info Chemical Assessment Info info

      A chemical assessment in Minnesota - call phone 612.474.4100 to schedule - is a type of test used to diagnose substance use disorders, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction. The assessment can have a major impact on a person’s life, as assessment “recommendations” are always given and district courts expect a person to follow any recommendations when the assessment is court ordered. Common recommendations are educational programs and/or rehab. In the best-case scenario, the therapist completing the assessment is highly trained and client-centered, listening to the wants and needs of the person being assessed.

      Unfortunately, according to the respected Center on Addiction at New York University, individuals being assessed regularly have a very bad experience. First, assessments are typically done at local for-profit rehabs where there is a financial incentive to recruit and recommend individuals being assessment for long-term treatment against the person's expressed desire and sometimes with a lack of medical necessity. Second, some assessors have little more than a high school diploma and lack the expertise needed to properly diagnose addiction issues and create an effective treatment plan. Third, for-profit rehab assessors can be biased toward costly, long-term treatment recommendations. While financially profitable for the rehab center, it can leave a person who does not feel they need treatment suprised ignored, and disappointed.

      Thankfully, it is possible to get a fair chemical use assessment in MN from an assessor who will listen to you during the process. This requires that a person seek out an independent testing agency, who employs therapists trained to provide unbiased, 3rd party assessments. This helps ensure that your desire for treatment is taken into consideration, and when treatment is requested, a person is referred to the best possible treatment program available, over a poorly ran local for-profit addiction treatment center. The premiere 3rd party agency in Minnesota is the Independent Chemical Assessment Center, dial 612.474.4100 to schedule your assessment.

Appointments available statewide via secure videoconference or in person. Schedule your independent Chemical Assessment by dialing phone 612.474.4100

fast_forward What to Say during an Assessment? fast_rewind

     During a drug evaluation or alcohol assessment, it is important to be honest and open. This is because the assessor bases his or her recommendations on not only what you say, but also what other involved parties say. Being honest insures that information matches and there are no red flags that can cause concern. Honesty on what’s going on in your life also allows for the assessor to best advocate for you to the court judge, probation agent, DUI / DWI attorney, social worker, DMV, Rule 25 funding department, and other involved parties. Remember, independent assessors work for you and are on your side.

fast_forward  What does an assessment consist of? fast_rewind

     A chemical health assessment has several different components. First, a person will complete an intake packet. The agency will request your contact information, including your mailing address and phone number. This will help the agency be able to contact you following the assessment with follow-up information. Following the intake, you will meet one-on-one with a clinician who is licensed and specially trained to complete the evaluation. The clinician, usually a Hennepin County or Ramsey County licensed alcohol and drug counselor, will met with you for an interview. The interview generally lasts about one hours. The assessment is referred to by several names, including: chemical dependency evaluation, rule 25, AODA test, comprehensive alcohol assessment, OUI / DUI evaluation, or dwi substance abuse assessment.

fast_forward Chemical Assessment Questions fast_rewind

     During the appointment, the therapist will interview the person being assessed. The questions are meant to better understand the person’s unique situation. Questions cover several different areas/domains of a person’s life. Here are common questions asked during the comprehensive assessment:

Chemical Use History:
1) How often do you consume alcohol or do drugs?
2) How many times in the past year did you drink or use drugs first thing in the morning?
3) Do you ever feel guilty or remorseful about using substances?
4) How many times in the past year have you been unable to remember what happened the day/night you were using?
5) Have you ever injured yourself or others do to your drinking or drug use?

Family History:
1) Does addiction issues run in your family?
2) Where you abused or neglected as a child?
3) What was your childhood like growing up?
4) Were both your parents present?

Living environment:
1) Is there much alcohol or drug use at your residence or in your neighborhood?
2) Do you have stable housing?
3) What percentage of your friends currently misuse alcohol or do drugs?
4) Do you feel you have a strong support network or is it lacking?

fast_forward Is the Assessment Confidential? fast_rewind

      Due to data confidentiality laws, your assessment information cannot typically be shared with anyone, unless you provide written consent. Be aware there are limitations to confidentiality and each agency handles confidential assessment information slightly different. The agency is required to provide a Notice of Privacy Practices (also called a HIPAA notice) to you prior to the assessment. In this document, limitations on confidentiality will be presented in detail. One example is in respect to child abuse or neglect. If you report abuse or neglect to the assessor, and the child is in immediate danger, by law the assessor must break confidentiality and is mandated to report the abuse or neglect to social services.

fast_forward What to expect at the appointment? fast_rewind

     When you arrive at the assessment site, you will be asked to sign consent forms. Consent will be requested for the assessment itself and additional consent forms to involve other people. You will typically read a disclosure listing out any possible risks to the assessment, and agree to take part in the assessment interview. The clinician will also try to determine who is involved in the assessment process, such as a DUI / DWI attorney, and ask that you provide written consent to have your assessment paperwork sent to the involved person(s). When at a high quality assessment agency, such as the Independent Chemical Assessment Center (dial 612.474.4100 to schedule your assessment), you will have a nonjudgmental, supportive experience. The therapist will interview you for about an hour and there may be special questionnaires for you to complete. The therapist is specially trained to assist and advocate for you in the days and weeks after the assessment interview.

fast_forward MN Assessment Locations fast_rewind

Independent Chemical Assessments available by calling phone 612.474.4100
Appointments available statewide via videoconference or in person
home 225 South 6th Street Suite 4000, Minneapolis, MN 55402