Substance Abuse Evaluation
Anytime an individual enters into treatment for a drug or alcohol abuse problem, the provider will perform a substance abuse evaluation to determine the severity of the patient’s condition and to begin a preliminary determination as to an appropriate course of treatment. The evaluation will consist of a complete workup of the patient’s history including medical and psychological history, family background, genetics, and substance use. This screening measure is the first step that a treatment professional will take in determining the physical and psychological stability of the patient.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are hundreds of different tools and assessment instruments that can be used to help counselors, healthcare professionals, therapists and nurses to determine whether further assessment of a substance use problem is warranted. Often times, the tool that is used to perform a complete substance abuse evaluation will be determined by the healthcare professional based on the individual circumstances surrounding the patient such as: why the patient is in the healthcare setting to begin with, whether there is a known history of drug or alcohol use, whether the patient has been seen before, whether the patient has presented with the goal of seeking treatment, etc.
Patient screening takes place when a patient presents to the emergency room or to another healthcare setting with a potential problem that may warrant further assessment. For instance, if a patient enters the emergency room after overdosing on a substance, the doctor will evaluate the situation and, typically, determine that there is a legitimate problem which requires further assessment. The screening process is what leads to a further evaluation for the presence of a substance abuse related problem.
If a doctor, counselor or healthcare professional determines through patient screening that further assessment is necessary, a referral for substance abuse evaluation is made. The assessment processes allows the healthcare professional to use evaluation tools such as NIDA’s Drug Use Screening Tool to evaluate a patient’s addiction and determine the best recommendation for treatment.
Online Tools for Substance Abuse Evaluation
Do you think that you, or someone you know may be suffering from a case of substance abuse or addiction? Many tools are available online to assist you in making a private determination as to whether you may need further evaluation and possible treatment for a substance use disorder. These assessment tools can help you to determine whether appropriate action should be taken to seek further help:
- Alcohol Screening – Find out if your drinking is considered harmful or potentially dangerous to your health.
- Drug Screening – Determine whether you have a drug problem and is you should consider seeking private help.
- CRAFFT Screening – This test is for adults who are worried about their drug use.
Each of these substance abuse evaluation tools can help you to make a determination as to whether you need further help, but they are not a cure and they should not take the place of a full evaluation from a registered counselor or doctor. If you believe you may have a problem, don’t be afraid to seek professional help.