A Primer on Drug and Alcohol Assessments

Someday, you might find yourself in a rough patch involving substance use. If you run into substance-related trouble that affects your work, school, or personal life, drug and alcohol assessments can help provide insight into your situation, allowing you to move forward to greener pastures. Let’s take a look at how these personal health evaluations work.

Why Get Assessed?

Typically, these examinations are requested by your physician, lawyer, or loved one. If you’ve violated an institutional substance policy or broken a substance law, an assessment may be required by your employer, school, or court order. These requests usually follow an incident, accident, legal charge, or change in behavior that has prompted someone to express concerns about your drug or alcohol use.

Where Do I Get Assessed?

Many clinics, counseling centers, and legal offices offer drug and alcohol assessments. If you are in legal trouble, your attorney may be a licensed assessor and may recommend an evaluation to aid the defense process. Usually, you can sign up for an evaluation confidentially online, where you can begin to fill out preliminary questionnaires. These examinations usually cost about $150.

How Do Assessments Work?

Once you’ve set up an appointment, you’ll be asked to fill out preliminary questionnaires about past substance use, and you’ll undergo a screening for symptoms of anxiety and depression. These will be reviewed before a face-to-face interview with a professional evaluator.

Your interview will last from 1 1/2 to 2 hours. These interviews are designed to create a detailed picture of your substance use and its effects. You’ll be asked about the kinds of substances you currently use, the amount and frequency with which you use them, the reasons you use them, and the impact they have had on your life. Your evaluator will also ask about your life situation and environment, your history of substance use, any drug or alcohol treatments you’ve received, and your medical history and mental health.

What Are The Results, and What Do They Mean?

Based on your interview, your evaluator will recommend treatments or lifestyle changes for you going forward. Depending on your observed condition, he or she may suggest alcohol or drug education classes, outpatient or residential chemical dependency treatment, medical management, and/or counseling. The goal is to steer you toward the best, most efficient means of healing yourself.

Are you required to follow the suggestions you’re given? No. They’re only suggestions. Though a court of law, school, or employer may eventually take a harder line and require you to pursue these recommendations, the assessor puts the ball in your court: the decision to seek help ultimately depends on you, your finances, and your circumstances. Drug and alcohol assessments are simply there to give you a more accurate road map toward healing.

Drug and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation for Teenagers – Parenting Tips

While many of them simply indulge for mere experimentation, they tend to stop almost immediately after they do. However, for some variant reasons, others get immersed to the point they can no longer control their urges where now that becomes drug or substance abuse.

Who is to blame?

No doubt there are many reasons why our teenagers fall victim of drug and substance abuse and with the high rise of the same, it remains quite a challenge for parents especially to solely keep their kids on the right track. Nevertheless, without knowing the first step towards helping your teenager who has fallen victim of drug abuse, it can get quite devastating.

Sure we all want the best for our children, when and how they stray and end up succumbing to drug abuse is never certain. While there will be so many people out there blaming our kids’ wrong choices on our poor parenting, we can either get over their mediocre opinions and find solace for our kids or simply join the league and doom our kids to misery.

Signs of Drug abuse

While in the past you may have overlooked certain details and prompted your teen to claim too much freedom that ended up in tragedy, you should know you still stand a chance to reverse the odds. You may still not be sure whether your teen has succumbed to drug abuse and here are signs to look out for:-

· Red eyes and tiredness which could possibly be as a result of smoking marijuana.

· Less interest shown in school and poor performance in class.

· Rebellion.

· New friend’s circles who shows less interest in your teen’s school activities or their family.

What to do if your teen is abusing drugs

The good news is that, not all is lost. Today with the high escalation of drug and substance abuse, rehabilitation centers have risen at the very same pace. If you know someone who has succumbed to drug abuse, it would be wise to intervene now.

Again, as a parent, the sooner your teen learns about the detrimental effects of drug abuse, the better. The first step would be taking the time to find out as much information there is regarding rehabilitating your teen.

Benefits of teen rehabilitation

Mentally – Drugs intoxicate not just the body but the mind too. Undergoing a rehabilitation process helps the victim becomes mentally fit. The teenage after rehabilitation is able to make rational decisions and also get over anxiety and paranoia brought upon by drug abuse.

Physically- Drug abuse renders the body weak by causing damage to the skin, liver, heart and other parts of the body. Rehabilitation means staying in an environment where you shun the drugs and substances which made you weak in the first place. This move in the long-run accords the victim not just a clear healthy skin but also strong disposition and strong overall body functionality.

Emotionally- While most teen’s possible abuse for drugs evolves from a rather disturbed past, rehabilitation helps them emotionally deal with any disturbing issues. Here they are taught how to confront and deal with negative emotions rather than acting up on them.

Career wise- In essence, teenage drug abuse ravages career vision and future objectives. Rehabilitation helps them counter the evil menace of drug abuse and accords them an alert mind and better reasoning power. Someone who from drug abuse had lost their vision in life is able to reverse the odds and trend high. So yes, your dreams for your teen are still valid!

Drug Overdose Deaths Have Doubled In 2012 As Compared To 1999

According to a report released by the disease control and prevention center on December 2, 2014; the number of deaths due to drug overdoses almost doubled in 2012 (41,000 total) as compared to 1999 (17,000 total). However, the deaths due to overdose on opiates (i.e. pain relievers including Hydrocodones and Oxycodones) actually reduced by 5 percent in 2011 and 2012.

There a number of reasons that have caused this increase in drug overdose deaths. These reasons include the likes of, increased availability of prescription drugs, tendency of doctors to overprescribe drugs, prescription of wrong antibiotics and increased usage of recreational drugs, etc.

According to average statistics, the death rate in 1999 was 6.1 out of every 100,000, while in 2012 was 13.1 out of 100,000. Meanwhile, the death rates according to states were as follows. West Virginia faced the highest death toll, that was 32 deaths out of 100,000, Kentucky had 25 deaths, New Mexico had 24.7, Utah 23.1 and finally Nevada faced a death toll of 21 out of 100,000 people per annum.

From among these, the death toll related to heroin overdose had nearly tripled as it rose to 1.9 per 100,000 in 2012 as compared to 1999. This numbered to almost 6000 deaths per year. There is also a perception in the current study that said that prescription drugs were comparatively less dangerous. But this notion in itself can put people at a higher risk of overdoses.

In addition, the researchers claimed that there is no direct method to reverse the drug overdose trend; however, more education for the patients and the prescribers can help much in this regard. In addition, there is no such thing as prescription monitoring for patients in the States, which makes it easier for the patients to seek out help from a number of doctors and get multiple prescriptions especially when they want to use those drugs for recreational purposes.