What Should I Expect from an Alcohol Evaluation?

It’s unfortunate if you find yourself caught in the depths of a possible addiction to drugs or alcohol. It’s even more unfortunate if your possible addiction might have been the proximate cause of you having a run in with law enforcement. If things have gotten to that point, it might do you some good to find out whether or not you are dealing with a legitimate substance abuse problem.

Before we begin a discussion about what to expect from an alcohol evaluation, we want to take the opportunity to recognize you are taking the time to read this information. Hopefully, it has something to do with you making a decision to seek help for your addiction issues, even if it’s mandated by the courts.

If you approach the whole process with complete honesty and a full commitment to the process, there’s a very good chance you find the path to a lasting recovery. To help you relieve any anxiety you might feel about going through an alcohol evaluation, we felt you could benefit by knowing ahead of time what to expect.

What You Should Expect from an Alcohol Evaluation

To get you in the right frame of mind before you begin your alcohol evaluation, you should consider that everything that’s about to take place is ultimately going to be for your benefit. No one is looking to point fingers at you like you are a bad person. Instead, the powers to be are trying to decide to what extent drugs or alcohol may be influencing your behavior.

If you are initiating this process on your own behalf, you deserve credit for doing so. The entire process is going to be managed by a certified/licensed professional specializing in addiction and substance abuse. Their job it to delve into your history to ascertain the effects drugs or alcohol may be having on your life. They will likely be evaluating whether or not you might also be dealing with any coexisting conditions that are intermingled with your addiction. In all, the process will be done in three steps.

In order, the three steps will include:

  • The Screening Process
  • The assessment Process
  • The final evaluation

The Screening Process

The purpose of the screening process is to determine whether or not there is cause to believe drugs or alcohol are adversely affecting the subject’s life. The alcohol evaluation facilitator will most likely use screening tools (questionnaires) to help dig at the truth. Some of the most prominent screening tools would be the CAGE Questionnaire, the Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) and the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI).

Some screening are done online. Each of these tools are used to determine something specific about the subject, including the likelihood they fit the profile of a drug abuser, the probability they are actually abusing a substance or substances and the extent to which their behavior indicates the presence of an addiction. It’s important to remember the effectiveness of these questionnaires will depend largely on the subject’s willingness to be open and honest.

The Assessment Process

If the screening points to the possibility of an addiction problem, a full-blown assessment process will be initiated. Again, this process is likely to include the use of assessment tools like questionnaires and in-depth interviews. This is where the questions become a little more direct. What the facilitator is looking to do is find direct evidence that addiction does exist. To accomplish this objective, the questions will delve as deeply as possible into the subject’s personal history of behavior and drug/alcohol use.

At some point, family members might be given an opportunity to provide input. The entire process is very comprehensive based on necessity. When it has been completed, the facilitator should have enough information to make a final evaluation.

The Final Evaluation

It’s good news/bad news if the facilitator determines an addiction indeed exists. The bad news is the subject will learn they have an addiction. The good news is they will get access to a reputable addiction treatment program through a reputable rehab facility. If all of this has been done to satisfy a court order, there’s a possibility the addiction outcome will lead to both treatment and perhaps leniency at sentencing. If you get the opportunity to go through an alcohol evaluation process, be honest and recognize it’s for your benefit. If we can help with the addiction treatment process, please give us a call at 833-762-3764.