Do you have an addiction? It’s a question that many people wonder including families. Sometimes, a formal evaluation is necessary to determine what is happening – if a person is dependent, if they need professional care, and what type of care is best for them. If you are like many people using drugs or alcohol, you may know that you need help to stop. Yet, you don’t know where to start. What is a chemical dependency evaluation, and how can it give you the answers you need?

In short, a chemical dependency evaluation is a type of assessment used by professionals in the addiction treatment space to help determine if you have a dependence on any specific drug. A person with dependency needs these substances to feel normal and to function as they need to during the day. It doesn’t mean they are high all of the time or unable to function. Rather, their body and brain are dependent on the substance to get through the day.

What Does a Chemical Dependency Evaluation Consist of?

If you have been asked to complete this type of evaluation, it may be because there’s a likelihood that you need substance abuse treatment. You’ll likely sit down with a therapist and doctor to determine what type of therapy is best for you.

The assessment is conducted using a specific set of questions and tests developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine. During this process, professionals will consider a wide range of factors, including your mental health history, the amount of drugs and alcohol you use, and your social network. 

This type of assessment lasts about 1 to 2 hours most of the time. There is a great deal to discuss during this assessment, and in some cases, you may not be as open as necessary to give all of the insight asked. Just think of this as a talk with your doctor about what you’re experiencing so your doctor can provide the best treatment and relief for you.

Tips for Getting Through the Chemical Dependency Assessment

This is a big deal for anyone that needs to complete it. As a result, it’s quite important for you to focus on a few specific things during this process.

  • Always be as open and honest as you can. The treatment that is determined impacts your life and recovery. You want it to be the best fit possible.
  • Make a list of your own questions to bring. If you have questions about what to expect in treatment, this is a good place to ask them.
  • You’ll receive some preliminary recommendations right away. The therapist is likely to share some thoughts about what you need to achieve recovery.
  • More information may be necessary before the assessor can actually provide you with a recommendation. If you take this assessment for court-required use, they may need to reach out to others, including your support person, clinical team, and even your probation officer.
  • You still remain in control over what happens to you. This assessment doesn’t define your future – you do!

What Happens after the Dependency Assessment?

Depending on where you receive your assessment and the reasons why you are completing it, you may need to make decisions afterward. In general, your assessor’s job is to determine if you need substance abuse treatment and the type or level of treatment best suited for you.

For some people, this may include a drug education class. For most people, it’s more. The end goal is to help you find the treatment best suited for your specific situation. The assessment team will provide you with the next steps you can take to get support.

This may include entering a substance use treatment program. This type of program allows you to focus solely on your recovery. That may include going through a detox program if deemed necessary due to cravings and intense withdrawal symptoms. It may also include the use of medications to help you control your symptoms.

Many people benefit from a residential treatment program because it allows you to focus on yourself and your recovery in a drug-free, safe environment. Outpatient treatment options may also be available.

Also, your assessment team may recommend mental health treatment. Many people have co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety, along with addiction. If that’s the case, you need treatment for both conditions. That’s something that may also play a role in your recommendations.

How to Get Help Now

If you are using drugs or alcohol, you can start the process of assessment by reaching out to our admissions team. Learn more about 1st Step addiction treatment today to get on the right track. Contact us today or give us a call at (866) 971-5531.

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