Drug rehab centers have a very orderly process for evaluating and admitting patients into their programs. By far the most common initial evaluation is called an intake. Your intake is the initial interview you have with a counselor. The intake interview accomplishes much in the way of helping your counselor understand your problems and potential co-existing disorders. You might be wondering if an intake counselor will ask about your goals at the treatment center.
The short answer is yes, it is highly likely that any intake evaluator will inquire about what kinds of goals you have before treatment. Don’t let the seeming formality of the question fool you, though. There are no right or wrong answers in an intake, and having unusual goals or uncommon goals won’t prevent you from entering the center. There’s no need to be nervous about any questions they’ll ask.
Purpose of the Intake
An intake is an evaluation that lets counselors know your medical history, substance abuse history, and mental health history before you are admitted to the program. It’s not a test or something that determines whether you are worthy of treatment. It’s simply a way for counselors to judge what kind of care you will need when you’re admitted.
For example, some people who enter drug rehab centers have both mental and physical disorders in addition to a substance abuse problem. Counselors need to be aware of these conditions so that they can provide a comprehensive treatment approach that takes care of you completely while you seek help for a substance abuse disorder. Example:
- Patient is addicted to opiates
- Patient has a 20 year history of diabetes
- Patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder
- Patient has extensive medication needs
How to Approach the Intake
Almost every drug rehab center in the country, without fail, will perform an intake on a new patient. This tried and true method of interviewing incoming patients is why drug rehab centers are able to function so efficiently and be aware of their patient’s needs throughout treatment. Patients should be mindful of the fact that the intake is for their good. It’s not a test to see if you’re in need of treatment or a test to see if you’re going to be a good candidate for recovery. Its entire purpose is to keep the people who are there to help you aware of your needs.
Before you go in for your intake, be prepared to be more honest than you’ve ever been in your life. You want to think each question through and answer it as honestly as possible. Share as much as you can of your medical and mental health history so that staff can be alert to any potential undiagnosed problems as well. Because of the prevalence of co-existing mental disorders among substance abuse patients, modern drug rehabs are very alert to other signs of diagnosed mental health disorders. Your intake will sometimes reveal something about you that makes that later diagnosis possible, so be very honest. Honesty is the golden rule of the intake interview.
Preparing for your Intake
The intake interview is usually briefer than other counseling sessions. You’ll definitely be asked a lot of questions, but they will be in a more laid back, matter of fact setting. Rehabs know that when you first enter their facility, you’re often suffering from withdrawal and sometimes even overwhelming psychic distress. They don’t want to overwhelm you further by a very long counseling session. The majority of intake interviewers will ask the most necessary questions and be as prompt and efficient as possible so that they don’t prolong the interview.
As such, the intake interview will be as laid back as possible and there to help make you familiar with the facility and its staff. The counselor will be very comforting and compassionate during the intake, so you will never feel like you’re on trial while doing an intake. Instead, you’ll feel like you have someone there guiding you into the doors of treatment and making you comfortable during the transition from the outside world to the new world of recovery. If an intake counselor does the interview correctly, you’ll walk out feeling like you’re ready to undertake the hard steps to recovery, and you’ll feel more enlightened about what lies ahead of you in treatment.
If you’d like to learn more about the intake interview or other facets of inpatient drug rehab, our counselors are available 24 hours a day. Call us today at 888-534-1951.