Steps of Addictions Assessment Processes

 Addiction Assessment Steps – Psychology Assignment Instructions

Addiction takes many forms. A person may be addicted to a substance like cocaine or behavior. Individuals who enter into addictions assessment processes generally have exhibited certain hallmarks of addiction, such as an increase in the behavior, problems in relationships and life functioning, and withdrawal symptoms upon ceasing the behavior.

Someone with a potential addiction may be facing a host of issues. He or she might require medical and/or legal help. A teenager may be a minor requiring parental consent for any treatment and might already be receiving help from a guidance counselor or school psychologist. It is true that individual assessments have unique features and should be tailored to the needs of and aspects related to each individual being assessed. However, there are important steps common to most assessments that allow addictions professionals to gather reliable, valid, and relevant information about the clients they serve, as well as to enlist the best set of professionals to form the multidisciplinary team.

This week, you describe the steps of  standard addictions assessment processes and reflect on the importance of using a multidisciplinary team.

Assignment Directions:

The 2- to 4-page paper should include the following:

  • The steps of an addictions assessment process
  • An explanation of why each step is important
  • One example of a multidisciplinary team and the contribution each of the team members might make to the assessment

Addiction Assessment Steps – Psychology Sample Paper

The Steps of an Addiction Assessment

            Addiction is a condition that may show itself in different forms, for example, addiction to computer games, addiction to drugs/alcohol and gambling (Perkinson, 2012). However, the diagnosis of the problem usually begins with an addiction assessment process.  The main purposes of addiction assessment process are to determine whether actually addiction exists, and whether there are any co-occurring conditions. Moreover, the results from the initial assessments provide useful information for the development of the addiction treatment plan. A successful addiction assessment must be carried by trained professionals, such as doctors, psychologists, therapists and nurses and must follow certain recommended steps.

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Addiction Assessment Processes Steps

The process starts by the client filling a standardized questionnaire, asking about the current addiction problem. In addition, the questionnaire has questions related to any treatment history, the effects of the problem on the health of the client, the health history, the behaviour pattern, effects and symptoms.

Read also The Addiction Severity Index (ASI) – Addiction Assessment Tool Evaluation

The second step is a confidential face-to-face interview with the clinician in charge of the diagnosis of the client’s condition (The Association for Addiction Professionals, 2014). In most circumstances that involve the doctor undertaking the diagnostic process, the doctor often checks for other co-occurring symptoms (cause relapse and account for most addiction), which should be treated alongside the addiction problem. If the non-medical teams such as the psychologists, social workers and counselors, carry out the assessment, they have to refer the client to a trained doctor for diagnosis of the co-occurring symptoms. The co-occurring symptoms greatly influence the addiction treatment process. Therefore, it is inherent that its diagnosis is carried out earlier in the course of the addiction assessment process.

The final step is the assessment of the information obtained through the questionnaire, physical examination and interviews. At this stage of the process, a number of assessment instruments such as the Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders may be employed to aid the assessment process.

An Example of a Multidisciplinary Team

There are various trained professional, who can assess clients for addiction problems. These individuals include clinicians, nurses, doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers (Perkinson, 2012). Most of the addiction assessments are done in treatment centres and may require more than one professional to assess the problem. For example in a case of substance abuse, a multidisciplinary team, which may consist of a psychologist, a doctor, a psychiatrist and a nurse may be required. The professionals in the multidisciplinary team shall perform unique assessments related to their area of expertise in order to provide complete and comprehensive assessments for accurate diagnosis of the client’s problem.

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A psychologist/psychiatrist may initially administer a questionnaire and conduct an interview with the client with the substance abuse problem. However, the physical examination to determine the co-occurring symptoms may require the work of a trained nurse or a doctor. The team that constitutes the psychiatrist/psychologist and the doctor/nurse form a multidisciplinary team, whose coordinated efforts help in provision of a complete assessment of the addiction problem in such a patient.

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