Learning about The Substance Abuse Evaluation Process
Substance Abuse Evaluation What to Expect
When someone is about to embark on addiction treatment, whether it was court mandated, voluntary, or the result of an intervention, a substance abuse evaluation is the first step. The evaluation involves a thorough review of the extent of the individual’s substance use disorder using various assessment tools. Once the evaluation is completed, the individualized treatment plan can be properly designed.
Why Substance Abuse Evaluation is Necessary
With providing individuals with appropriate care and treatment as the key mission of an addiction or mental health program, the first step in the process is determining the exact nature of the problem is, and the extent of that problem. Using diagnostic materials and tools, a counselor, therapist, addiction specialist, psychiatrist, doctor or nurse can pull together the data that can aid in creating an effective course of treatment.
It is important to note that the people enlisted to gather the information during the substance abuse evaluation do not make any judgments about the individual. These professionals have been trained to administer the assessment questionnaires and conduct interviews in an objective and nonjudgmental manner, taking great care to not cause the person discomfort or shame about anything they reveal.
The evaluation tools provide clinicians with the means to best help someone achieve successful recovery results. For this reason, the individual being assessed can be completely candid and truthful when responding to the evaluator’s questions about their substance abuse or mental health history. Transparency is necessary in order for the assessment and subsequent treatment to be accurate.
What a Substance Abuse Evaluation Entails
The process of assessing someone’s substance abuse or addiction status is a straightforward one. During the evaluation the individual will be asked to participate in several assessment activities. These include:
Completing a standardized questionnaire regarding your drug or alcohol use, health history, prior addiction treatment history, mental health history, current symptoms, and the effects the substance abuse has had on one’s life.
Participate in a one-on-one interview where a clinician asks questions that will help reveal the specific nature and severity of the substance use disorder. During the interview, certain underlying factors associated with the addiction can be revealed, and which can help customized treatment accordingly.
Screening tools, such as the National Institute on Drug Use Screening Tool, which asks a series of detailed questions, or the CAGE assessment, which asks just four questions, may be administered.
A physical exam may be required. This can help rule out a medical condition that could complicate treatment for the addiction.
A urine sample may be requested. The sample can identify specific substances in the individual’s system, which confirm or augment the information provided by the individual.
The cumulative in-depth data gathered helps form a diagnosis based upon the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for an alcohol use disorder or a substance use disorder, if one is indeed present.
Assessing Co-Occurring Disorders
In many cases, someone struggling with a substance use disorder may also have a mental health disorder, such as generalized anxiety, OCD, depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder. The coexistence of the two disorders is called a dual diagnosis. The dual diagnosis is a complex diagnosis, requiring psychiatric professional services be provided as part of the treatment plan. Medications may be prescribed to help manage the co-occurring mental health disorder, in addition to the psychotherapy sessions.
If a co-occurring mental health disorder is revealed during the evaluation process, treatment protocol for this dual diagnosis will be integrated into the treatment plan. Dual diagnosis disorders should be treated simultaneously for the best treatment outcome, and a dual diagnosis-specific treatment program should be utilized.
Getting Treatment for Addiction Following the Evaluation
After the substance abuse assessment is completed, it will be determined if the individual will need to undergo a medical detox prior to beginning treatment. Most rehabs provide supervised medical detox services, which assist the individual throughout the detox period by managing withdrawal symptoms with various medical interventions as needed.
Detox typically lasts about one week.
Following a medical detox, the individual will then commence treatment based on the recommendations made based on the results of the substance abuse evaluation. This tailored treatment plan will provide a blueprint for the clinicians in charge of the individual’s case management. Per the evaluation results, the clinician will schedule the individual for the appropriate therapeutic activities that align with the treatment goals outlined in the plan.
Contact Phoenix Rising Behavioral for Substance Abuse Evaluations What to Expect
Phoenix Rising Behavioral Healthcare provides comprehensive substance abuse evaluations to determine appropriate treatment measures for each individual. Contact our admissions specialists today to schedule a substance abuse evaluation and take that first step towards your new life. Call (877) 299-5694 today.
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