Many people are familiar with chemical dependency assessments, but may use different terms to describe them. Chemical dependency assessments are also referenced as chemical dependency evaluations and substance abuse assessments or evaluations. This type of test is commonly associated with addiction and abuse disorders.

What Is A Chemical Dependency Assessment?

These assessments, regardless of what they’re called, are used to determine if someone is dependent on drugs or alcohol. A chemical dependency assessment is usually the first step in the substance abuse recovery process. So after a test determines that an individual is addicted to a substance, this person will usually be enrolled in some sort of abuse treatment program.

Chemical dependency assessments can also assess the magnitude of certain addictions, identify co-occurring disorders (substance abuse disorders that overlap with mental health conditions like anxiety or depression), and generate an overall idea of an individual’s history with addiction and other health concerns. After a medical professional administers a chemical dependency assessment, they should have a better understanding of a person’s substance abuse issue. Once they fully understand an addiction, the health professional will be able to develop a treatment plan that is best suited to an individual’s needs.

What To Expect During A Chemical Dependency Assessment

This type of evaluation gathers information through structured interview-style questions, written responses, and recorded discussions. Chemical dependency assessments are typically completed in two separate steps. Each step will typically be administered by a different type of medical professional:

Step 1: Initial Screening

This screening process determines whether or not there is a possibility that someone has a substance abuse issue with a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Entry-level medical professionals are trained to administer initial screenings for chemical dependency assessments. 

Step 2: Final Assessment

The final assessment helps define any type of substance abuse and. determine a possible diagnosis. This step can only be administered by a doctor, a nurse, a therapist, or a social worker. Once the medical professional who administers this step has the results, they will be more able to create a customized treatment plan.

Why Would Someone Receive A Chemical Dependency Assessment?

A person may receive a chemical dependency assessment for many reasons. When a court case involves substance use of any kind, for example, a judge may require the defendant to receive a chemical evaluation that will help determine if they are addicted to alcohol or drugs. Convictions that might call for a chemical dependency assessment include DUIs, DWIs, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, possession of false identification, and more.

If an assessment determines that an individual is dependent on alcohol or a drug, they will usually begin a treatment program shortly after. This program may be inpatient or outpatient, depending on the severity of a person’s addiction. Recovery plans may vary depending on the type of substance someone uses, but will typically include the following treatment methods:

  • One-on-one therapy
  • Family and group therapy
  • Group support and meetings
  • Education and resources
  • Medications
  • Career training

Even though diagnosing and treating a substance abuse issue can be a long and overwhelming process, it is worth every step. Those who catch substance abuse disorders and treat them in time are likely to live long, healthy, and happy lives.

To learn more about chemical dependency assessments, how they work, and to potentially admit into treatment, please contact our team of substance abuse and mental health treatment professionals by calling 267.209.7312