Dual Diagnosis and Co-Occurring Disorders Treatment

An addiction evaluation is a clinical process wherein a trained addiction specialist assesses the extent of an addiction, if any, and the problems associated with use.  The addiction evaluation is important in helping identify a possible substance use disorder and the appropriate treatment if necessary. The person presenting for an addiction evaluation might expect to be seen by a variety of addiction professionals, including doctors, nurses, counselors, and therapists.  All information that is collected and provided by the client is kept confidential and only used to determine the extent of a substance use concern and possible treatment options.

What Is Covered In An Addiction Evaluation?

The addiction evaluation will take place in a comfortable setting with a compassionate and experienced addiction professional.  The evaluation will focus on common areas that are affected when an addiction is present or developing.  These areas include:

  • Medical Concerns
  • Psychiatric Concerns
  • Employment Status
  • Drug/Alcohol Use and Patterns
  • Legal Concerns
  • Family/Social/Support status
  • Family History

Addressing Co-Morbidity And Co-Occurring Issues In Addiction Evaluations

As many as 50 percent of people who suffer from a substance use disorder also meet the criterion for co-occurring mental health and/or medical disorders.  An undiagnosed mental health or medical disorder can complicate the recovery process and contribute to potential relapse.  Therefore, early detection of these problems is also important. Some of the common disorders that might be evaluated include:

  • Liver Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Psychosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

How Is The Appropriate Level Of Care Decided After An Addiction Evaluation?

Upon completion of the addiction evaluation, if a substance use disorder is identified the healthcare provider will work collaboratively with the client to determine next steps. The level of care for treatment will be dependent on the extent of the addiction concerns identified. Some of the common levels of care for treatment include:

Final Thoughts On Comprehensive Assessments And Evaluations For Addiction

The addiction specialist will discuss these options and work collaboratively with the client to decide the most appropriate level of care.  It’s important to understand that addiction is a treatable disease and that there are a variety of community resources to help the person recover. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with an alcohol or drug concern don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. With the right addiction treatment and rehab people can, and do, recover.

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About Marc Whitsett, M.D.

Dr. Whitsett is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. He is the Medical Director for The Ridge and Northland Treatment Center. You can read his full bio here.