How Does an Addiction Assessment Help?
Next Generation Village is committed to providing specialized care to each teen who enters our doors, but this is impossible without a full understanding of each teen’s needs. The intake process at our Florida rehab center starts with a thorough assessment, screening each patient for substance use and co-occurring disorders.
Screening for Mental Illness
It’s important to diligently screen for a mental illness before making plans for addiction treatment, as it’s never clear which disorder caused the other. Teen depression is one of the most common co-occurring disorders we see at Next Generation Village, which is consistent with national statistics. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nearly one-third of teens show signs of this form of mental illness.
Psychological evaluations involve questions about thoughts, feelings and behavior. Often, this form of screening is done in an interview format, where one of our addiction professionals asks the teen to describe a typical day, typical feelings, or common thoughts. A teen might feel as though they are simply having a conversation with a trusted adult in a safe place.
Each answer is compared with published guidelines on mental illness. Specific phrases, common behaviors and hidden fantasies a teen reveals in an interview can all signal to a mental health professional that something serious is happening.
Simple one-page worksheets play a role, and each come with detailed scoring mechanisms that help our mental health professionals determine whether or not the teen meets clinical benchmarks for mental illness.
Screening for Addiction
Teens with addictions have a psychological compulsion to keep using and abusing a substance. Even when they don’t want to keep using, their bodies compel them to take the substance in. Such a psychological change will never appear on a lab test — instead, it’s something we use interviews and drug addiction assessments to evaluate for.
In an alcohol and drug assessment, our treatment specialists might ask questions like:
- “Do you feel like you should cut down on your use?”
- “Have you tried to cut back, but found that you couldn’t do it?”
- “Do you need to use first thing in the morning?”
- “Do you hide your use from others?”
Screening questions about addiction are very personal, and it’s not unusual for teens to resist answering such personal questions. However, our experts who administer these tests are adept at making teens feel comfortable and safe. We don’t express any judgment, and no punishment is administered.
When Are Tests Provided?
Evaluations for mental illness and addiction are vital at the start of a drug treatment program. Our medical and clinical experts need to know what your teen is grappling with so we can develop and administer a treatment plan suited specifically to their needs.
Our addiction professionals use these screenings:
- DAST-10 – Drug Abuse Screening Test 10
- DAST-20 – Drug Abuse Screening Test 20
- CAGE Questionnaire – a substance abuse and alcoholism test
- CRAFFT Screening Test – a behavioral health test
- BDI – Beck Depression Inventorydepression test
- BAI – Beck Anxiety Inventory anxiety test
- PCL – Hare Psychopathy Checklist post-traumatic stress disorder test
- PHQ-9 – Patient Health Questionnaire 9 depression test
We may repeat these tests at periodic intervals, particularly for teens who have co-occurring conditions or who have relapsed. Teens who have relapsed often need more intensive care, and regularly repeated screenings may help us understand which program would benefit your teen the most.
How an Addiction Assessment Can Help Your Child
Addiction evaluations and substance abuse assessments are vital to the success of the recovery of teens. Our doctors and clinicians use each of these tests to understand the fuller picture of your teen’s needs, and then put the results to use creating a specific recovery plan for your child.
Next Generation Village stands out from other programs because we are passionate about delivery a full continuum of care — treating both addiction and mental health disorders in tandem — to the adolescent demographic.
Next Generation Village is different, and we prefer it that way. Our treatment programs are designed to help your teenager holistically. That’s why our in-depth assessments start during the intake process and explore multiple co-occurring disorders. Our individualized treatment protocols, combined with our focus on education during rehab and the benefits of experiencing teen rehab in Florida, address the entire child’s needs.