Getting Evidence-Based Evaluation and Treatment Plans at Catalina
Not everyone likes the idea of answering questions from a stranger about their drug and alcohol use. It can be hard to be honest about something so personal with addiction counselors or medical professionals.
However, a drug and alcohol assessment can be incredibly helpful for getting support if you are suffering from a substance use disorder (SUD). We know it can be scary to consider asking for help, but you are not alone, and the caring staff at Catalina are here to help!
Drug and alcohol assessments can seem intimidating, and a certain amount of hesitation and anxiety around them is normal, so take a deep breath before proceeding to learn more. In this article, we’ll talk about what to expect during and after your assessment to make the process easier when you reach out to Catalina Behavioral Health for support!
What is a Drug and Alcohol Assessment Like?
The drug and alcohol assessment process might start with a screening that determines your risk for drug and alcohol abuse. In some cases, it’s already known that a person has a substance abuse disorder and it will begin with an interview instead.
During the interview, you’ll be asked questions to give the addiction specialist or medical professional important background information about drinking and substance use. From here, the actual assessment will begin. You’ll be asked questions about:
- Your mental health and any mental health disorders
- Physical health and medical issues
- Family history of substance use
- Your personal history of substance use
- Current habits concerning tobacco, drinking, and other drugs
Following the assessment, there may be a follow-up visit and your counselor may make a recommendation or referral for more help. You can work with them to determine an appropriate level of support to help you stay sober.
Who Conducts a Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?
Drug and alcohol assessments are a useful tool for making recommendations when someone is recovering from alcohol or substance use disorder. During these assessments, you’ll speak with an addiction specialist.
Mental health professionals or people with a human services background may also conduct a drug or alcohol assessment, as well as play a vital role in assessing and forming treatment plans for our mental health-primary clientele at Catalina Behavioral Health.
What is a Court-Ordered Drug and Alcohol Assessment Like?
Even when an evaluation is court-ordered, a drug and alcohol assessment looks similar to the process above. You’ll be asked a series of questions related to drug or alcohol use. The court-appointed agency may also request your driving history, criminal history, and arrests.
While it might seem like an interview is going to get you in more trouble, being honest about drug or alcohol abuse can get you the help you need. It can also show your willingness to cooperate with the court, which can be helpful if you’re facing fines or jail time.
Often, a judge orders an assessment after legal trouble related to drugs or alcohol. This includes DUI, disorderly conduct while intoxicated, distributing drugs or drug possession charges, providing alcohol to minors, using a fake ID to buy alcohol, or other cases where drugs or alcohol may have been a factor.
Who Conducts Court-Ordered Drug and Alcohol Assessments?
Typically, a court works with several state agencies that perform drug and alcohol evaluations. It’s not uncommon to pay between $100 and $150 for this assessment, though the cost varies by state.
Once you complete the evaluations, the evaluator will make recommendations to the judge. These might include regular urine tests, attending counseling or a treatment program, a 12-step program, rehab, or drug and alcohol education classes.
Is There a Difference Between a Screening and an Assessment?
Screening is something that might happen before a thorough drug and alcohol evaluation. During a screening, you’ll be asked questions about drinking habits and substance use. Typically, this is used as a tool to determine if you have a substance abuse problem before a drug and alcohol evaluation.
This is different from a drug and alcohol assessment, which is used to determine the severity of alcohol and drug use when it’s already known to be a problem. A screening tool may also be used to determine if you’re at risk for substance use problems even before they are an issue.
What Types of Questions to Expect During an Assessment
Knowing what types of questions to expect during your drug or alcohol assessment can make it a little easier to be honest. Addiction counselors/medical professionals administering the interview might also use both tests depending on your history of drug or alcohol use. Let’s take a look at what to expect.
Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)
For an alcohol evaluation, the alcohol use disorders identification test (AUDIT) is one of the most commonly used alcohol assessments. Here are some examples of the multiple-choice questions you’ll answer:
- How often you drink alcohol and how heavily you drink
- How frequently you drink more than five drinks in a sitting
- If you have trouble taking care of responsibilities because of alcohol
- If you feel the need to drink the morning after heavy drinking
- How often you don’t remember things after drinking
- If you’ve ever hurt yourself or someone else while drinking (like a DUI)
- If a loved one or doctor has been concerned with alcohol use
A drug or alcohol assessment is meant to identify the severity of alcohol use so tools can be provided for recovery. Once it’s completed, a plan can be developed to help with sobriety.
Drug Use Disorders Identification Test (DUDIT)
The most commonly used drug use disorders identification test (DUDIT) consists of 11 multiple-choice questions. Each answer is assigned a value and these values are tallied at the end of the test. The assessment consists of these types of questions regarding substance abuse:
- Frequency of drug use
- If you’ve used more than one kind of drug
- If you’ve experienced cravings when sober
- Your feelings about drug use
- If your drug use has impacted your health or anyone else
- If a medical professional, family members, or friends have been concerned
In some cases, more than one screening assessment might be used to determine the severity of drug use. The person giving your assessment also might conduct an alcohol abuse screening in addition to screening for substance abuse.
Other Assessments for Drinking and Substance Use
Medical professionals might also use other drug and alcohol assessment tests. For example, some addiction assessment tools require yes/no answers instead of multiple choice. This is helpful when someone has trouble admitting the extent to which abuse or addiction has affected their life.
Some tests are also shorter than the two mentioned and still can be used effectively when screening for alcohol or substance abuse. For example, the CAGE (Cut Down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-Opener) alcohol assessment asks:
- If you or another person has felt you should cut down on drinking
- If another person has been annoyed by your alcohol use
- If you’ve felt guilty about drinking or using substances
- If you have to drink to steady your nerves or right after opening your eyes
With this particular assessment, saying “yes” to two of these questions indicates a problem. There are several others like this that might also be used.
Why It’s Important to Be Honest About Drug and Alcohol Use
It can be hard, to be honest with someone you don’t know about alcoholism or drug abuse. However, giving straightforward answers really helps craft a substance treatment plan that will fit your needs. Getting sober is hard enough without standing in your own way.
What Happens After Drug and Alcohol Assessments?
After your use of alcohol and other substances is evaluated, you can work with our doctors and addiction specialists to determine the best treatment program at Catalina.
The process might include detox and rehab to manage withdrawal symptoms from heavy drinking or using substances. Our fully supported residential treatment programs form a wise approach for people who might have a medical emergency from withdrawals.
You may also get a referral for group or individual therapy. Individual therapy is useful for dealing with underlying mental health issues that contribute to drinking or substance use. It can also help you develop tools for managing addiction.
Sometimes, you may also need to see a medical doctor if pain or other health problems are a contributing factor.
Discussing Your Options for Substance Abuse Treatment
At Catalina, we know that drug and alcohol recovery doesn’t look the same for every client. That’s why we offer a wide range of programs for substance abuse treatment. Some of our programs include:
- Evidence-based addiction treatment
- Chronic relapse treatment programs
- Trauma-informed addiction treatment
- Native American -specific rehab programs
- Family therapy rehab
- Holistic rehab approaches
- Executive rehab options for burnout and exhaustion
No matter your personal beliefs or the type of support you need, we have treatment options that can help at Catalina. We understand that drug and alcohol use can happen to anyone, regardless of your status or background.
Evidence Based Drug and Alcohol Treatment Programs
An evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment plan involves using methods that are proven to work to help people with alcohol or substance use disorders. This often involves approaching recovery in many different ways.
Some people find an inpatient program works best as they detox and learn to manage triggers and cravings. Other times, intensive outpatient programs or partial hospitalization programs provide enough support to help our clients heal. Counseling is also prescribed, whether in a residential setting, an outpatient one, or as a part of our aftercare services.
A comprehensive plan will go beyond just helping you get clean. At Catalina Behavioral Health, we help you learn skills to identify when you’re at risk of relapse and overcome those urges. We also provide mental health support that promotes a sense of well-being and treats underlying conditions that influence drinking and drug use.
Reach Out for an Assessment at Catalina Today!
Let a drug and alcohol assessment at Catalina Behavioral Health be the intervention that you need to get help today. If you are suffering from substance use or abuse, chances are you already see how it has affected your life. It can strain relationships with partners and family members, cause problems with your employment, and even cause legal troubles.
No matter where you’re at in you’re recovery, there’s no reason to struggle alone. Talk to one of our Admissions specialists about an evaluation today. We’re here to help!