The best chance of recovery begins here.
A dual diagnosis occurs when a person has an alcohol or substance use problem and a mental health disorder simultaneously. Substance abuse and mental health disorders can affect people’s lives on many levels, damaging their bodies, minds and relationships and interfering with their ability to function normally in their daily lives.
Individuals experiencing co-occurring illness of two or more conditions may often feel as if their disorders have taken control of their lives. Some can be debilitating, leaving a sufferer feeling weak, alone and helpless. Many times, when a person’s substance use has gotten out of control, they may find themselves engaging in activities that endanger themselves or others.
When a person reaches this point and requires assistance – as mandated by the court, by choice or via an intervention – they may submit to a substance misuse and mental health evaluation conducted by a qualified mental health professional and addiction specialist. This assessment is a tool used to help determine the extent of a person’s substance misuse, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, anger and defiance, eating disorders, oppositional defiance, self-esteem issues, borderline personality disorder, suicidal ideation, psychosis, process addictions like gambling, sex and video games and other mental health disorders.
The Purpose of a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Evaluation
The purpose of a comprehensive substance misuse and mental health evaluation is to identify areas that may require further assessment by other professional disciplines, and to develop a recommended treatment plan based on specific needs and diagnostic information.
An evaluation does these things:
- Determines if the individual has an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
- Assesses the extent of the substance use or addiction.
- Ascertains if there are any co-occurring conditions, such as any physical or mental health concerns, or any additional drug use.
- Assesses the extent to which the substance use is harming the person’s life.
- Creates a complete understanding of the person and their circumstances, which establishes a baseline. This helps to build a treatment plan that best suited for their needs and recovery.
A mental health and substance use evaluation typically consists of two components: a screening and an assessment. The screening is a preliminary appraisal of risk factors to determine if someone needs help to prevent their substance use or mental health condition from progressing further. The assessment is a more formal and in-depth process that involves interviewing the person to get a more complete picture of their substance use and mental health.
Rebuild Your Life
Untreated co-occurring disorders can result in a myriad of difficult complications therefore properly assessing and addressing co-occurring disorders presents a unique challenge. One can exacerbate the other or, in some cases, both the substance abuse and mental illness can occur separately from one another. Determining which illness is primary can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks that prevents people from getting the care they need to get well.
At R&A Therapeutic Partners, Raymond Estefania and Ana Moreno involve family and treatment professionals in the evaluation process whenever possible to gather valuable collateral information. We can also arrange for psycho-educational testing, neuropsychological testing and psychiatric or medical evaluations as needed with collaborating professionals. To satisfy pending legal cases, we offer DUI, FAA and other evaluations and we can provide expert witness testimony in cases involving substance use disorders or mental health issues. Call our Miami team today at 786-452-7352 to learn more and arrange an evaluation.