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How Do You Get a Drug or Alcohol Assessment?

How Do You Get a Drug or Alcohol Assessment?

Drug and alcohol assessments help identify if you have been using drugs or alcohol over a certain period. They also gauge if you have a problem with substance abuse. There are several reasons you might need a drug and alcohol evaluation. For example, if you’re applying for a job, you might have to get an evaluation. You may need one after getting a DUI, or if drugs or alcohol were involved in some other way while driving. Sometimes attorneys use these assessments when working with claimants or defendants. Addiction treatment centers use alcohol and drug evaluations to create care plans that are tailored to clients’ specific needs.

  • Drug or alcohol assessments help determine:
  • If you are addicted to drugs or alcohol
  • The severity of your addiction
  • The potential of having co-occurring mental health disorders (dual diagnosis)
  • How drug and alcohol abuse is affecting your life
  • What should be included in your treatment plan based on your unique needs

What Is a Drug or Alcohol Assessment?

Some people put off addiction treatment because they’re afraid of drug and alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The truth is side effects from alcohol and drug detox are much more tolerable when you undergo them at a professional detox center. It’s when you detox at home and stop alcohol and other drugs cold turkey that your risk increases for the very painful, dangerous, and deadly withdrawal symptoms that you fear.
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What Are the Types of Drug and Alcohol Assessments?

There are different types of drug and alcohol assessments available depending on the situation and the person being assessed. Some common types of drug and alcohol assessments include:

Screening Assessments

Screening assessments are used to evaluate if you have a problem with drugs or alcohol. They are typically brief, but they can help determine if a more comprehensive assessment is needed.

Clinical Assessments

Clinical evaluations and assessments are more in-depth than screening assessments and are used to diagnose drug or alcohol problems. They may also be used to determine the severity of your addiction and to recommend treatment.

Employee Substance Abuse Screenings

A drug and alcohol evaluation is one way to ensure employees are not under the influence at work. Substance abuse evaluations are conducted by trained professionals, and they typically involve asking questions about an employee’s use of drugs and alcohol, as well as their family and personal histories. In some cases, employees may also be asked to take urine or blood tests. Ultimately, an evaluation can help to identify whether an employee is abusing alcohol or drugs and help to create a plan for addressing potential problems.

Types of Drug and Alcohol Screening Tests

There are many types of substance abuse screening tools. One type is a questionnaire. Questionnaires ask questions about your substance use patterns to determine if you have a substance use disorder. Some common screenings include:
  • Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV): This method determines how severe your addiction is. The severity of addiction varies by individual. This is done by asking a series of questions or through a questionnaire.
  • BSTAD (Brief Screener for Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs): This determines if teenagers or adolescents are abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • SASSI (Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory): This assesses whether you show signs of addiction, how willing you are to change, and how motivated you are to seek help.
  • TAPS (Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Drugs): This tool screens for both current substance abuse and past alcohol and drug use.
  • ASI (Addiction Severity Index): This is a less formal discussion that looks at up to seven areas, including:
    • Medical status
    • Employment
    • Support
    • Drug use
    • Alcohol use
    • Legal status
    • Family/social status
    • Psychiatric status
This gives a more in-depth understanding of yours or a loved one’s substance abuse throughout their lifetime.
  • CAGE questionnaire: This quiz quickly and effectively determines how much you are misusing substances. You should answer truthfully to get the most accurate results.
The screening part of the process is not the same as an assessment. Screening for drug and alcohol use is one of many tools that is used to evaluate whether an assessment is necessary.

Assessments for Substance Abuse

The drug or alcohol assessment process is a way to investigate and assess the results of an initial screening. This is done to create follow-up steps if the results show you could have a drug or alcohol use disorder.

Assessments evaluate:

  • Past patterns of substance abuse
  • Medical history
  • Personal history
  • Family history
  • Physical health
  • Mental health

What Are Court-Ordered Alcohol and Drug Assessments?

If you are arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or caught with drugs, you might be required to get a drug or alcohol assessment. This is also sometimes done if a social worker thinks there might be a problem with substance abuse in your family. A judge might require one or both parents to have a substance abuse assessment in family court. The purpose of the assessment is to figure out if there really is a problem and the extent of it.

Courts may order an alcohol or drug assessment to:

  • Assess if you have an alcohol or drug addiction
  • Determine the severity of your substance abuse
  • Evaluate if there are any co-occurring disorders
  • Determine the extent of drug and alcohol use in your life
  • Build a foundation for a substance use disorder treatment plan

After you have a court-ordered alcohol or drug evaluation, the court may order one or several of the following:

  • Class on substance abuse
  • NA (Narcotics Anonymous) or AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meetings
  • Addiction counseling
  • Random urine testing for drugs and alcohol
  • Inpatient or outpatient addiction treatment
  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)

What Should You Bring to an Alcohol and Drug Assessment?

You’ll need to provide certain documents regardless of the reason for your assessment. These often depend on the laws of your state. Potential documents may include:

  • Copies of arrest reports or criminal history
  • Copy of the assessment results of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)
  • Any reports from the Department of Driver Services or Department of Motor Vehicles that describe your driving history (typically for the past 7 years)

Before your appointment, make sure you know the requirements in your state. The specialist who interviews you will ask about your history of drug or alcohol abuse in-depth. They will also evaluate the documents you brought with you.

What Are the Steps of a Drug and Alcohol Assessment?

A certified addiction specialist will take you through each step of a drug or alcohol assessment, which generally lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The process includes:

  • Screening
  • Assessment
  • Follow-up
  • Referral services

Screening determines if there is a problem. The assessment evaluates how bad the problem is. Some substance abuse screenings include a mental health assessment to see if you have any co-occurring mental health disorders.

Topics covered in questions usually include:

  • Your history of substance use
  • Your family’s history of mental health and substance abuse issues
  • How you’re using drugs or alcohol right now
  • Your mental health
  • Medical issues and your physical health

The purpose of a drug and alcohol assessment is to measure how much and how often someone uses substances. The assessor will also want to know about any addiction in your family, mental health conditions, and if you have ever tried to get sober before. By answering these questions truthfully, the assessor can develop a treatment plan that is best suited for you.

– How often do you drink?
– How much do you drink when you drink?
– What types of alcohol do you drink?
– When was the last time you drank?
– What are your thoughts on drinking?
– Have you ever received substance abuse counseling for alcohol abuse or addiction?
– Do you have a family history of alcohol abuse or addiction?
– Are there any other drugs (prescription or illegal) that you use regularly?
– Have you ever had a blackout because of drinking or drug use?
– Do friends or family members ever worry about your substance use?
– Have you ever been in trouble with the law due to your substance use?
– What are your thoughts on using drugs or alcohol?
– Do you think that you might have a problem with drugs or alcohol?
– What are your goals for treatment?
– Are you willing to commit to sobriety?
– What is your plan for remaining sober after treatment?

The questions asked during a drug and alcohol assessment vary depending on the individual and the situation. Ultimately, the goal of the assessment is to get a clear understanding of your substance use so that an appropriate plan can be created.

How Do You Get a Drug or Alcohol Assessment?

There are a few different ways to get a drug or alcohol assessment. One way is to go to your local mental health or substance abuse center and ask for a referral. Another way is to see a doctor or therapist who specializes in drug and alcohol assessment and treatment. Finally, many employers offer employee assistance programs that include drug and alcohol assessments.

What Happens After a Drug and Alcohol Assessment?

What happens after a drug and alcohol assessment depends on your situation. For example, a court-ordered assessment will dictate what kind of resources and treatment you attend. On the other hand, after an assessment at a drug rehab facility like Vogue Recovery Center, you will work with a treatment team to create a treatment plan. The plan may include detoxification, inpatient treatment or intensive outpatient programs, and aftercare. Treatment will vary depending on your needs and situation. However, the goal is always to help you achieve and maintain sobriety.

Looking for a Substance Use Assessment?

If you’re struggling with addiction, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Vogue Recovery Center offers comprehensive assessments and individualized treatment plans to get you on the road to recovery. We offer both inpatient and outpatient rehab treatment options and a wide range of evidence-based addiction therapies. Contact us today, and let us show you how we can help.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2797097/
  2. https://ncsacw.samhsa.gov/topics/screening-and-assessment.aspx

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