One of the questions we hear a lot from new clients when they call Fair Park Counseling is :
“What Is A Substance Abuse Assessment and How Will It Help Me?”
My goal with this article is to help you understand what a Substance Abuse Assessment is and how it can and will help you.
When someone begins to wonder if they or a loved one may have a substance abuse problem, they may turn to the internet to help them make this determination. Unfortunately, that is not going to give them the help they need. In fact, it can lead them down a dangerous path that costs them money without providing any assistance.
If you or a loved one feels concerned about possible addiction issues, the first step is to see a qualified professional for a substance abuse assessment. While online self-assessment tools may be a starting point, they do not actually provide the help you need. And the 1-800 numbers you may find in an online search rarely have professional substance abuse counselors at the other end.
For an in-depth, high-quality assessment, reach out to the caring team at Fair Park Counseling. Our Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselors have the tools to get you started on your recovery journey today.
Take the First Step
It’s possible that walking in the door of the counseling center for your assessment will be one of the hardest parts of your entire recovery. It takes tremendous courage to take that first step, but once you are in the door, your healing can begin.
Choosing to work with a professional substance abuse counselor will open the door to the right type of treatment for your situation and needs.
Substance Abuse Assessment Intake Questions
During a substance abuse assessment, the counselor will ask you a lot of questions about your relationship with drugs and alcohol. A substance abuse counselor uses established intake questionnaires with their clients. The questions may include:
- When did you first start using these substances?
- Is there a family history of addiction?
- Have you ever tried to quit before?
- What concerns you about your behaviors?
- Is your substance use impacting your family, friendships, school, or career?
- Do you suffer from other medical conditions, such as chronic pain?
- Who else lives in your home?
- Are there other underlying mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety?
The counselor is not there to sit in judgment. They know that addiction has both physical and mental health components to address. It is not a failure on your part or an indictment against you as a person. They ask the intake questions to assess the level of support you need accurately.
Abuse or Dependence? A Substance Abuse Assessment Can Help Determine The Difference.
Part of the initial assessment will help the counselor determine where the person is in the range of their substance use disorder. Some people are in the stage where their drug or alcohol use is creating physical cravings that they feel they cannot control.
Others have moved further along the spectrum into full dependence on a substance. At this point, their behaviors have changed, and their disorder is likely impacting all areas of their life.
The information your counselor receives during the assessment will help them guide you in the best next steps for your situation.
Competent Assessments and Referrals
If you get lured into calling a toll free number online, you will likely talk to someone at a call center with no qualifications to assess your level of abuse or dependence. This person probably cannot help you address your substance abuse. These people make money off of the referrals they make to unreputable treatment centers that will not help.
A certified Fair Park Substance abuse counselor, however, has the knowledge and training to make the right referral for you. They can connect you to an excellent residential treatment program if necessary, and they can set up or provide outpatient treatment too.
Your health is too precious to trust to those who prey on weakness. Instead, turn to a trusted professional who will see that you have access to the help you need.
Seeking out a qualified counselor for a substance abuse assessment can save a person’s life. It may be that they have a substance use disorder that has not yet moved into full-blown dependency. Meeting with a counselor can get a plan started that will help stop the potential slide toward addiction.
And if someone is already experiencing addiction, the assessment will allow the counselor to make the right treatment recommendation for them. From inpatient rehab to group therapy to one-on-one outpatient sessions, the counselor will help set the appropriate plan.
Regardless of where you think you are in this disorder, the right time to seek help is now. No one ever says that they got help too soon. Make the call.
Your Role in the Assessment
You have two jobs during a substance abuse assessment. First, you have to show up. You have to get there and walk in the door. It’s perfectly normal to feel scared about starting this process. And if your assessment is court-ordered, you may feel angry too. Many people find that it helps to have a trusted friend or family member drive them to the appointment.
Second, be honest. A Substance Abuse Counselor is not your judge. They are here to help and want to see you succeed. But they cannot do their job if you aren’t transparent with them about your needs, cravings, lifestyle, illnesses, and behaviors. You need to share it all if you want to start your road to recovery and wellness.
Once the assessment is done and the counselor makes a recommendation, it’s up to you to act. It may be that the next step is to set up an appointment to start ongoing outpatient treatment. Sometimes the situation is dangerous enough to warrant immediate inpatient rehabilitation. The counselor will help set the appropriate plan in motion, but you need to do the work for it to be successful.
Fair Park Counseling Understands
The team at Fair Park Counseling is compassionate and professional. We understand the many layers of addiction and substance abuse. We know that seeking help for dependence is one of the bravest choices a person can make. With a wide range of training and experience on our team, we have a counselor who is the right fit for you. Call today to get set up for your initial assessment, and we will help from there.