Drug and Alcohol Evaluation: What to Expect

A drug and alcohol evaluation from a state-certified treatment agency may be requested by the courts in any case involving substance abuse. For driving under the influence (DUI) or driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) convictions, it may be compulsory. During the evaluation, thorough questions will be asked. The purpose is to assess whether a diagnosis of drug or alcohol dependence is appropriate and whether substance misuse has resulted in the arrest.

What Is Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?

A substance abuse evaluation is required whenever an individual has been arrested for a crime associated with drugs or alcohol such as possession, minor in possession (MIP), disorderly conduct or DUI. The evaluation is carried out by a certified/licensed professional specializing in addiction and substance abuse. The assessment determines the appropriate treatment or intervention.

During the evaluation, a complete review of your substance abuse is conducted. This usually involves a face-to-face interview and analyzing any NEEDS Assessment outcomes from the DUI/Risk Reduction School, Lifetime Arrest Reports, 7-year Department of Driver Services reports and other relevant assessments. A drug and alcohol screen is performed if requested, indicated or required by the courts.

The whole process lasts 60-90 minutes. Within a week of the assessment, a written evaluation report is sent to either the individual or agency stated on the release of information form.

What to Expect in the Drug and Alcohol Evaluation

1. Create an Online Account

To start the evaluation, you’ll receive a call or e-mail to arrange your appointment and help you create a confidential online account. This lets you access your data securely whenever you want.

2. Complete the Online Assessment

When the account has been created, you can fill in some assessments online, including a drug and alcohol questionnaire, chemical use history and checking for anxiety or depression symptoms.

3. Attend an Interview

The online assessments will be reviewed prior to your appointment for a face-to-face interview. Your evaluator will ask for clarification of the information you submitted online and will further investigate your drug and alcohol use.

4. Provide Collateral Information

After the drug and alcohol evaluation, you’ll sign a Release of Information form to allow 2-3 people to provide further information concerning your drug and alcohol usage. Ensure you have their details: full name, phone number, address and the best time to contact them.

5. Undergo a Drug and Alcohol Urinalysis Screening

You may be asked to give a urine sample to screen for drugs and alcohol in your system. This screen may be used to determine your final recommendation.

6. Get Recommendations

Your collateral contacts are asked certain questions about you, which will then be reviewed together with all the other data gathered. Recommendations will address any issues raised by your drug and alcohol usage.

What Do You Need to Bring to Your Evaluation?

The following documentation is required for the drug and alcohol evaluation concerning a DUI, DUID, public intoxication, disorderly conduct, MIP, false ID or any other alcohol or drug-associated arrest:

  • Arrest-related documents, including incident report, sentencing sheet, tickets, probation papers
  • Criminal history report
  • Contact details, so the completed assessment can be sent to you

For DUI or DUID arrests:

  • A 7-Year Motor Vehicle Report (provided by the Department of Driver Services) can be used instead of your criminal history report
  • If you attended a DUI School before your assessment, you’ll need the Completion Certificate and NEEDS Assessment.

What Are the Results of Drug and Alcohol Evaluation?

There are several possible outcomes from the evaluation, but generally speaking, you are labeled as one of the three categories:

1. Chemically Dependent on Drugs or Alcohol

If you have been deemed to be chemically dependent, your counselor will be likely to suggest you spend eight months to two years in rehabilitation. This requires attending sessions at a certified treatment facility, either in groups or individually.

2. Suffering from Drug or Alcohol Abuse or Potential Abuse

The therapy that is offered to “abuse” or “abuse potential” offenders can be anything from long-term therapy which lasts six to twelve months, to a few individual counseling appointments.

3. Not Enough Evidence to Support the Diagnosis of a Drug or Alcohol Problem

If there is insufficient evidence of substance abuse, you may be asked to go to a drug and alcohol school for a day.

How to Pass Drug and Alcohol Evaluation

1. Be Prepared

In the 10 days before your drug assessment, drink plenty of water, do some exercise and avoid fatty food.

2. Try Detox Kits

Using a temporary detox kit can hide or get rid of body toxins for up to five hours and you will see the effects more or less immediately. These kits are inexpensive and have been shown to increase the passing rate. Alternatively, permanent detox kits, completely cleanse your system will be effective within 2-10 days. Although these kits are more costly, they have a much higher passing percentage.

3. Listen More than Speak

Keep your answers straightforward and short. Parole officers can be highly intrusive about your personal life and revealing too much about yourself may affect your results.

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