Are you facing legal charges due to alcohol or drug use? Or perhaps consequences at work or school? You may be asked to complete an alcohol or drug assessment.
Sorting through what needs to be done when facing potentially serious consequences can be overwhelming and stressful. It is natural to have questions about what to expect if you need to complete an alcohol and drug assessment. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.
WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS WILL I BE ASKED DURING AN ASSESSMENT?
An assessment gathers information about your history of using alcohol and/or drugs, previous alcohol and drug treatment you may have had, your risk of future problem use, significant medical concerns, mental health concerns, sources of support and resources to help you in making positive life changes, your living environment, and the consequences from your alcohol and/or drug use, including legal issues, employment problems, and relationship problems.
The goal is to not only understand what chemicals you were using and how much, but also the context of your using - how your use did or did not impact your life.
WHY DO I NEED TO COMPLETE AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG ASSESSMENT?
Typically alcohol and drug assessments are requested by lawyers, the courts, employers, schools, or family members. Usually something has happened, an accident, a legal charge, poor performance, or changes in behavior, that have prompted someone to express concerns about your alcohol and/or drug use. An alcohol and drug assessment explores what you have been using, how much and how often, under what circumstances, and how it has impacted areas of your life, including:
An assessment helps determine if your alcohol and drug use is a problem, and if so, what kind of help would be beneficial.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR COMPLETING AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG ASSESSMENT?
The process begins with a call or email to set up your alcohol or drug assessment. When you schedule your appointment, you will be given information to set up a confidential online account, which will allow you to access information securely and at your convenience. Once your account is set up, you will be able to complete pre session documentation online, from the setting of your choice, prior to your appointment. Your face-to-face appointment will be an interview lasting 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During this time any questions regarding the information you submitted will be clarified, and we will further explore the context of your alcohol and drug use, as well as the impact it has had on your life.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT MIGHT BE MADE?
Recommendations are based on what is clinically appropriate to address concerns related to your alcohol and drug use. These recommendations may include, but are not limited to:
• No treatment, if no issues are present
• Alcohol or drug education classes
• Outpatient chemical dependency treatment
• Residential chemical dependency treatment
• Individual counseling
• Couple or family counseling
• Medication management
DO I NEED TO FOLLOW THE RECOMMENDATIONS?
The recommendations made are made, are just that – recommendations, based on clinical experience, to address issues related to your use. Sometimes people are not able or willing to follow these recommendations due to finances, time, interest, or other circumstances. You will need to decide what you are willing and able to do. Sometimes a third party, such as the courts, a lawyer, or family member, may request that the recommendations be followed. If this applies to your situation, you will need to speak directly to the third party to discuss the potential outcomes of whether or not you follow the recommendations.
WHO WILL FIND OUT THE RESULTS OF MY ALCOHOL AND DRUG ASSESSMENT?
The results of your alcohol and drug assessment will be shared with you in your final session. A written report will be created that details the information shared in the process of your assessment, as well as the outcome and your recommendations. This assessment can be sent to any party you wish, as long as you have signed a release of information allowing for it. If the assessment is requested and paid for by the court, Department of Children's Services or some other 3rd party entity they will have rights to the completed report.
HOW MUCH DOES AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG ASSESSMENT COST?
A standard alcohol and drug assessment, is $135 and includes:
• A comprehensive 1 to 2 hour face to face assessment
• Screenings for mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression