Facing a drug and alcohol evaluation or taking that initial step toward recovery can be quite daunting. There are many reasons you may seek this assessment out but know that it’s a crucial first step. Unfortunately, it’s a step only 1.1% of people took in 2021.
We’re here to support you when you’re ready to address your substance use concerns. To start, let’s demystify the process so you’re ready to walk into your alcohol and drug evaluation.
What Is a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?
A drug and alcohol evaluation is an in-depth assessment conducted by qualified professionals to determine an individual’s relationship with substance abuse. It goes beyond mere labeling or judgment. Instead, it seeks to understand the underlying factors contributing to addictive behaviors.
The ultimate goal of this evaluation is twofold. First, it helps to accurately diagnose any substance abuse disorders present. Second, therapists can use it to recommend interventions that meet each person’s unique needs.
Signs You Need a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
Do you need a drug and alcohol evaluation? If you’re unsure, some signs can point you toward the fact that it’s time to reach out for help.
Feeling Out of Control
One of the signs that may indicate a need for a drug and alcohol evaluation is feeling like your substance use has spiraled out of control. If you find yourself unable to cut back or stop using despite negative consequences, it’s time to take a closer look at your relationship with drugs or alcohol.
If you have had legal issues because of substance abuse, that’s a clear red flag. DUI charges and possession offenses can be wake-up calls that prompt the need for assessment.
Substance abuse often takes a toll on personal relationships. Has your drug or alcohol use caused the following issues?
- Conflicts in your family
- Strained friendships
- Broken promises and trust issues
If you are experiencing difficulties, getting an evaluation can help find out why.
Decline in Physical Health
Substance abuse can have significant physical repercussions over time. Pay attention if you’re experiencing the following:
- Frequent illnesses
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Chronic fatigue
- Other concerning symptoms related to drug or alcohol use
These are signs that you need to address your substance use.
Mental Health Issues
Sometimes individuals turn to drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating mental health problems like anxiety or depression. However, this coping mechanism often exacerbates these conditions rather than providing long-term relief. If you’re struggling with both substance abuse and mental health concerns simultaneously, an evaluation can help guide appropriate treatment options.
Poor Performance at Work/School
If you’re not doing well at work or school, it might be because you’re using substances that affect your memory and focus.
If you have been getting feedback about low productivity or attendance because of drugs or alcohol, it may be time for an evaluation.
Friends and Family Intervention
Pay attention when loved ones express concerns about your drug or alcohol use. They often see the negative effects more clearly than you do and can offer valuable support and insight.
The Process of a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation
No two people have identical journeys toward sobriety. What works for one person may not work for another. This is why individualized care is essential.
A drug and alcohol evaluation is just the starting point. It provides valuable information that helps with creating a plan.
First, you’ll typically meet with a trained professional, such as an addiction counselor or therapist, who will conduct the evaluation. They will ask you a series of questions about your substance use history.
Some of these questions will include the following:
- Types of drugs or alcohol you’ve been using
- How often do you use substances
- Quantities of substances used
- Co-occurring mental health conditions
- Medical history
During this interview portion of the evaluation, it’s crucial to be honest and open about your experiences. Remember that these professionals are there to help you, not judge or criticize you. The more information they have, the better they can tailor their recommendations to suit your specific needs.
Drug Screening Tools
In addition to the interview process, other assessment tools may be used during a drug and alcohol evaluation. There are tests to measure cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and readiness for change. These assessments can give more information about how you use substances and help plan your treatment.
What Happens After the Evaluation?
So, you’ve completed a drug and alcohol evaluation. What comes next? Understanding what happens after the evaluation is crucial in your journey towards recovery. Let’s dive into the post-evaluation process.
Based on the results of your evaluation, a qualified professional will provide treatment recommendations tailored to your specific needs. These recommendations may include the following:
- Individual therapy
- Group counseling
- Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs)
- Residential treatment options
The goal is to create a personalized plan that best addresses your substance abuse issues.
Referrals to Specialists
In some cases, additional support from specialists may be necessary for comprehensive care. Your evaluator may refer you to psychiatrists or psychologists. They may also recommend addiction counselors who can address co-occurring mental health disorders or provide specialized therapy.
Collaborating with these professionals ensures that all aspects of your well-being are addressed.
Treatment for Addiction and Co-occurring Conditions
Addiction is often associated with other mental health conditions, such as depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety. To achieve lasting recovery, integrated treatment that addresses both addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders is essential. Through dual diagnosis therapy, you’ll receive comprehensive care to address both issues.
Recovery isn’t a one-time event but an ongoing process. To ensure you maintain your progress and stay on track, your treatment team may conduct regular check-ins to monitor any lingering symptoms or relapse triggers.
Start Your Journey Toward Recovery Today
Getting a drug and alcohol evaluation can be a crucial step toward understanding and addressing any potential issues with substance abuse. Recognizing the signs that you may need an evaluation is vital for taking control of your health and well-being.
Purpose Healing Center offers holistic treatment to address addiction and dual diagnosis. We’re dedicated to helping you achieve long-term recovery. Contact us today to learn about receiving a free assessment.