substance abuse evaluation

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Definition - What does substance abuse evaluation mean?

A substance abuse evaluation is an assessment method used to determine whether an individual is in need of treatment for a substance abuse addiction. In a workplace setting these evaluations are most often performed after a positive drug or alcohol test result in accordance with a workplace drug and alcohol testing program. A substance abuse evaluation can also be done after a self referral of an employee under the guise of the workplace drug and alcohol testing program.

A substance abuse evaluation typically includes questions regarding a person's use of legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or other harmful substances. The evaluation will also include questions designed to determine the extent to which the suspected substance abuse has negatively impacted the individual's physical and emotional well-being.

Substance abuse evaluations can be administered by a substance abuse counselor, social worker, physician, or other professional. The information gained from a substance abuse evaluation is kept confidential. However, the right to confidentiality may be voluntarily waived, void in certain statutorily defined circumstances, or suspended via court order. The results of a substance use evaluation are often used to create a customized treatment plan for the substance user.

A substance abuse evaluation may also be referred to as a drug and alcohol evaluation.

SureHire explains substance abuse evaluation

A substance abuse evaluation usually begins with an initial screening designed to detect the signs of a substance use disorder. An initial screening may consist of a brief questionnaire or interview. If a substance use disorder (SUD) is suspected, a more in-depth assessment is administered to determine the severity of the individual's addiction. During this deeper assessment, an individual may be asked about their medical history and subjected to a physical exam or drug testing.

Because of the complexity and variety of symptoms associated with substance abuse, several different assessment tools exist to facilitate substance abuse evaluations. One such tool is the four-question CAGE questionnaire designed to evaluate alcohol use. Other evaluations include the Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) and the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI). The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) is a regularly updated tool use by substance abuse professional to assess the types and degree of impairment suffered by individuals with a substance abuse disorder.

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