Substance abuse takes over a person’s life and damages their mind, body and relationships they once considered important. Many people spend everything they have supporting their habit. When the money runs out, they turn to other means, often illegal, of getting their substance of choice. Those actions put them and sometimes those they care about in danger. At that point, a substance abuse evaluation may be necessary to understand all aspects of the addiction.
What is a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of all physical, social, and psychological factors playing a role in an individual’s addiction. A court may order someone to undergo a substance abuse evaluation as part of a sentencing agreement. It’s also a process conducted by many rehab facilities looking to understand all aspects of a substance use disorder.
Here are the key components of a typical substance abuse evaluation by medical professionals.
- They assess whether the person has an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or both
- They determine the extent of a person’s addiction or substance use
- Check for possible co-occurring disorders that could exacerbate the substance abuse
- They try to determine the various ways substance abuse currently impacts a person’s life
- They start crafting a treatment plan based on the patient’s needs that gives them the best chance at recovery.
What Can You Expect From a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
The substance abuse evaluation process is usually conducted in two different phases:
- Screening — Clients receive a screening to check for the presence of specific problems, typically checked off or confirmed with a yes or no answer.
- Assessment — Clients receive a firm diagnosis for their issues and more defined recommendations for treatment.
A substance abuse evaluation may be conducted by a single person or an entire team of professionals. Those from professions like social work, counseling, or therapy may qualify to render the evaluation. They may ask, with your permission, for friends and family members to provide input about what they’ve witnessed in relation to your substance abuse problem.
What Tools Are Used During a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
Common tools used during the screening portion of a substance abuse evaluation include:
- CAGE Questionnaire — Contains four questions about the extent of a person’s substance abuse.
- Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) — A self-administered tool for those more willing to be honest about the extent of their problem.
- Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) — A psychological screening used to judge the probability of an individual having a problem with substance abuse.
The assessment phase often incorporates the following tools:
- Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV) — A structured questionnaire that evaluates a person for a mental disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
- Addiction Severity Index (ASI) — Consists of a somewhat structured interview that assesses seven different areas of a person’s life. Those areas include alcohol use, drug use, medical status, family/social status, legal status, psychiatric status, and employment.
Potential Options After a Substance Abuse Evaluation
Your next steps depend on the outcome of your evaluation. Facilities like Oceanfront Recovery provide addiction treatment to help clients dealing with a variety of substance abuse problems. A severe issue may require admission to a residential treatment program, where clients can focus entirely on treatment while removing themselves from temptations in the outside world.
Other clients may benefit from attending a partial hospitalization program or an intensive outpatient program. They offer more flexibility to accommodate a client’s lifestyle while still providing some structure. Other options for clients after completing a program include our aftercare program and sober living facilities.
Call Oceanfront Recovery at (877) 279-1777 if you’d like more information about our available programs.