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A Substance Use Evaluation, also known as a drug and alcohol evaluation, is a process that takes place between an individual and an addictions counselor. The goal of the process is to assess whether or not an individual’s alcohol and/or drug use is a problem. There are three categories of alcohol and drug use: social use, abuse, and dependence.
Social alcohol and/or drug use is quite common in our society. Many people have the ability to use alcohol and/or drugs in moderation on an occasional basis. These individuals do not suffer consequences as a result of their alcohol or drug use.
Alcohol and/or drug abuse is also quite common in our society. These individuals use alcohol and/or drugs on a regular basis, often but not always using an excessive amount. Their lives are generally going well but there tend to be some consequences of their alcohol or drug use, perhaps in the areas of relationships, health, legal, or occupational issues.
Depending on the current statistics, alcohol and/or drug dependence affects about 5%-8% of the population directly, with significant additional numbers being affected either directly or indirectly by someone else’s use. These individuals regularly use an excessive amount of alcohol and/or drugs and continue to use those substances in spite of significant consequence to all areas of their lives.
When a substance abuse evaluation is completed and it is determined that there in an alcohol and/or drug problem, the addictions counselor will be responsible to determine a diagnosis and to make treatment recommendations that best meet the needs of the individual.
Treatment recommendations will not be the same for each individual; they should be personalized based on each individual’s unique history, current situation, strengths, and current needs.
Although an alcohol and drug evaluation can be obtained any time there is a concern, there are three obvious types of situations that may require a substance abuse evaluation. Those situations are:
There are three different types of Substance Use Evaluations as outlined below.
Although all of the types will generally obtain the same basic information, they differ in several key areas. Please note that in order to ensure that the evaluation is completely objective and free of any conflicts of interest, clients are excluded from receiving treatment services in our office for a period of three months following the evaluation.