If a person is struggling with addiction and is thinking about seeking drug rehab, they may wonder what happens during an addiction treatment assessment. An assessment is a mandatory first step in beginning a recovery program. While there may be some slight variations in the assessment process, most drug addiction rehab facilities will follow a basic framework for an addiction treatment assessment.
What Is an Addiction Treatment Assessment?
An addiction treatment assessment is often the first meeting between an addiction treatment facility’s professionals and a person seeking treatment. The meeting is intended to find out several key factors, including the extent of a person’s drug abuse and their goals for treatment.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the most effective drug treatment programs are those that create an individualized treatment plan for a person.1 The addiction treatment assessment allows an addiction treatment professional to learn more about a person as a means to make recommendations for treatment.
What Happens During an Addiction Treatment Assessment?
Several key components and questions are almost always a part of an addiction treatment assessment. According to the National Institutes of Health, these components include:2
- Defining a person’s substance abuse history: Information that may be collected includes which substances the client uses, how long the client has been using drugs or alcohol, and how much of the substance the client uses each day. These questions can help an addiction professional assess what types of withdrawal symptoms the person can expect to experience.
- Discussing needs for detoxification: Clients may be asked if they have ever gone through a detox program before and what medications have they taken or are taking for detox purposes. If a person has gone through detox before, their symptoms may be worse in subsequent detoxes.
- Assessing the person’s physical health: An assessment professional will ask if the client has a history of chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, and what medications they are taking for these disorders. Because drug detox can stress a person’s body, it’s important to assess their current state of health.
- Discussing any co-existing mental health disorders: Clients will be asked if they have any history of diagnosis or treatment for a mental health disorder. Having a simultaneous mental health disorder and substance use disorder is known as a dual diagnosis and can make treatment more complicated—but not impossible.
- Identifying the person’s goals and motivations for treatment: An assessment will identify what the client enjoys doing and will ask why the client is seeking treatment. These questions can help an addiction treatment specialist recommend which programs a person may best respond to.
Considerations for an Addiction Treatment Assessment
The best way to find out what happens during an addiction treatment assessment is to go and see firsthand. Taking steps to seek treatment for drug or alcohol abuse can be the first moments of the rest of your life as a sober and healthier individual. Being knowledgeable about the addiction treatment assessment means that you have begun the process of seeking treatment. The next step is to begin detox, and then start addiction therapy to learn the skills that will keep you on the road to recovery.