Drug and Alcohol Assesments
An accurate assessment completed by a competent addiction counselor is arguably the most important objective in the drug and alcohol treatment process. Determining the presence, the exact nature and severity of substance use (and abuse) and understanding the likelihood and intensity of withdrawals when the client attempts to come clean is of utmost importance (withdrawal from some substances, like alcohol for instance, is deadly if not recognized and treated properly). To cloud the effort, some 70% of individuals who suffer from alcohol or drug addiction have a correlating mental disorder - anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders like PTSD lead the list.
Additionally, if the client isn't there by his or her own volition, the disease will do the talking and deception will lead the denial procession. It is nearly impossible to make an accurate diagnosis and in turn create a treatment plan that will be effective without accurate determinations in the assessment. Without an effective treatment plan, the client won't have his or her best chance at long-term sobriety.
Drug and Alcohol Screening Tools
One of the important tools that counselors have at their disposal is testing and screening instruments that can help support or deny the track of the counselor's thinking. These instruments, usually in the form of testing in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation world, don't solve the riddle, but they can help a counselor confirm that his assessment is accurate or give him or her reason to dig a little further if it turns out results indicates circumstances not recognized by the counselor.
, we have selected three prominant and proven testing instruments we use in the assessment process. Of course, clients are unique and many times no testing is necessary. Other times all three tests we utilize are needed. I like the SASSI-4 in particular because it has a subtle implication to it which will reveal if the client is being deceptive with his or her answers, can uncover substance abuse disorders (SUDs) even when comorbid mental disorders are present, and has a predictive element to it that gives an indication whether the one tested is suspect to other drug addictions, including prescription meds.
Below is a brief description of each of the screening tools we use. When the test is completed, is is reviewed objectively by the testing agent, and then subjectively by a LifeSwitch
Counselor. Afterwards, the results are discussed with the client along with ideas of appropriate treatment plans.
Beck's Depression Inventory - II – Screening Administration and Detailed Analysis
The BDI–II is the second edition of the Beck Depression Inventory, the world’s most widely used instrument for assessing the intensity of depressive symptoms. The BDI–II features items that bring it in line with current depression criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. The BDI–II consists of questions to assess the intensity of depression in clinical and normal examinees. Each item is a list of four statements arranged in increasing severity about a particular symptom of depression. The recommended age range is 13 years and older.
Beck's Anxiety Inventory – Screening Administration and Analysis
The BAI has been found to effectively discriminate between anxious and nonanxious diagnostic groups in a variety of clinical populations for individuals aged 17 through 80. The BAI consists of questions rated on a scale from 0 to 3. Each item is descriptive of subjective, somatic, or panic-related symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety levels are reported and a list of concerning answers will be revealed when they existsd.
Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory - 4th Edition – Screening Admin. & Analysis
SASSI-4 identifies high or low probability of substance use disorders and includes a prescription drug scale that identifies individuals likely to be abusing prescription medications. It also provides a measure of profile validity and clinical insight into level of defensiveness and willingness to acknowledge experienced consequences of substance use disorder. The Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI-4) identifies high or low probability of substance use disorders and includes a prescription drug scale that identifies individuals likely to be abusing prescription medications.
Objective decision rules classify individuals as chemically dependent or as not chemically dependent
. It is especially effective in identifying early-stage chemically dependent individuals who are either in denial or who are trying to conceal their chemical dependency.
In addition to being used as a screening instrument, the SASSI-4 also provides clinical insights into a respondent’s defensiveness and willingness to acknowledge experienced consequences of substance use disorder. Validated to screen for multiple levels of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) severity: The SASSI-4 screens for SUD along the full DSM-5 continuum of severity: mild, moderate, and severe SUD.
Distinguishes likely Substance Use Disorder from other psychological disorders:
The SASSI-4 can accurately identify the presence and the absence of SUD, even when other psychological symptoms are present, Enhanced SUD identification through subtle items that have been added to the SASSI-4 SAT scale. Additional face valid items to identify symptoms represented in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria.
Key Areas Measured
• Face Valid Alcohol
• Face Valid Other Drug
• Obvious Attributes
• Subtle Attributes
• Family vs. Control Subjects
• Random Answering Pattern
• Supplemental Addiction Measure
• Prescription Drug Abuse