You might think that addiction is easy to detect. When a person cannot stop using a particular substance despite the damaging consequences, there’s a good chance that he or she is experiencing an addiction. However, there might be circumstances in which someone isn’t sure themselves that they have an addiction. Addiction itself is a disease that is only recently becoming more and more understood. Those who don’t understand addiction might not realize that they have a problem, unless it’s brought to the attention of a health provider. Once a physician or a mental health professional is working with someone who possibly may be struggling with addiction, he or she will frequently use a tool to make a proper assessment.
Fortunately, there are many tools to do so. For instance, the following are examples of the types of assessments that a health provider might use in order to determine whether someone is experiencing an addiction.
- Addiction Severity Index (ASI).
- Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).
- Structured Clinical Interview (SCID).
- Alcohol Use Disorders and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (AUDADIS).
- Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders (PRISM).
- Semi-Structured Assessment for Drug Dependence and Alcoholism (SSADDA).
All of the above fancy-named assessments do one thing: they measure whether or not someone might be struggling with addiction. As you can tell with some of the above names, some of these assessments also measure other factors. For instance, the Alcohol Use Disorders and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule also explores whether someone might have an accompanying disability.
The purpose of figuring out whether someone has an addiction is that it allows for accurate treatment planning. Once a physician or a psychologist is aware of what a person is struggling with, then he or she can plan treatment to meet the needs of their client. The results of an assessment is also useful for a client as well.
For instance, if you were experiencing the challenging situation of drinking even though you knew it was harmful to you and your family, you might have a very difficult time. You might even begin to feel like something is wrong. You might be hard on yourself, which can contribute to drinking even more. However, when a physician shares with you that you’re struggling with the illness of addiction, a disease of the brain, you might experience some relief. Based upon the answers you provided in the assessment, the physician can give you a diagnosis and then treat your condition accordingly.
If you are asked to take an assessment, it’s best to be as honest as you can. Your honesty in the assessment combined with what you share with your doctor or therapist can help with formulating the right diagnosis.
And if you are currently struggling with an addiction, contact a health provider, such as a physician or therapist in your community, for help. You may be asked to complete an assessment or questionnaire, which in turn will lead to a diagnosis and a related treatment plan. Both a diagnosis and a treatment plan can be used like a map, pointing your way out of the cycle of addiction.
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