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Assessment and Referrals by State

Assessment and Referrals by State

Addiction Assessment and Referral Services for Businesses in the United States

A drug addiction assessment is done to help determine whether an addiction is present and the extent of the addiction, along with other mental-health factors and physical problems that may be there. Doing this will help determine the best course of treatment to be gotten. There are addiction professionals who are trained to diagnose addictions and will often conduct an addiction assessment in a private setting one-on-one. There are many different types of professionals who can do these assessments, but it is often best to work with one who is trained in the field of substance abuse treatment. It is not uncommon for multiple people to do the assessment, such as doctors, nurses, counselors, therapists or social workers. Multiple professionals conducting the assessment does help with ensuring the proper treatment is gotten. Addiction assessments are often done with questionnaires, physical exams, and a self-assessment.

The addiction assessment process is usually very straightforward; the doctor or clinician will often go through a standardized questionnaire, which will ask about current drug use, treatment history, health history, and patterns of behavior. This is immediately followed by a face-to-face interview, where standard open-ended questions are asked to help with determining the extent of the addiction. Within the United States, some screening tools such as the National Institute on Drug Screening Tool, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, or the CAGE assessment may be used, which asks questions in four specific areas. Medical doctors will often conduct physical assessments to determine the extent of the physical damage done by the addiction. During the physical exam, urine samples or blood work may also be collected to see what types of drugs have been used. This entire assessment process is the most extensive one that can be done, and not every addict will go through something like this. Some addicts may take individual surveys or self-assessments and seek out treatment after that. An addict may only speak to a family doctor and will want to find help after. Whichever the type of process is done; the next step is being referred to treatment.

Drug and alcohol addiction treatment referrals can happen in many different ways, and the most common method in the United States is contacting an addiction treatment referral center. This will be an accredited and licensed organization that can refer individuals and families to the proper drug treatment based on the information the professionals on the phone are given. Most families, when searching for treatment will start with the Internet, as it is the most extensive resource. They will come across numerous options, and phone numbers, and will often become in contact with an addiction treatment referral agency. The benefit of this is the extensive directories that these organizations have, and the direct line to the treatment center. Addiction referral agencies can help place the addict and family in direct contact with the treatment programs they are searching for. This can speed up the process of finding help and ensure an addict can have more than one option to find a program that will meet his or her individual needs.

The second most common referral process involves the completion of an extensive assessment done in-person with medical or healthcare professionals. Once this is done, they will often provide the addict with a couple of phone numbers for local treatment facilities, and the rest is sometimes left to the addict and their family. Some families will opt to go through an intervention process, which can help move the referral process along, as the addict will be escorted to treatment, once an intervention is successful. Drug addiction treatment referrals are important and help a family and addict find the rehabilitation resources they need. Too much time can be wasted by a family if they are searching the Internet and attempting to contact multiple programs themselves. This can often lead nowhere and will be frustrating for the family to go through. Contacting referral agencies or going through healthcare professionals is the best way to get help quickly.



Dr. Rohit is a Diplomate of the American Society of Addiction Medicine who has been supervising successful detox for over 13 years.


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