Substance Abuse Assessments

What is a Substance Abuse Assessment?

A substance abuse assessment is a test, but not one you can study for.  There are no grades involved and you don’t pass or fail.  Instead of evaluating your knowledge or performance, this test helps gauge the nature and degree of your substance abuse and the way it interacts with the rest of your life. This evaluation is a critical step towards finding the treatment plan that will be most effective for you.

Sometimes people who use drugs or alcohol are either not aware that they are becoming dependent or are in denial and refuse to admit even to themselves they may have a problem. Others vocally deny their substance abuse but inwardly question whether they could stop using if they wanted to.  Still others readily admit they are undeniably addicted.  If you fall into one of those categories and are considering seeking professional help with the situation, the first thing you’ll need is a substance abuse assessment. Transformations Recovery, a division of Jupiter Counseling, administers a substance abuse assessment by highly skilled and caring certified substance abuse specialists.

The substance abuse assessment can be written or conducted verbally.  Sometimes it is even done over the phone.  It normally consists of a series of questions about the frequency of your drug use and how it affects you, your relationships, and your life in general.  You’ll be asked questions like how often do you drink alcohol?  Do you have cravings for your drug of choice? Has you substance abuse caused problems at work or home?  Do you spend money you can’t afford to support your habit? You may be uncomfortable with the personal nature of some of the questions but it’s important that you answer honestly to give yourself the best opportunity for a successful recovery.

How is the Information from a Substance Abuse Assessment Used?

Like any other illness, addiction needs to be diagnosed, its degree evaluated, and an optimal treatment plan determined. Of course, one purpose for the assessment is to determine the extent of your condition but other important information is gathered as well.

The substance abuse assessment helps determine whether you need to go through a detoxification process to safely eliminate toxins from your system before you begin recovery treatment.  If detox is necessary, it will help you avoid some of the extreme withdrawal symptoms that can occur when you quit drinking or drugging suddenly after continued use. Those symptoms could include delirium tremors (DTs), vomiting, hallucinations, paranoia, and other unpleasant, sometimes dangerous, side effects.

Determining a Dual Diagnosis

It’s not unusual to discover that drug or alcohol abuse often coincides with physical or mental health disorders that aggravate addiction. When that occurs it is called a dual diagnosis. At Transformations, along with your substance abuse assessment, your physical and mental health status will also be evaluated.  Conditions such as depression, anxiety or other issues often contribute to addiction problems and treating those conditions as well as the addiction leads to higher success rates for our clients.

What Happens After the Substance Abuse Assessment?

The next step is to define the best treatment plan for your individual needs.  One effective plan that works for many people is Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP).  IOP is an alternative to an extended stay at a residential treatment center and allows you to continue working and living at home while moving towards recovery.  You’ll attend three hour sessions three times a week where you’ll learn coping skills and strategies that help you gain and maintain sobriety and start you on the path towards a healthier and more fulfilling life. You’ll work together with other people like you, people who are also motivated to achieve recovery and build a brighter future. IOP at Transformations has proven to be the right choice for many people and it could be the best option for you as well.

If you’re worried that substance abuse is negatively impacting your life, start with a substance abuse assessment.  It helps you and your counselors know where you’re at and which direction to take from there. Think of it as the first page of the map directing you towards a healthier, more satisfying life.  Remember, it’s always easier to get where you’re going if you know where you’re at when you start the journey . When you’re ready to begin traveling the road towards wellness, call Transformations and let us help you find the way.