Chemical Dependency Evaluations
Understanding Chemical Dependency Evaluations: A Crucial Step in Addiction Treatment
A chemical dependency evaluation is one of the most important things that you can do as you work towards a new life for yourself. That is because it helps you and those treating you to understand in more detail how dependent you are on chemicals such as drugs and alcohol. As a result, the treatment that you receive will be more efficient and the outlook that you have will be more of an accurate one.
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Understanding Chemical Dependency
What is chemical dependency? Chemicals in this sense generally refers to drugs and alcohol while dependency is a word that means that something is essentially controlled by something else. Another way to put it is that if someone is dependent on a substance, that means that they are addicted to it.
There are, of course, grey areas and degrees of addiction that can vary. In other words, someone can be much more dependent on a substance than someone else is despite them both being addicted. Other circumstances can also fluctuate from person to person. That is why a chemical dependency evaluation is so important as it shows what those degrees are as they relate to the person taking it.
Regardless, if someone is chemically dependent on a substance, that generally means that their physical and mental health have been adversely affected. In most cases, this has resulted in them needing to take it simply to feel normal when it had previously been consumed for a high or similar effects. It can also feel impossible or very difficult to stop using it, to no longer be addicted to it.
As a result, withdrawal experiences can be quite significant, depending on how addicted the individual is to the substance. For example, someone who is dependent on alcohol to the degree that it is being consumed every day may experience a faster heart rate, sweating and nausea less than 24 hours after their last drink.
Being dependent can also result in the person having a narrowed focus on the related substance, to the detriment of other aspects of their life, such as school, employment and relationships with family members and friends.
Why Is a Chemical Dependency Evaluation Needed?
There are two main reasons why a chemical dependency evaluation may be needed. The first is simply because you or a loved one wants to learn if you are chemically addicted to a substance and, if so, to what degree. Another is if one is being required by an employer, school, judge or probation officer. The latter two examples generally result from legal matters related to illegal drug or alcohol use.
Chemical Dependency Evaluation Process
One of the most significant things to note about the chemical dependency evaluation process is that it is generally not related to testing the amounts of drugs or alcohol that are in your system at that time or that have been consumed over the past few days, weeks or months. Yes, a urine analysis or similar test may be taken as well, but the focus here will be much more so on discovering detailed information about how using these substances is affecting you in your own words.
In other words, what is more so the focus of a chemical dependency evaluation is the questions that you will be asked and, more to the point, the answers that you provide. That is why it is essential to answer each of these questions as accurately and thoroughly as possible. Doing so will allow you to receive the most effective treatment and, in the end, get to the other side of addiction towards your new life in as expeditious a manner as possible.
As for when a chemical dependency evaluation occurs, it is usually done at the intake stage that you would undergo prior to entering a care facility. Others involved with this process can include licensed addiction counselors, doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. The length of one is generally an hour or two.
Questions asked will, as expected, be related to your use of alcohol or drugs, how extensively they have been used and any treatment that you may have had in the past. However, they will also touch upon your medical history that is not directly related to alcohol or drug use and about your mindset, your physical activity level and the status of your relationships with your family, friends and co-workers.
One of the results of this evaluation is understanding more thoroughly just how extensively your life may have been affected by drugs or alcohol.
Note that a co-occurring mental health disorder can have an adverse effect on both you getting dependent on drugs or alcohol in the first place and on your recovery process. This evaluation also provides more insight into the degree to which your state of mind has and will continue to play a role in this.
You should also feel free to ask questions of your own at this time, whether related to the treatment that you may undergo following this process or otherwise.
Keep in mind that chemical dependency evaluations may also be done while you are undergoing treatment, in essence providing status reports on your recovery experience. The results of these can lead to adjustments in your treatment since making sure that you receive effective care is an ongoing process that can lead to adjustments here and there, depending on developments and changing circumstances.
Next Steps After a Chemical Dependency Evaluation
The specific treatment plan for you depends significantly on this chemical dependency evaluation. For example, if you have been shown to be addicted to an opioid, you may receive a prescription of methadone, the amount that is necessary depending on the degree to which you are chemically addicted.
Sometimes, detox will be prescribed. In many cases, this should be done in a medical setting, ensuring that you are undergoing 24-hour treatment by professionals during this challenging time, which can sometimes be dangerous, both physically and mentally.
Counseling, behavioral therapy or participating in a support group will often be prescribed as well, again depending on what your chemical dependency evaluation shows. This will help with the psychological element of this addiction and recovery process. Depending on your mental health, you may be recommended psychiatric treatment. This can be related to talk therapy or being prescribed something to assist with any depression, anxiety or PTSD that you may be suffering from.
Regardless of these factors, note that the assessors may need some time to analyze your chemical dependency evaluation results before providing you with a recommended plan of action for your recovery.
Once a treatment method has been proposed, keep in mind how essential it is to remain committed to it. That is the best way to experience the most successful treatment and recovery possible. Note that being committed also means that if you fall down, you will get back up and keep pushing ahead.
How We Can Help
A chemical dependency evaluation can provide you and those caring for you with a tremendous amount of knowledge, helping more narrowly focus your path towards recovery. In a sense, it serves as the first step towards your new life.
If you would like to have one done or want more information about how it can positively impact your life, reach out to ustoday, and we will discuss an appointment time that would work for you or provide you with that additional information about how it would help you.