Screening is an initial evaluation to determine whether key features of alcohol or drug abuse are present in an individual. The screening is simply a tool to help indicate whether the problem of drug or alcohol abuse is likely to be present. To put it simply, the outcome is usually a simple yes or no.
An assessment is a thorough evaluation. It is designed to help define the nature of the problem and provide a comprehensive diagnosis to determine the scope of the drug or alcohol abuse problem. Sometimes, it may also reveal underlying psychological issues, or co-occurring disorders, that require treatment along with the addiction. These may include; eating disorders, trauma, bi-polar disorder, anxiety or depression to name a few. A thorough assessment may take days or even weeks as we begin to differentiate between Post-Acute Withdrawal Symptoms (PAWS) and actual underlying conditions.
Only after a thorough assessment can we begin to develop specific treatment recommendations tailored to address the needs of the individual. The results will also help determine what is likely to be the most appropriate type of treatment with the best possible outcome for success.
Why screening and assessments are necessary?
Before entering a rehab facility, screening and assessments are necessary to better determine what the substance abuse issue is and how it can best be treated. When it comes to screening, this aspect of the pre-rehab process is necessary in order to first determine the level at which an individual is at risk.
Without the screening and assessment process, it would be difficult for certain rehab facilities to determine whether or not someone is actually a fit for their facility and the techniques that they utilize. In addition, it prevents potential rehab patients from having to waste time and money on a facility that may not have the necessary resources to provide assistance related to their unique needs.
While screening is generally a process that ends with a yes or no answer as to whether someone is a fit for rehab and a particular facility, it is not always a simple process. There are hundreds of different methods used, with each facility having their own methods for doing so. If an individual goes through screening and is determined as a viable candidate for treatment, an assessment is the next step.
The assessment period is even more essential as it enables treatment facilities to gauge the best way to go about treating a particular patient. Without it, a potential patient would simply be thrown into a generic recovery process that is much less likely to be successful over the long term.
Once assessment is completed, drug counselors will then have a better idea of how they can customize their particular system to meet the needs of the patient seeking treatment. This raises the likelihood of remaining sober after the required treatment is completed. It also ensures the comfortability of the patient.
Embracing the concept of treatment
While identifying whether or not an individual is in need of rehab is generally not difficult, the next step becomes getting the individual to embrace the concept of treatment. At the end of the day, if they do not provide consent and commit to treatment, there is little chance that they will ever receive the help that they need.
But with the difficulty associated with getting someone to embrace treatment, what are some of the techniques that families, friends, and potentially even counselors can use?
Well, a heck of a lot of research has gone into this topic over the last few decades and psychologists seem to be gaining a new handle on what can be done to motivate individuals to seek help.