A Guide to Substance Abuse Assessment

Drug and Alcohol Evaluation in West Palm Beach, Florida

Substance abuse and addiction have a huge impact on a person’s life, affecting it on many levels including physical, medical, and relational. As an individual’s substance abuse progresses, it becomes far more likely that he or she may engage in dangerous activities that are risky to both the person and those around him or her.

What is Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?

A substance abuse evaluation is a method that is used to identify the extent of someone’s use, misuse, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. It can also help in determining how best to treat the individual for his or her substance abuse or addiction. Assessments are often used by employers, attorneys, families, and trusts when substance abuse is suspected. Sometimes, an assessment is needed as the result of legal issues (like a drug or alcohol related arrest or conviction), while other times, it may be used because concerned family and friends want their loved one to seek help for substance abuse problems. Whichever it is, a drug or alcohol assessment can be a vital first step toward recovery.

The Purpose of a Substance Abuse Disorder Assessment

There are several reasons why substance abuse evaluation are used, including the following:

    • To determine if the individual has a drug or alcohol addiction
    • To assess the magnitude of the person’s substance use or addiction
    • To discern are any co-occurring disorders, (medically, psychologically, or psychiatrically)
    • To assess how the individual’s drug or alcohol use is affecting his or her life
    • To provide an initial understanding of the person so a baseline can be established, and a treatment plan can be created

More About the Drug and Alcohol Evaluation Process

A substance abuse evaluation provides addiction professionals with an initial look into an individual’s drug or alcohol problems. The assessment gathers information various aspects of the individual’s life including biological, psychological, and social histories. The information is collected using interviewing and diagnostic screening materials.

Once gathered, the information can be analyzed to help develop a clear picture of the client’s substance abuse issues. It’s important to have this information and analysis to make the best recommendation for treatment options. Determining whether an individual needs outpatient or inpatient addiction treatment relies heavily on the results of the substance abuse disorder assessment. 

At Rally Point West Palm Beach Rehab, clients are provided with comprehensive substance abuse evaluation services for various reasons including: to meet probation requirements, for license reinstatement, a court appearance, or personal issues. Our licensed and accredited clinicians use various alcohol and drug addiction assessment and evaluation tools to conduct unbiased, objective, and highly regarded assessments for our clients.

A Legal Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Evaluation

In some drug or alcohol related cases, a judge may require that a substance abuse assessment be administered by a certified agency. Rally Point West Palm Beach Treatment Center is licensed through the Florida Department of Children and Families and all our clinicians meet Florida state requirements.

Some of the offenses that most commonly require a substance abuse assessment include: 

  • Driving under the influence (DUI) / Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • Drug or alcohol possession
  • Drug trafficking or unlawful distribution
  • Manufacturing or distributing controlled substances
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Public intoxication
  • Using a false ID

There are certain documents that may be needed for a substance abuse disorder assessment (you may have them, or you may need to obtain them from your attorney). The documentation might include: a copy of the arrest report, the report from your NEEDS Assessment (if you attended a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program), a driving history report from the Department of Driver Services or Department of Motor Vehicles (typically going back 7 years), and documentation of any other criminal offenses or arrests.

The assessment will usually take less than two hours. Surveying the assessment, a licensed clinician will look over these documents and conduct an interview with you about your history of drug and alcohol use. This will help determine whether your offenses is an indicator that you have a substance abuse disorder, or if you simply misused substances in a one-time event that resulted in your arrest.

What happens next depends on your specific circumstances, the recommendations of the clinician who conducted your assessment, and the decision of the court. You may be required to do one or more of the following:

  • DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)
  • Random drug and/or alcohol urinalysis
  • 12 step meetings
  • Drug or alcohol abuse education classes
  • Drug or alcohol abuse counseling sessions
  • Drug or alcohol abuse treatment program: either inpatient or outpatient

Sometimes, the court will order that some of the above be done even before you have a substance abuse disorder assessment. If so, don’t delay. It will help you get started with any treatment you need and that will show the judge that you are serious about your responsibilities and your recovery.

Remember: A Substance Abuse Disorder Assessment & Treatment Is a Tool to Help You Succeed

It’s important to keep in mind that the substance abuse disorder evaluation is simply a tool that is designed to help professionals understand the best way to help you. It may be an eye-opening experience for you. The more honest and accurate you are when completing the evaluation, the better your chances are of not finding yourself in this position again in the future. Your clinician cannot provide you with an effective treatment plan if you aren’t honest about your substance use and its implications.

Schedule A Drug and Alcohol Abuse Evaluation & Treatment Today

If you believe that your substance use is causing negative consequences in your life, or if you have a loved one in this position, don’t wait any longer to get some help. Contact Rally Point, West Palm Beach, we have a team of caring, understanding, and supportive professionals who have been trained to help clients like you. You don’t have to allow the legal consequences of your past mistakes to dictate what happens now. Let Rally Point Palm Beach help you get started on the road to recovery.