Alcohol and Drug Assessments
Are you facing legal charges due to alcohol or drug use? Or perhaps consequences at work or school? You may be asked to complete an alcohol or drug assessment, also known as a chemical health assessment or Rule 25 assessment.
Sorting through what needs to be done when facing potentially serious consequences can be overwhelming and stressful. It is natural to have questions about what to expect if you need to complete an alcohol and drug assessment. Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions.
What exactly is an alcohol and drug assessment?
A drug and alcohol assessment may be referred to as a drug assessment, chemical health assessment, Rule 25 assessment, or a CD evaluation. The purpose is for an independent evaluator to learn more about what you were using, the impact that it had on your life, and how this in turn impacted your relationships, work, family life, school, and general well being.
What kind of questions will I be asked during an assessment?
An assessment gathers information about your history of using alcohol and/or drugs, previous alcohol and drug treatment you may have had, your risk of future problem use, significant medical concerns, mental health concerns, sources of support and resources to help you in making positive life changes, your living environment, and the consequences from your alcohol and/or drug use, including legal issues, employment problems, and relationship problems.
The goal is to not only understand what chemicals you were using and how much, but also the context of your using - how your use did or did not impact your life.
Why do I need to complete an alcohol and drug assessment?
Typically alcohol and drug assessments are requested by lawyers, the courts, employers, schools, or family members. Usually something has happened, an accident, a legal charge, poor performance, or changes in behavior, that have prompted someone to express concerns about your alcohol and/or drug use. An alcohol and drug assessment explores what you have been using, how much and how often, under what circumstances, and how it has impacted areas of your life, including:
An assessment helps determine if your alcohol and drug use is a problem, and if so, what kind of help would be beneficial.
What is the process for completing an alcohol and drug assessment?
The process begins with a call or email to set up your alcohol or drug assessment. When you schedule your appointment, you will be given information to set up a confidential online account, which will allow you to access information securely and at your convenience. Once your account is set up, you will be able to complete several assessments online, from the setting of your choice, prior to your appointment. These assessments include a chemical use history, an alcohol and drug questionnaire, and assessments for symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Once your assessments are complete, they are reviewed prior to your alcohol and drug assessment. Your face-to-face appointment will be an interview lasting 1 1/2 to 2 hours. During this time any questions regarding the information you submitted will be clarified, and we will further explore the context of your alcohol and drug use, as well as the impact it has had on your life.
At the completion of your alcohol and drug assessment, you will be asked to complete a release of information for 2-3 people that can provide further information about your alcohol and drug use. These people will be contacted, typically within 24 hours, and asked to provide collateral information. To ensure that this step is completed in a timely manner, please come to your alcohol and drug assessment prepared with their full name, address, phone number, and best time to be contacted.
After information is gathered from your collateral contacts, it is reviewed along with all of the other information gathered from your online assessments and face-to-face assessment. Based on what is learned, recommendations are made, if appropriate, to address any concerns related to your alcohol and drug use.
What are some of the recommendations that might be made?
Recommendations are based on what is clinically appropriate to address concerns related to your alcohol and drug use. These recommendations may include, but are not limited to:
- No treatment, if no issues are present
- Alcohol or drug education classes
- Outpatient chemical dependency treatment
- Residential chemical dependency treatment
- Individual counseling
- Couple or family counseling
- Medication management
Do I need to follow the recommendations?
The recommendations made are made, are just that – recommendations, based on clinical experience, to address issues related to your use. Sometimes people are not able or willing to follow these recommendations due to finances, time, interest, or other circumstances. You will need to decide what you are willing and able to do. Sometimes a third party, such as the courts, a lawyer, or family member, may request that the recommendations be followed. If this applies to your situation, you will need to speak directly to the third party to discuss the potential outcomes of whether or not you follow the recommendations.
Who will find out the results of my alcohol and drug assessment?
The results of your alcohol and drug assessment will be shared with you in your final session. A written report will be created that details the information shared in the process of your assessment, as well as the outcome and your recommendations. This assessment can be sent to any party you wish, as long as you have signed a release of information allowing for it. I do not work with insurance companies, and as such, your alcohol and drug assessment will not be a part of your medical record unless you choose to provide it.
How much does an alcohol and drug assessment cost?
A standard chemical health (alcohol and drug) assessment, is $250 and includes:
- A comprehensive 1 1/2 to 2 hour face to face assessment
- Screenings for mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression
- Calls to 2-3 people of your choosing to gather additional collateral information
- A follow up meeting or call to discuss the results of the assessment and recommendations
We provide alcohol and drug assessments for Twin Cities communities including St Louis Park, Edina, Richfield, Minneapolis, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Maple Grove, Minnetonka, Wayzata, Plymouth, and Golden Valley.
If you would like to schedule an alcohol and drug assessment, call 612-325-2919 or contact us today.