Substance abuse is a broad term that covers many different types of behaviors. Someone who struggles with substance abuse might drink too much alcohol, take drugs like cocaine or opioids, or even use prescription drugs like opioids for non-medical reasons. If you’re concerned about a loved one or want to get ahead of your own potential issues with substance abuse, it’s helpful to understand what a substance abuse evaluation entails.
Such evaluations are often necessary when applying for insurance, housing, or another privilege that might be jeopardized by substance use. Understanding the details of this type of consultation will help you better navigate its requirements and implications. Whether you struggle with substance abuse or are simply curious about the implications of a drug test as part of your job application, this article covers everything you need to know about substance abuse evaluations.
What Is a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation is an in-depth psychological examination that aims to determine whether a person’s substance use is problematic. The evaluation will likely include an assessment of a person’s current drug use, potential risk factors for substance abuse, and the impact that drugs have on a person’s life. Substance abuse is a broad term that describes the use of any chemical substance that harms a person’s health or interferes with their quality of life.
Alcohol, opioids, psychedelic drugs, and other substances used for non-medical purposes fall under the umbrella of substance abuse. When deciding whether or not a person’s substance use is problematic, a substance abuse evaluation may include the following: – A review of a person’s medical records to determine their current state of health – An interview to learn about the drugs a person uses and why – A drug test to detect current drug use – A psychosocial assessment to evaluate a person’s mental health and family history – A physical exam to assess a person’s state of health
What Happens During a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation can be a long and in-depth process. According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the average length of a substance abuse evaluation is three hours. However, the length of the evaluation can increase significantly if a person needs additional time to complete a drug test. During the initial intake, the evaluator will likely ask questions about your current drug use, family history of substance use disorders, mental health issues, and personal history with substances. You may also be asked to complete a self-assessment questionnaire to gauge your own perceptions about your substance use. While this intake process is ongoing, you may be asked to complete an initial drug test. The evaluator may also request additional medical tests to determine your current state of health.
Who Can Conduct a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
In many cases, substance abuse evaluations are performed by licensed or certified psychologists. The American Society of Addiction Medicine recommends that professionals performing these evaluations have at least two years of experience in the field. For insurance purposes, professionals must also have appropriate licensure in the state in which they are operating.
Why Is a Substance Abuse Evaluation Required?
A variety of professionals request substance abuse evaluations as part of their work. These professionals may include: – Physicians who want to provide opioid prescriptions – Insurance providers who want to understand the potential risk of coverage – Landlords who want to assess the risks of renting to a tenant – Employers who want to understand the risks of handing over a sensitive position In many cases, the evaluator will use the results to help make a decision about the person seeking the evaluation. Insurance providers will use the results to decide whether or not to offer coverage. Landlords may use the results to decide whether or not to approve a tenant. Similarly, employers may use the results to determine if a person is a good fit for a job.
How to Get a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
The first step in getting a substance abuse evaluation is finding a qualified and experienced professional. You can search for qualified psychologists near you by using your state’s psychology board website. If you need a substance abuse evaluation for work, your employer may be able to provide a list of recommended evaluators. If you need an evaluation for insurance purposes, you can start by contacting your insurance provider to learn more about the process.
Better Understand Your Drug Use
A substance abuse evaluation is an in-depth psychological assessment that helps determine the problematic nature of a person’s drug use. This evaluation may include a review of medical records, a consultation with the person’s doctor, and multiple drug and mental health tests. While a substance abuse evaluation can help you better understand your drug use, you should be prepared for a potentially stressful and long process. For many people, a substance abuse evaluation is an uncomfortable process that involves a lot of self-reflection. If you’re concerned about your own use or the use of a loved one, a substance abuse evaluation can help you better understand your situation.