Protocol - Acute Subjective Response to Substances - Current - General

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Protocol Name from Source:

Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ)


Publicly available


The Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) consists of simple, face-valid, visual analog scale (VAS) questions on which people report their subjective states after ingesting a substance. The analog scale of responses ranges from "not at all" to "extremely."


You will be asked to indicate your answers to the following questions about the drug you consumed by marking on the line to indicate how much the adjective or description applies to you. Please indicate how you are feeling right now.

1. Do you FEEL a drug effect right now?


2. Do you LIKE any of the effects you are feeling right now?


3. Do you DISLIKE any of the effects you are feeling right now?


4. Are you HIGH right now?


5. Would you like MORE of the drug you took, right now?


Scoring Procedure and Interpretation

The score is determined by the distance between the left anchor point and the participant’s mark on the line. Each item is scored separately.

Personnel and Training Required


Equipment Needs



Requirement CategoryRequired
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individualNo
Major equipmentNo
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collectionNo
Specialized trainingNo

Mode of Administration


Life Stage:

Adult, Senior

Specific Instructions:

The Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) is used in laboratory studies to assess the subjective effects of acute doses of alcohol or other drugs of abuse, usually administered under double-blind, placebo-controlled conditions. The experimenter administers a single dose of a drug or a placebo using an appropriate route (oral, intravenous, intranasal, buccal, inhaled, or other). The participant typically completes the DEQ at regular intervals after ingesting an active drug or a placebo so as to characterize the full-time course of the drug effect, including the time of onset, time to peak, and return to baseline. Because the ratings refer to a drug that has recently been ingested (e.g., do you feel a drug effect, do you like/dislike the drug effect, are you high, do you want more), the DEQ does not need to be administered before drug ingestion. Respondents should be instructed to attend to the descriptors provided at either end of the visual analog scales (VASs), from "not at all" to "extremely," and to use the scales consistently throughout the study.

The questionnaire can be administered as a paper-and-pencil task or electronically. Care should be taken to maintain a constant line length when using VASs. Paper-and-pencil VASs are typically 100 mm.

The Substance Abuse and Addiction Working Group acknowledges that the following questions may gather sensitive information relating to the use of substances and/or illegal conduct. If the information is released, it might be damaging to an individual’s employability, lead to social stigmatization, or lead to other consequences.

Most researchers assure confidentiality as part of their informed consent process, as required by their institutional review boards. Further assurance of confidentiality may be obtained by applying to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a Certificate of Confidentiality, which helps researchers protect the privacy of human research participants. The procedures for the Certificate of Confidentiality can be found at the Grants Policy website of NIH: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/coc/index.htm.

Research Domain Information

Release Date:

November 21, 2016


Instruments used separately to assess current acute subjective responses to substances that the respondent has recently ingested or used.


This measure is to assess a respondent’s feelings after recently smoking cigarettes, ingesting alcohol, or using drugs. The protocol is used to obtain subjective responses to the tobacco, alcohol, or drug administered. The Working Group recommends that investigators use the primary protocol to obtain general information on a variety of substances. The secondary protocols can then be used to obtain detailed information on a specific substance.

Selection Rationale

The five-scale Drug Effects Questionnaire (DEQ) was chosen by the Working Group because it is fairly standardized, simple, and descriptive.




Common Data Elements (CDE)Addiction Modified Cigarette Evaluation Questionnaire (mCEQ) Assessment Description Text3332446CDE Browser

Process and Review

The [link[phenx.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1041|Expert Review Panel #3]] (ERP 3) reviewed the measures in Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Substances, and Substance Abuse and Addiction domains.

Guidance from ERP 3 includes:

• Revised descriptions of the measure

Back-compatible: NA no changes to Data Dictionary

Previous version in Toolkit archive ([link[www.phenxtoolkit.org/index.php?pageLink=resources.archive|link]])


Fraser, H. F., Van Horn, G. D., Martin, W. R., Wolbach, A. B., & Isbell, H. (1961). Methods for evaluating addiction liability. (A) "Attitude" of opiate addicts toward opiate-like drugs, (B) a short-term "Direct" addiction test. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 133, 371-387.

General References

[link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Morean%20ME%5Bauth%5D|Meghan E. Morean]], [link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=de%20Wit%20H%5Bauth%5D|Harriet de Wit]], [link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=King%20AC%5Bauth%5D|Andrea C. King]], [link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Sofuoglu%20M%5Bauth%5D|Mehmet Sofuoglu]], [link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Rueger%20SY%5Bauth%5D|Sandra Y. Rueger]], and [link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=O%26%23x02019%3BMalley%20SS%5Bauth%5D|Stephanie S. O’Malley]] (2013). The Drug Effects Questionnaire: Psychometric Support across Three Drug Types

[link[www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/eutils/elink.fcgi?dbfrom=pubmed&retmode=ref&cmd=prlinks&id=23271193|Psychopharmacology (Berl), 227(1), 177-192. ]] PMCID: PMC3624068

Protocol ID:



Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX520103_Feel_Drug_Effect_NowPX520103010000Do you FEEL a drug effect right now?4N/A
PX520103_Like_Effects_You_Are_FeelingPX520103020000Do you LIKE any of the effects you are feeling right now?4N/A
PX520103_Dislike_Effects_You_Are_FeelingPX520103030000Do you DISLIKE any of the effects you are feeling right now?4N/A
PX520103_Are_You_HighPX520103040000Are you HIGH right now?4N/A
PX520103_Like_More_Of_The_DrugPX520103050000Would you like MORE of the drug you took, right now?4N/A