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American Addiction Centers Helpline Information

Completing an Addiction Assessment

An addiction assessment is used to help determine if you are addicted to a substance. You might be asking before your addiction test, “Am I addicted to drugs and alcohol?” A doctor must complete a number of tests to confirm where you are in terms of symptoms.

The Drug Addiction Assessment Process

Medical Treatment for Alcohol Addiction

alcohol-addiction Every single day individuals struggle to fight alcohol addiction. Often times it is not enough to try to fight the addiction on your own. Professional treatment is usually tailored to a specific individual. Medication is usually the primary method of treatment. This is combined in part with self-help groups and the need for family support. Individuals that have a strong support base generally have a higher success rate at overcoming addiction. The following is a brief overview of the medications and their role in treatment.

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First, a person must exhibit symptoms or be positively screened for drugs or alcohol to have an addiction assessment take place. So, it’s important that if you or someone you know suffers from symptoms of drug or alcohol abuse, should contact a medical provider when these symptoms occur. Once at the medical care facility, a medical doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist can do a brief assessment. This assessment clarifies important information, such as the quantity of drugs or alcohol consumed. The duration of substance use patterns can also be discovered through this assessment. A number of other issues are looked at during a brief assessment, such as the problems a person has faced in regards to his or her health, legal, or social environments in the last 12 months. If there was a previous psychiatric condition or treatment it will be noted down. Medications, the status of a person and whether she is pregnant, and other medical conditions are all taken into consideration and compiled during this beginning process.

After this occurs, a doctor can decide if this person is at risk for dependency or if substance abuse is suspected. Other conditions may be noted, which provokes the medical care provider to send the patient to an in-depth assessment. However, if the patient is only at risk for drug or alcohol abuse a brief intervention is given. If the intervention is unsuccessful, the patient is still referred to the in-depth assessment. If it is successful, the patient must only make follow-up appointments that can prevent relapse and prevent drug or alcohol-related disorders.

An in-depth assessment can provide a medical staff the information they need to determine the substance use disorder diagnosis. During this stage, a patient may refuse treatment. If this occurs, they are then referred to a brief intervention and allowed to follow up with the doctors as needed. If the patient agrees to being treated for the drug or alcohol addiction, a specialized treatment plan is created to help the individual. After the treatment plan is created, the individual is expected to go to rehabilitation or detoxification courses or houses until they are sober. After this, the patient has continued follow ups with the medical staff in order to prevent substance abuse from reoccurring.

addiction-therapyThe in-depth assessment can take 90 minutes or longer to complete, whereas the basic assessment may take less than an hour. Normally, primary care doctors refer patients to specialists for this assessment, as the primary care doctor is not specifically trained to be a substance abuse caregiver. A basic assessment confirms a baseline of information for the doctors and medical providers to continue from. Once this is established, the appropriate intervention and treatment can be planned with the use of medications, therapy, and other methods. Minimally, patients are assessed for biomedical conditions and complications due to those conditions, problems associated with acute intoxification or withdrawal, emotional or behavioral concerns such as impulsive behavior, psychological trauma, or changes in mental status, whether the patient will accept or deny the need for treatment, the potential of relapse, as well as the living environment in which he or she will recover.

Addiction assessment is normally considered the first major step to treatment. Although the assessment may be revisited throughout a person’s treatment, it is important to establish the basic problems and environmental factors that a person is working with. Using this information, a medical care facility can appropriately suggest methods of treatment and therapy that will assist the particular individual.

If you or a loved one would like more information about addiction assessment and how it can be used to help treat substance abuse, call 800-660-0986.