Unfortunately, many people often find themselves in trouble with the law for alcohol or drug-related reasons. When this happens, individuals will likely be required to receive a court-ordered alcohol assessment or court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation.
What is a Court-Ordered Alcohol Assessment or Court-Ordered Drug Assessment and Evaluation?
A court-ordered alcohol assessment and court-ordered drug assessment assess a person’s substance abuse history. A court-ordered substance abuse evaluation then evaluates a person’s current level of substance abuse.
The main purpose of a court-ordered alcohol assessment or court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation is to diagnose any substance-related disorders. Another primary purpose of a court-ordered alcohol assessment and court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation is to figure out the addiction treatment needs of an individual.
This enables the professionals who are conducting the assessments and evaluations to recommend treatment programs and centers. At the end of the day though, court-ordered alcohol and drug-related evaluations are usually done for medical purposes or for court.
Parts of Alcohol and Court-Ordered Drug Evaluations
Screenings are the first thing done during a court-ordered alcohol assessment and court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation. These screenings detect if a defendant even has a substance abuse problem. Court-ordered alcohol and drug assessment screenings also determine who is at risk of developing a substance use disorder.
During the screening process, a defendant must fill out questionnaires. These questionnaires may come in the following forms:
State-Made Inventory Questionnaire
This is a state government questionnaire. Human behavior professionals use the state-made inventory questionnaire alone or together with other questionnaires to conduct court-ordered substance abuse evaluations.
Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI) Questionnaire
This questionnaire is for people that are receiving court-ordered alcohol assessments and evaluations. AUI questionnaires take into account a person’s lifestyle in their questions. It is important for people to be honest about their alcohol use when receiving alcohol use inventory questionnaires.
The CAGE questionnaire has only four questions on substance abuse. One is supposed to answer these four questions in detail though. The accuracy of the results of this questionnaire depends on how honest people are.
Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI)
This questionnaire has a 93% accuracy rate. The SASSI analyzes the probability of a person having a substance use disorder. It also analyzes how willing a person is to acknowledge it and change. By analyzing all these things, the SASSI helps determine if a person really has a substance use problem or not, and if so, how severe the problem is. If the SASSI says that a person is positive for having a substance use disorder, that person will need to receive an assessment.
During the assessment phase of a court-ordered alcohol or drug evaluation, the goal is to receive proof of a substance use disorder and its specific symptoms. Human behavior professionals will also determine if a person suffers from a co-occurring disorder during the assessment of a court-ordered substance abuse evaluation. Essentially, the assessment is supposed to be a diagnosis, or as close to one as possible.
Trained and licensed professionals use certain tools to help them make diagnoses during the assessment phase of drug evaluations. These tools include the following:
The Diagnostic Interview Schedule IV
People who conduct court-ordered alcohol or drug evaluations use the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to see if an individual meets the criteria for any mental health diagnosis along with his or her substance use diagnosis. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders also helps determine the course of onset and recency of positive symptoms.
Addiction Severity Index
The addiction severity index addresses and analyzes seven problem areas of substance abuse. These problem areas include alcohol use, family/social status, employment, support, medical status, psychiatric status, and legal status. By addressing and analyzing these areas, the addiction severity index also helps assess the conditions that led a person into abusing substances and any factors that influenced a person’s substance abuse.
This phase of an alcohol or drug evaluation only occurs when there’s a need for treatment or counseling. The human behavior professionals determine if the defendant needs a follow-up. They determine this based on the results of the screenings and assessments during the substance abuse evaluations.
This is the last phase of alcohol or drug evaluations. It’s during this phase that the human behavior professionals recommend the needed treatment programs and counselors.
Who Conducts a Court-Ordered Alcohol Assessment or Court-Ordered Drug Assessment and Evaluation?
Trained and licensed professionals that specialize in understanding human behavior conduct court-ordered alcohol assessments and court-ordered drug assessments and evaluations. Examples of such trained and licensed professionals include psychiatrists, therapists, nurses, doctors, psychologists, etc.
Reasons Why a Person May Be Required to Receive an Evaluation
Usually, people that get in trouble with the law are ordered to receive some sort of assessment or evaluation. Thus, people that are required to receive a court-ordered alcohol assessment or court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation got into some trouble with the law in a way that involved alcohol or drugs. Here are a few examples of circumstances or convictions where a judge might require a defendant to receive a substance abuse assessment and evaluation:
- Drug or alcohol possession
- Drug trafficking or unlawful distribution
- Driving under the influence (DUI) / Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Manufacturing or distributing controlled substances
- Disorderly conduct
- Public intoxication
- Using a false ID
Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Assessment and Evaluation Documents
Certain documents need to be presented for a court-ordered alcohol assessment and court-ordered drug assessment and evaluation. These documents can be furnished by the defendant at hand or the lawyer in charge of the defendant’s case.
Documents for a court-ordered substance abuse assessment and evaluation may include a:
- Copy of the result of the NEEDS Assessment
- Certificate of completion when the defendant participated in a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)
- Report from the Department of Driver Services or Department of Motor Vehicles detailing driving history (generally going back 7 years)
- Copy of any criminal history or arrests
- Copy of the arrest report
The Process of a Court-Ordered Assessment or Evaluation
A court-ordered substance abuse assessment usually involves a 1 to 2 hours interview. During this assessment, trained and licensed professionals conduct an in-depth evaluation of the individual’s substance abuse history. Professionals also conduct a review of the provided documents.
The evaluation of the person’s substance abuse history is used to determine if an ongoing condition such as a substance use disorder is present. The evaluation also determines if there is any evidence supporting the individual’s struggles with drugs or alcohol, or if the circumstances that resulted in the arrest were a one-time event of substance misuse. Even in the latter circumstance, a person may still have to attend various programs or undergo treatment deemed acceptable by the court.
Programs That Defendants of Alcohol or Drug-Related Offenses May Be Required to Attend
Depending on the incident, sentencing guidelines, and the recommendations of the licensed professional individuals who performed the evaluation, defendants of alcohol or drug-related offenses may be required to attend one or more of the programs listed below. In some cases, judges may order the defendants to attend one or more of the following programs even prior to having an evaluation:
- 12 step meetings
- Random drug and/or alcohol urinalysis
- Drug or alcohol abuse education classes
- Drug or alcohol abuse counseling sessions
- DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program (RRP)
- Drug or alcohol abuse treatment program: either inpatient or outpatient
It’s important to start the program process, including the court-ordered alcohol assessment and court-ordered drug assessment, as soon as possible. This is because it shows the judge that the defendant is serious about taking responsibility for his or her actions. It also allows the defendant to receive the help that he or she needs.
Receive Alcohol or Drug Addiction Treatment at Florida Center for Recovery
Individuals that get in trouble with the law for alcohol or drug-related incidents may need to look into attending rehab. This is especially true if those individuals genuinely suffer from alcohol or drug use issues. Individuals that are looking to receive quality addiction treatment should attend rehab at Florida Center for Recovery (FCR).
Florida Center for Recovery is a nationally renowned addiction treatment center located in Fort Pierce, Florida. As a nationally renowned addiction treatment center, we provide the most comprehensive models of addiction treatment in the country. We do this by integrating approaches that treat both the disease of addiction and its related co-occurring disorders.
Here at Florida Center for Recovery, incorporate both science-based and holistic practices. That way our patients can attend rehab programs that are sure to treat their physical, mental, and spiritual conditions.
We here at FCR even make sure that all of our rehab programs are specialized by substance and individualized by the patient. We even offer rehab programs that are exclusively for certain types of individuals, whether that be emergency first responders and military personnel, military veterans, pregnant women, etc.
Do you or a loved one need a supportive and effective recovery program in Florida? Do you or a loved one need to attend rehab due to alcohol or drug-related crimes that you’ve committed? If any of these questions are true, you should attend rehab at Florida Center for Recovery. To learn more about Florida Center for Recovery and the wide variety of addiction treatment programs, therapies, and services that we offer, contact us today.
Dr. Balta is the Medical Director at FCR for more than 10 years. Dr. Balta is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, Certified Psychoanalyst. As well, as having Psychiatric Training at The Albert Einstein School of Medicine Psychiatric Residency Program In New York City and Psychoanalytic Training at The William Alanson White Institute in New York City. While working in New York City, gained funding Grants for the treatment of Substance Abuse Disorders from SAMHSA , HRSA and the City of New York.