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A drug and alcohol evaluation, also known as a drug and alcohol assessment, is one method of quantifying substance misuse.

Substance abuse evaluations can help determine if you have used alcohol or drugs during a specific timeframe. Assessments can also identify wider issues associated with substance abuse.

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What is a Drug Assessment?

Drug and alcohol assessment can be used to identify the following:

Drug and alcohol assessments can be beneficial for diagnostic purposes. Evaluations can also help professionals making recommendations for the most appropriate addiction treatment.

An evaluation typically explores the following areas:

  • Substance of abuse.
  • Amount of substance used.
  • Frequency of substance abuse.
  • Duration of substance abuse.

These assessments can illuminate the general circumstances of the individual abusing substances, and they can also help clarify the extent of the substance abuse.

Most drug evaluations consist of the following core components:

  • Screening: Screenings helps the professional conducting the evaluation to establish whether a substance abuse problem exists.
  • Assessment: A follow-up assessment is the analytical phase of a drug evaluation. The goal of this process is to determine the nature of the substance abuse problem. This phase of an evaluation often calls for drug tests.

Some drug evaluations include additional steps, as follows:

  • Follow-up: If ongoing treatment or counseling is required, a follow-up session will be scheduled. The outcome of this appointment will depend on the results of your screening and assessment.
  • Referrals: The final stage of some drug and alcohol evaluations can lead to a referral to a treatment center, treatment program, or counselor. This referral will be contingent on the results of drug evaluation.

Instead of approaching a drug evaluation like an imposition or a challenge, consider it an opportunity to learn more about addiction. A drug assessment can also ensure that you are connected with the appropriate resources to enjoy sustained sobriety.

What To Expect at a Drug and Alcohol Assessment

Drug and alcohol evaluations are conducted by trained professionals such as:

  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Doctors
  • Nurses

Evaluations may be conducted face-to-face or online.

The assessor will ask you a series of questions so they can better understand the extent and severity of your substance abuse. Drug tests and physical examinations are also commonly employed.

During the screening phase, the administrator can establish whether or not you have a treatable condition. That said, screening is not a substitute for a clinical diagnosis. 

Drug evaluations utilize a variety of questionnaires, including: 

  • SASSI: The substance abuse subtle screening inventory can analyze the risk of substance abuse, whether you will acknowledge the problem, and whether you will implement changes. The SASSI questionnaire can also clarify whether substance use is purely social, as well as helping to determine the extent of a substance use disorder.
  • CAGE questionnaire: This questionnaire is a brief assessment with only four questions related to substance use.
  • AUI (alcohol use inventory): This questionnaire focuses on alcohol abuse, with questions concerning all areas of your life and lifestyle.
  • State government questionnaires: These, may be utilized in isolation or together with the above questionnaires.

A positive screening means you will proceed to the assessment, where the aim is to prove the existence of a treatable condition, as well as to identify symptoms and pinpoint any co-occurring mental health disorders. 

Online Drug and Alcohol Evaluation

If the drug addiction evaluation is administered online, you can expect to be asked any of the following questions:

  1. What substances are you using?
  2. Do you take any prescription medications?
  3. When did you begin drinking alcohol?
  4. When did you start using drugs?
  5. Have you tried to conceal your substance use from others?
  6. Do you use addictive substances when feeling depressed?
  7. Does pressure cause you to use substances?
  8. Have you had legal or financial problems stemming from substance use?
  9. Does your substance abuse create problems in your closest relationships?
  10. Have loved ones suggested that your moderate your substance use?
  11. Has your reputation been impaired because of your use of alcohol or drugs?
  12. Do you crave alcohol or drugs at certain times of day or night?
  13. Do you spend less time doing things you once enjoyed in favor of using alcohol or drugs?
  14. Have you missed work due to substance abuse?
  15. If the substance you use is not available, does this make you feel nervous or uncomfortable?

Contact California Detox to Learn More

If you require a drug and alcohol evaluation, we can help you with that here at California Detox.


Once you have an accurate idea of the extent of your addiction, whether to alcohol, illicit drugs, or prescription medications, you can opt for treatment at one of the following levels of intensity:

  • Inpatient programs (residential rehab)
  • OPs (outpatient programs)
  • IOPs (intensive outpatient programs)
  • PHPs (partial hospitalization programs)
  • Remote rehab programs
  • Supervised medical detox
  • Dual diagnosis treatment programs

While there is no cure for drug addiction or alcoholism, both conditions typically respond well to personalized and evidence-based treatment. Access these interventions at California Detox:

  • Medication-assisted treatment
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Psychotherapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Family therapy
  • Holistic therapy

When you are ready to move from addiction into detox and recovery, call 949.390.5377 for immediate assistance.


A drug and alcohol assessment may take just a few hours, or it could take a full day or more, depending on the amount of information that needs to be gathered and any complicating factors.

A drug and alcohol evaluation consists of an initial screening followed by a thorough assessment. There may be drug and alcohol screens involved.


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