Substance Abuse Assessment and Diagnosis
An assessment in simplest terms is a professional opinion of what level of care or type of treatment is going to be best for you. Assessments are completed using the American Society of Addiction Medicines (ASAM) placement criteria. Assessors focus on the six ASAM dimensions. The six dimensions of the ASAM Criteria are:
1. Acute Intoxication and/or Withdrawal Potential
2. Biomedical Conditions and Complications
3. Emotional, Behavioral or Cognitive Conditions and Complications
4. Readiness to Change
5. Relapse, Continued Use or Continued Problem Potential
6. Recovery and Living Environment
In ASAM’s multidimensional assessment, the six dimensions are used to summarize a person’s needs, define severity and develop a treatment plan. Clinicians use the dimensions to identify problems, goals and treatment plan objectives. In each of the six dimensions, clinicians assign a risk rating for an individual’s situation. While evaluating current problems, treatment professionals also consider unique skills, strengths and resources that can help each person deal with his or her challenges. On the risk rating scale from 0 to 4, a rating of 0 represents very low risk. On the opposite end, a rating of 4 represents imminent danger or an issue of utmost severity.
Throughout the assessment, clinicians weigh a person’s past experiences – history – against current symptoms – the here and now. The individual’s here-and-now experiences always receive priority. For example, a person who has no withdrawal symptoms after a few days without drugs or alcohol would receive a low-risk rating for acute intoxication and withdrawal potential, even if he or she has a history of severe withdrawal symptoms.
In Alaska all state approved treatment programs require an assessment to be completed prior to being admitted to a program. True North Recovery Inc utilizes industry best practices and offers quality and detailed assessments that are recognized statewide by a full spectrum of providers.
Our walk-in assessments are available Monday Through Friday. You must be present in our office between the hours of 9:00AM 11:00AM to receive an assessment. We have 4 slots available and are offered on a first come first serve basis. Intake documentation must be fully completed prior to receiving an assessment at True North. This documentation can be filed out online, through the forms tab.