Diagnostic Addiction Assessment

Addiction and Alcohol Assessment

When an individual is at risk for a substance abuse or addiction disorder, their condition should be assessed before they begin rehab to determine their need and treatment options. Some individuals know they need help, but don’t know what kind of treatment is best for them. Finding the right treatment is also difficult for family members who struggle to approach the subject of rehab with the addict, and don’t know how to begin to get help for the person. An addiction assessment is helpful because it provides a roadmap for rehab, and all those involved can be confident the treatment plan is the right one for the person’s needs.

Courts often require drug and alcohol assessments to help determine the extent of an individual’s substance use disorder and type and level of treatment needed. A professional assessment answers the many questions individuals, families, and courts have about a person’s need for treatment. Northland conducts comprehensive assessments on all of our clients, in order to offer the best treatment possible for the individual.

The Importance of Comprehensive Addiction Assessment

Evaluation of each patient begins with a comprehensive diagnostic assessment performed by one of our addiction counselors. Northland uses a number of methods to determine if an alcohol or drug use problem truly exists. In order to achieve an accurate assessment, clients must be honest about their history and forthcoming with any information that might be helpful to staff. The professionals who conduct the assessment will want to know what types of substances the person has been using, how often they have been using, and how long. Conditions that should be factored into the treatment plan–such as psychological factors, health problems, family involvement, or spiritual needs–are noted so that treatment can include resources to address these issues.

Individual Treatment Plan

The purpose of addiction assessment is to find out the person’s needs and to establish a plan to meet those needs. If a diagnosis of addiction is established, the person giving the assessment then determines the extent or severity of disease, if there is a need for medical detoxification and the level of care required to safely and successfully achieve sobriety.

Based on the results of the assessment, the patient and therapist can determine the best next steps, including referral to other agencies or residential treatment facilities if that is in the patient’s best interests. The intensity of treatment and the need for detox or residential care depends on the client’s circumstances, living environment, history of prior treatment, history with 12 Step programs, and desire and potential to complete treatment.

Patients who are assessed as physically dependent can be further screened by physicians for Outpatient Detox. An evaluation will include a comprehensive medical history, physical examination, and lab tests. Patients with more severe or complicated withdrawal symptoms are referred to an inpatient, hospital-grade detox. 

Court Ordered Assessment

An unfortunate and sometimes unexpected result of drug and alcohol abuse is often legal trouble. Drug and alcohol addiction quickly get out of hand and cause the person to make poor decisions and engage in activities that put themselves and others in danger. When a person is charged with a crime that is connected to drug or alcohol abuse, such as operating a vehicle while intoxicated, drug possession, disorderly conduct, theft, or any other crimes that are committed while impaired by drugs or alcohol, the court might require an assessment. Court mandated assessments are similar to other evaluations in that they look at the person’s history of substance use, health needs, family structure, and any psychological problems in order to determine whether the substance use is ongoing or if it is a one-time event.

In order for a court-ordered assessment to be accepted by the state, a certified agency must conduct or oversee the assessment. Northland works with the state of Ohio to conduct assessments that satisfy court requirements.


The purpose of addiction assessment is to find out the person’s needs and to establish a plan to meet those needs. Call now to get help for addiction.