reliability, validity, and accuracy statistics are reported in the document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." Database analysis continues to demonstrate that ACDI scales maintain very high, reliability coefficients.

In the example below, internal consistencies (coefficient alphas) for ACDI scales are reported for 1,042 juveniles screened, in the year 2001.


ACDI Scales Coefficient
Truthfulness Scale .86 p<.001
Alcohol Scale .89 p<.001
Drug Scale .89 p<.001
Adjustment Scale .85 p<.001
Distress Scale .90 p<.001

All, ACDI scales have alpha coefficients well, above the professionally accepted standard of .75, and are highly reliable. All, coefficient alphas are significant at the p<.001 level.

Early, validity studies used criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g., Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F Scales, 16PF, Treatment Intervention Inventory, MacAndrews, and Juvenile Profile, along with experienced staff ratings. Much of this research is reported in the document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." To go directly to this research, click on the ACDI Research link.

Relationships between ACDI and ACDI-Corrections Version II scales

The ACDI-Corrections Version II is a corrections version of the ACDI, where the Violence Scale was added, but the other scales remained the same. Pearson, product-moment correlation coefficients, between ACDI scale scores and ACDI-CV II scale scores are presented in the table below.


Correlation Coefficient
Truthfulness Scale r = .99
Alcohol Scale r = .99
Drug Scale r = .99
Adjustment Scale r = .99
Distress Scale r = .98

Two, different, juvenile groups were used in this correlation analysis, with each youth group taking only the ACDI or the ACDI-CV II. To test the correlation between scale scores, the data for each scale was sorted in ascending order. This type of correlation was used, because different respondents took different tests. But, because the scales and respondents were similar, the correlations were meaningful. There were 2,084 youths included in this analysis (1,042 for each test). The resulting, high correlation coefficients demonstrate that ACDI and ACDI-CV II scales are reliable and valid.

Staff Member Input

Some people advocate fully-automated assessment; Behavior Data Systems does not. The ACDI is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. Experienced evaluators should also interview the youth. For these reasons, the following statement is contained in each ACDI report: "ACDI reports are confidential and should be considered working hypotheses. No decision should be based solely upon ACDI results. ACDI results are to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment."

Unique Features

The Truthfulness Scale measures how truthful and open the juvenile was, while completing the ACDI. This scale identifies denial, problem minimization, and faking. Many, troubled youth attempt to minimize their problems. Therefore, Truthfulness Scale is a necessary component in contemporary, juvenile assessment. The ACDI Truthfulness Scale has been validated with other tests, truthfulness studies, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L and F Scales. It consists of a number of items that most juveniles agree or disagree with. This, important scale has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid, and accurate. Much of this, normative research is reported in the document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings."

Truth-Corrected scores have proven to be very important in enhancing assessment accuracy. This proprietary, truth correction program is comparable to the MMPI K Scale, correction methodology. The ACDI Truthfulness Scale has been correlated with the other, four, ACDI scales. The Truth-Correction equation converts raw scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores. Raw scores reflect what the juvenile wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the juvenile is trying to hide.

Adjustment Scale: Measures the youth's ability to adapt, conform, and function. This scale recognizes personal and social stressors at home, school, and in authority relationships. It incorporates personal and social forces involved in the youth's adapting to their environment.

Distress Scale: Measures the youth's experienced pain, suffering, anxiety, and depression. The blending of symptom clusters is clear, in the definition of dysphoria, i.e., a generalized feeling of anxiety, restlessness, and depression. Distress incorporates unhappiness, dissatisfaction, worry, apprehension, etc. The Distress Scale, also, incorporates items symptomatic of anxiety and depression. Distress has broad applicability in adjustment, intervention, counseling, and outcome.

More than just another alcohol or drug test: In addition to alcohol and drugs, the ACDI assesses other important areas of inquiry, like truthfulness, distress, and adjustment. The ACDI is designed, specifically, for juvenile (male and female) assessment. It provides the information needed for understanding juvenile attitudes and behavior. An ACDI, example report can be viewed by clicking on the ACDI Example Report link.

Three ways to give the ACDI: The ACDI can be administered in three different ways: 1. Paper-pencil, test booklet format, which is the most popular testing procedure. English and Spanish test booklets are available. 2. ACDI tests given directly on the computer screen. Some youth programs dedicate computers for on-screen testing. And, 3. Human Voice Audio, which is available for English and Spanish-speaking youths. This involves a computer and a headset. The juvenile uses the up-down, arrow keys. As the juvenile goes from question to answer, with the arrow key, that question or answer is highlighted on the monitor (screen) and, simultaneously, read to the juvenile. These three, administration modes are discussed in, "ACDI: Orientation and Training Manual." Each, test administration mode has advantages and some limitations. Behavior Data Systems offers these, three, test administration modes, so test users can select the administration mode that is, optimally, suited to their needs.

Reading Impaired Assessment: Reading impaired juveniles represent 20+ percent of youths tested. This represents a serious problem to many, other, juvenile tests. In contrast, Behavior Data Systems has developed a proprietary, alternative for reading impaired assessment, which is termed, "Human Voice Audio."

Human Voice Audio (in English or Spanish) helps resolve many reading, along with cultural difference issues. Passive vocabularies are, often, greater than active vocabularies. Hearing items read, often, helps reduce both, cultural and communication problems. As discussed earlier, "Human Voice Audio" test presentation requires a computer, earphones, and simple instructions, regarding how to operate the up-down, arrow keys located on the computer keyboard. Without this, "Human Voice Audio" option, a juvenile screening program could be limited.

Confidentiality: Behavior Data Systems encourages test users to delete juvenile names from diskettes, before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. This proprietary, "name deletion" procedure involves a few keystrokes. Once juvenile names are deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting juvenile names does not delete demographics or test data, allowing it to be downloaded into the ACDI database, for subsequent analysis. This, name deletion procedure insures juvenile confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (Federal Regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).

Test Data Input Verification: This proprietary program allows the person, who inputs the test data from the answer sheet into the computer, to verify the accuracy of their data input. In brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies, between the first and second data entries, are highlighted, until corrected. When the first and second data entries match or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this data entry verification procedure is optional, yet it is strongly recommended by Behavior Data Systems.

Inventory of Scientific Findings: Much of the ACDI research has been gathered together in one document titled, "ACDI: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document summarizes ACDI research chronologically -- as the studies were completed. This, rather innovative, chronological reporting format was established, largely, thanks to the existence of the ACDI database, which permits annual database analysis of all tests administered. It also allows the reader to observe the evolution of the ACDI, into its current, state-of-the-art position.

Staff Training: Behavior Data Systems' staff is available to participate in ACDI training programs, scheduled by test users in the United States. Large departments/agencies, and statewide programs are, often, interested in ACDI staff training. Certificates attesting to training completion are provided.

Staff training is, also, provided on Fridays at Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix offices, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These training sessions are free. To participate, contact Behavior Data Systems at least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled basis.


"What Users Are Saying..."

"The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory (ACDI) format is focused, sequential, and easy to read. The over-lay between the print-out and staff assessment has been a perfect fit. The staff response is 'right-on-target.' The scope of the analysis is broad, but concise. Our tested population falls into a normal, bell-curve distribution. The diskette allows us to give a same week guarantee, same day probability, and same hour feedback appropriate for the identified problems. Finally, the option for telephone consultation is of significant value, if or when needed - which, for this office, has been perhaps twice, over the past eleven months (in a word or two - its trouble free!)."

Porter County Juvenile Probation Office, Indiana


"We have been using the Adolescent Chemical Dependency Inventory (ACDI) in our standardized youth intake evaluations for two years now. The ACDI has had many positive advantages to our clients, staff and in terms of our mission, i.e., to provide the highest quality of service to those in need at affordable prices. The availability of test results within the same day enables us to focus our interviews and thereby save significant staff time. Test results are summarized in an easily understood manner regarding our client's problems, situation and needs. Client risk levels are summarized at a glance and recommendations are both relevant and helpful. This objective and reliable information does provide us with a 'sound basis for decisions making.' The ACDI shortens our intake procedures, aids us in cutting through denial and facilitates intervention."

National Council on Alcoholism, Inc., Arizona


"I am writing to indicate how pleased we are with the ACDI. This screening instrument provides us with an enormous amount of invaluable information at a fraction of the cost of any alternatives. As you know, troubled youth with a strenuous eight-day program in the Northern Flinders Ranges and a reliable initial screening program for prospective participants is essential . . . Over time the ACDI will allow us to develop a much better psychological profile of the youth who experience Operation Flinders."

Operation Flinders, National Curriculum & Training, Australia


"I received the ACDI summary report as requested earlier this month, and wanted to thank you for not only your prompt response but also the information the report itself contains.

It is very difficult for small court systems, like ours, to have the means to compile statistical data on issues other than those which are legislatively mandated. So many times, needed data, such as which your summary covered, is unavailable due to the inability of the system to have the financial resources or technical knowledge base needed. The summary report gives me the ability to now approach community leaders with hard data confirming demographic trends and treatment needs that I am aware of but could not substantiate. Now, future treatment planning that would have not occurred because of lack of data will occur.

Again, thank you for making the summary report available as part of the cost of the instrument itself. We, at TASC, will continue to use the assessment instruments developed by your company and will also continue to recommend them for use in future Ohio Juvenile TASC programs."

TASC, Common Pleas Court, Ohio

Scale Interpretation: There are several levels of scale interpretation, ranging from viewing the ACDI and the ACDI-Corrections Version II as self-reports to interpreting scale elevations and scale interrelationships.  A discussion of scale interpretation is presented on the ACDI-Corrections Version II webpage.

Test Unit Fee (Cost): ACDI cost information can be reviewed by clicking on the Test Unit Fee (Cost) link. There is only, one cost or charge, and that is the test unit fee. Everything else is included, at no additional cost to the test user. This includes test booklets, answer sheets, training manuals, upgrades, ongoing database research, annual summary - testing reports, staff training, and support services. Do not be misled by some test publishers' à la carte pricing, like separate costs for each, test administration, as well as for each of the test-related items, listed above. Instead of asking for the test administration cost, ask for the total cost involved in using a test. We believe Behavior Data Systems' one, test unit fee is very affordable.

Free Examination Kit: A one-test demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day, cost free basis. Demo diskettes are in Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a one-test, demo diskette, installation CD (with instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and, some descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test booklet and diskette returned, within 30 days.

Selecting a Juvenile Screening Instrument or Test

If you are selecting a juvenile assessment instrument, the following Comparison Checklist should prove helpful. This checklist itemizes important assessment and screening qualities. The "Other" column represents any, other test you might want to compare to the ACDI.

Designed specifically for juvenile assessment Yes  
Test reliability & validity research provided Yes  
Test completed in 15 to 20 minutes Yes  
On-site reports within 2½ minutes Yes  
Truthfulness Scale to detect faking Yes  
Truth-Corrected scores for accuracy Yes  
Three test administration options Yes  
  1. Paper-pencil (English and Spanish) Yes  
  2. On computer screen (English and Spanish) Yes  
  3. Human Voice Audio (English and Spanish) Yes  
Delete Names (confidentiality) procedure Yes  
HIPAA (federal regulation) compliant Yes  
Very affordable test unit fee Yes  
Test data input verification (accurate scoring) Yes  
Available in English and Spanish Yes  
Built-in database Yes  
Annual database research (Free) Yes  
Annual test program summary (Free) Yes  
Comprehensive assessment (Five Scales) Yes  
Specific scale score-related recommendations Yes  
Alcohol and Drug Scales Yes  
Distress Scale Yes  
Adjustment Scale Yes  
Easily understood and helpful reports Yes  
ASAM compatible recommendations Yes  
Staff training (Free) Yes  
Examination kits (Free) Yes  

As stated earlier, the above checklist itemizes important assessment, screening, and evaluation qualities. Rather than naively or blindly accepting a colleague's test recommendation, compare the tests. We are confident that the ACDI will compare favorably with other juvenile tests. An ACDI example report is, now, presented for your review.

All ACDI reports utilize the same page arrangement, yet each report is highly individualized. These reports collect a lot of self-report information and present it in an easily understood manner.

Additional information can be provided, upon request, by writing:
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.
P.O. Box 44256
Phoenix, Arizona 85064-4256

Our telephone number is (602) 234-3506.
Our fax number is (602) 266-8227.
And our e-mail address is

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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