What does substance abuse evaluation consist of?

The decision to seek treatment for your addiction might come from your desire to improve your health and relationships. Or, you might have decided to follow the advice offered by your loved ones during an intervention. You may also feel like it is your best choice to deal with legal issues that are related to your use of drugs or alcohol. While all of these cases represent different reasons for why you might decide to enroll in a treatment program, you’ll find that the beginning of your recovery will often start out the same. Substance abuse evaluations are typically offered before someone is admitted into a treatment program, or you might be required to complete one to help a court decide the next course of action for your case. Understanding more about what a substance abuse evaluation consists of gives you more confidence about being honest as you go through this important part of your initial recovery plan.

Many people with addiction feel the need to hide their habits. After living in denial or lying to other people about your addiction, it might feel a little scary to open up to someone else. A substance abuse evaluation is not done to pass judgment on your behaviors. Instead, you’ll work with a highly trained professional who understands that your addiction is not your fault. Your evaluator will also use clinical tools, such as structured interviews and screenings, to achieve these important goals.
•determine the extensiveness of your addiction
•identify possible co-existing mental health conditions
•find out how your habits are impacting your life
•gather other important information about the effects of addiction on your health
•learn more about your personal history with drugs or alcohol

Get a Customized Roadmap to Sobriety

At the end of your substance abuse evaluation, you and your evaluator will have a clearer idea of whether or not you need treatment for addiction. Although some people may complete their evaluation with no signs of a problem, the majority will need some type of help dealing with their substance abuse. Most likely, there is a reason for why one is recommended, and your evaluation will lead to a personalized plan that helps you to get and stay sober. There are several different types of tools that might be used during your evaluation. A screening is usually done before anything else. Screenings consist of simple questions that are designed to help the evaluator determine if you might have a substance abuse problem. These usually only require you to answer yes or no, which makes it easy to feel comfortable from the very beginning of your evaluation. During a screening you might be asked things such as whether or not you feel guilty or ashamed about your use of drugs or alcohol. You might also be asked if others have ever expressed concern about your habits.

Another tool that your evaluator might use is a diagnostic interview. Your interview will typically build upon the information that was found during the screening. The questions that you will be asked may pertain to your lifetime experiences with drugs or alcohol. This can further reveal things such as whether or not you can benefit the most from an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. Once again, you want to remember that the information that you share during this interview is kept confidential. If your substance abuse evaluation is court-mandated, then the only information that is given to the court is whether or not you could benefit from certain types of treatment. Your addiction specialist will not provide in-depth details about your current drug or alcohol habits without your knowledge and permission. You will also be provided with a copy of the report from your evaluation, and you might be given the opportunity to choose to seek treatment right away. Having professional recommendations for your treatment gives you a better chance of starting a program that is designed to fit your needs. Often, this simple evaluation process can help you make the decision on whether you need to go to an inpatient facility or if you can get sober through an intensive outpatient program.

Are you still curious about what happens during a substance abuse evaluation, or are you ready to sign up for one? We can help at 833-846-5669. Just give us a call today.