If you’ve never gone through a rehabilitation program before, you might have a lot of questions about the process, and might even be a little nervous about not knowing what to expect. In the beginning, you’ll likely be told that the first step of your enrollment is to undergo an assessment.
In other words, before you’re formally enrolled into a drug or alcohol addiction rehabilitation program, you’re first going to go through an in-depth intake process.
This initial phase is where the staff evaluates you, your unique needs, as well as your short- and long-term goals in order to help set you up for the most successful recovery.
This process is called an addiction assessment.
What is addiction assessment?
An addiction assessment is the official beginning of your road to long-term recovery from addiction.
At this point, you’ve found a facility you’d like to check into, but before you’re enrolled in one of their addiction rehabilitation programs, you’re going to go through an assessment that is, in most cases, conducted by the facility’s trained medical staff.
During this addiction assessment, you’re typically going to be asked a series of questions in a couple of interviews, and undergo a number of clinical, medical and psychiatric analyses.
These addiction assessment tools will give the staff a thorough understanding of the nature of your addiction so that they can develop a fully tailored treatment program designed specifically to meet all of your unique needs.
What’s involved in an addiction assessment?
A medical professional — whether a doctor, nurse or another trained staff member — will conduct the addiction assessment. This process typically consists of initial interviews, medical and clinical assessments and psychiatric evaluations. This well-balanced methodology has been composed of two of the most commonly used addiction assessment tools, Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV) and Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
The interviews are the first phase of an addiction assessment, this is where you’ll be asked a series of questions about your substance use habits, your medical history, as well as your family history. You may also be asked to fill out one or two questionnaires in order to provide a bit more information around your specific needs and goals.
Some of the questions might include:
- What substance you’ve been taking and for how long you have been using
- If you have been using multiple substances simultaneously or are currently on any prescription medications
- If you have ever been diagnosed with a mental illness or condition
- Whether or not there’s a history of substance abuse, dependence, or addiction in your immediate or extended family
- The nature of your social, personal, and professional life
A medical assessment — also sometimes called a physical assessment — is done so as to determine the overall physical health of the patient and identify any undiagnosed conditions or medical issues. This phase typically includes physical examinations and medical tests, such as providing blood or urine samples, undergoing a drug test as well as a toxicology test. In some cases you might be asked to complete other tests depending on your circumstances.
A clinical assessment is a more lifestyle-oriented assessment to gain a better understanding of your overall personal, social and professional life. This is because the environment you grew up in or are constantly immersed in often plays a large role in the establishment of an addiction as well as in helping you recover.
Mental health disorders are very common among people who struggle with substance abuse or addiction, so psychiatric evaluations are fairly standard in an addiction assessment. There are some cases where the staff may deem it unnecessary though. In this phase, you’ll be asked a series of questions by an on-staff psychiatrist in order to screen your mental health and identify any undiagnosed disorders.
A fundamental step in addiction rehabilitation programs, this initial assessment of your situation is what’s going to help the treatment center’s staff to better understand you and your individual situation. This way they can better care for and support you along your recovery journey.
Contact us for additional support
If you or a loved one is struggling with a drug or alcohol addiction and could benefit from a substance abuse assessment, we’re here to help.
Here at Rehab After Work, we offer a wide selection of drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, all of which are customizable to your unique needs and preferences. We’ve established a diverse, compassionate team of medical professionals to guide you through your addiction recovery from start to finish.