In society today, alcohol and recreational drug use have become even more common in recent years. But when substance use disrupts life, impacts a job or causes harm to the user are others around them, it may be a substance dependence and abuse problem. When substance abuse or dependence is suspected by the individual or an employer, the first step in receiving treatment is a substance abuse evaluation.

Substance abuse evaluation near me

What is A Substance Abuse Evaluation?

An assessment given to someone with a drug or alcohol addiction is called a substance abuse evaluation. This process helps to determine, through blood testing and in-person communications with the participant what, if any chemicals are present as well as what habits and actions may signal a substance abuse problem. This evaluation may be done at an individual’s request, by a company that suspects an employee is abusing substances or because of a court order mandating the testing.

Substance Abuse Evaluations and Treatment

For individuals who are seeking help for substance abuse, an evaluation is the first step in receiving the right treatment. An evaluation can provide professionals with an accurate picture of the substance abuse situation so that they can plan the most effective treatment program. Because the substance abuse evaluations are comprehensive and include multiple types of input, treatment programs can be tailored to fit the unique needs of the individual and as a result, may increase the potential for a successful recovery.

The Substance Abuse Evaluation Process

Participants in an evaluation must complete multiple steps in a specific order as well as complete a face-to-face portion that typically takes one hour to complete.

  • Paperwork The participant may have legal forms to fill out, depending on the reason for the evaluation. Court-ordered evaluations may require different paperwork than those undertaken by individuals simply seeking substance abuse treatment. This paperwork may be filled out during the face-to-face portion of the evaluation.
  • 12 Panel Drug and Alcohol Screen Participants will participate in a substance screen through an approved lab or clinic. This screening is completed prior to the in-person portion of the evaluation and the results may be sent directly to the testing administrators or hand delivered, depending on the facility’s requirements.
  • In-Person Meeting Participants will meet individually for 60 minutes with an addiction counselor to gather specific information about their background, family and social interactions, job history and medical and legal history. The counselor will also seek confirmation about mental health history as well as substance use and abuse patterns and history. The participant will be assessed on their mood, mental status and behavior during the meeting and their general demeanor during the evaluation. The counselor will also determine the participant’s risk of substance use or abuse during the assessment. This face-to-face meeting may also include time to fill out the paperwork and time for the participant to complete a nationally recognized screening tool that will assist the counselor in making a thorough and accurate assessment of the participant.

Professional Roles in the Evaluation Process

The professional managing the substance abuse evaluation will be a licensed counselor, psychologist or other qualified professional who is trained to recognize substance abuse situations. Their participation in the assessment is two-fold and plays an integral part in the evaluation.

1. In-person Meeting The counselor is in charge of conducting the hour-long meeting with the participant. They will ask guiding questions in order to uncover appropriate information that will provide a clear understanding of the participant’s substance abuse history.

2. Materials and Meeting Review Following the meeting, the evaluator will take into consideration everything learned at the meeting about the candidate. The facilitator will take into consideration professional inferences, stated factual information, drug and alcohol test results, participant or court paperwork and any other information learned about the participant to create a complete picture of substance use and abuse.

How an Evaluation Guides Individualized Treatment Plans

Taking part in an evaluation is the most effective way to develop an individualized treatment plan because the assessment is completed by an unbiased, trained professional. A complete overview of the participant’s experiences combined with a current substance use drug test can help guide what kind of treatment will be the most likely pathway to sobriety for the participant based on their substance abuse history, what has or hasn’t worked in the past and the participant’s own input into the evaluation.

Local Evaluations Are In Your Best Interest

When someone seeks a substance abuse evaluation, they may be able to foresee the need for support in the future. Choosing a local evaluation facilitator is a good way to prepare the participant for success in their fight against addictions.

  • Local evaluation locations can help participants establish local support networks by making contacts through the evaluation provider.
  • Local substance abuse evaluations are convenient and easily accessible, taking the least amount of time away from personal and professional commitments during the evaluation process.
  • When a local provider is used for an evaluation, participants may be able to begin to plan for in-person treatment sessions and ongoing support right away without having to plan for travel or accommodations away from home.

How to Find a Substance Abuse Evaluation Near You

There are three main methods that anyone can use when seeking an evaluation for substance abuse.

1. Online searches can be filtered for “near me” and may provide links to providers or online directories with potential provider names.

2. Your healthcare provider can give recommendations for preferred facilities.

3. Your local community may offer resources and hotlines to help you find evaluation providers.

How to Choose an Evaluation Center

Evaluation providers should staff well-qualified, experienced professionals that can complete assessments and the facility should also be a fully functioning treatment center so that participants can smoothly transition into the care they need after the evaluation without having to seek a new provider for treatment.

Licensing and Accreditation

When searching for a location for a substance abuse evaluation and potential treatment location if the assessment recommends it or the participant desires it, look for a location that is prepared to help every step of the way.

Confidentiality and Privacy Policies

Evaluation and treatment for substance abuse should be a confidential experience. Evaluation centers should be able to provide assurances that strict privacy policies will remain in effect to retain confidentiality throughout the entire process.

Expertise and Qualifications

Each professional counselor or evaluation facilitator should be fully licensed as a substance abuse specialist to provide the most accurate assessments possible. Qualifications and certifications for each professional should be available upon request and facilitators should be experienced in completing substance abuse evaluations in your location. In addition, treatment locations should be recognized as authorized to provide accredited substance abuse treatment programs.

Evaluation and Treatment Philosophy

Some evaluation centers will not treat participants for a substance abuse diagnosis for up to three months post-evaluation. Ask the center ahead of time if they can provide treatment services to the participant upon a diagnosis.

What to Expect During Your Substance Abuse Evaluation

The Assessment Process

The assessment process typically utilizes multiple questionnaires to learn specific information, including the Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) and the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI). The facilitator will interview the participant in order to determine the severity of the substance abuse and will address seven different areas of life that substance abuse may have affected. In addition to questionnaires, the evaluator will ask questions that lead to discussions about current and past substance use, professional and home life and the participant’s social and emotional history.

Ensuring Real Results

The best way for an evaluation to produce authentic results is for the participant to commit to being open and honest during the evaluation.

What Happens Next?

Understanding Evaluation Results

The completed evaluation will indicate whether or not the participant will need to enter into a treatment program based on their current situation.

Navigating Treatment Recommendations

If treatment is suggested based on the evaluation, a treatment plan may be given to help map out the best possible road to recovery, including:

  • A diagnostic summary generated by the evaluation
  • A comprehensive list of problems and the signs or symptoms of the problems
  • A set of goals that the participant and counselor agree upon
  • A set of objectives that will help the participant reach their goals
  • The interventions that will be used during the treatment phase
  • A method of tracking and evaluating progress

Getting the Most from Your Evaluation and Treatment

Those who are diagnosed with substance abuse disorders and provided with a treatment plan can successfully navigate treatment and move toward recovery. Following treatment recommendations and completing the suggested recovery plan will ensure that a patient has the best possible chance at a successful recovery. Participants also are encouraged to maintain an open line of communication with their treatment providers to ensure that the treatment program is on track and that the patient’s recovery will continue to move forward with the patient’s cooperation.

Transforming Addiction Into Recovery

The first step in leading a sober life is seeking a substance abuse evaluation. A trained professional that implements a thorough assessment can give you or someone you love a true picture of substance abuse addiction as well as provides a roadmap that can lead toward a healthy, substance-free life.

Taking the First Step

Contact Long Island Interventions and provide your contact details for immediate assistance. Long Island Interventions can schedule an evaluation at a treatment center right away so that you or someone you love can begin the healing process and start living a healthy, sober life.


  • Where can I get a substance abuse evaluation?

Published on: 2023-05-31
Updated on: 2024-06-17