What is a Chemical Use Assessment? Here’s What You Need to Know

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If you’ve heard the term “Chemical Use Assessment,” you might be wondering what it means and what it is. Whether you’ve been recommended to get an assessment after a DUI or after deciding to get help with addiction, you’re on the right track.

What is a chemical use assessment?
A chemical use assessment is a confidential evaluation process where a clinician (usually an alcohol and drug counselor, social worker, or mental health practitioner) will interview you on different aspects of your life and alcohol and drug use. The purpose of an assessment is to determine what kind of treatment program will be the best fit for you, your life and your recovery goals.

How will I be assessed?
Chemical use assessments are conducted using a framework developed by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). Using this method, professionals will evaluate your use of drugs and alcohol, mental health history, social network and more. Based on these life areas, you’ll be given an individualized recommendation to a treatment or educational program, like a DUI or drug education class.

Here’s what else you need to know about assessments:

  1. The assessment process lasts about 1-2 hours.
    There’s a lot to cover in a chemical use assessment, so you’ll want to plan plenty of time to talk with your assessor. Make sure to bring any insurance information, as well as any notes you have about your history with drugs and alcohol, or the circumstance that led you to book an assessment. As you prepare, you might also want to write down any questions you have for your assessor. He or she is there to help you navigate the process of finding a recovery program and will be able to listen to any questions or concerns you have along the way.

  2. You’ll be given a preliminary recommendation immediately after your assessment.
    Once the interview process has been concluded, your assessor will likely share their thoughts with you about what program seems to align with your recovery needs. It’s important to note that this preliminary recommendation isn’t final until after the assessor has had a chance to fully review your information, contact a probation officer or support person, and discuss with a clinical team. You’ll then be contacted about a final recommendation and will be given a list of programs to consider.

  3. It’s important to be as honest as possible.
    It might seem intimidating going through your life details with a counselor, but it’s important to be as honest as possible. Your assessor is there to support you, so try not to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed about anything you need to share. The more information you provide during the assessment, the greater likelihood that you’ll be recommended to a program that will be the best fit for you. And remember, the process of recovery, no matter how you find it, can be life-changing — in a good way!

Have other questions? Our team of counselors is ready to take your call and help you navigate the treatment process. Contact us to request a confidential chemical use assessment today.