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Screening for Substance Abuse

It is important that you undergo screening for substance abuse especially at the start of your recovery journey. This process will help you understand your drug use patterns, the severity of your addiction, and the treatment plan that would be most ideal for you.

Addiction Screening

If you have been asking yourself if you are addicted to drugs or struggling with addiction, there is a good chance that you might be. In these situations, you are going to have to undergo screening for substance abuse to determine the extent and severity of your addiction problems.

There are several tools and tests that are used to pinpoint dangerous drug and alcohol use patterns and habits. You should consider seeking help and advice from medical and addiction treatment professionals while undergoing screening for addiction. By so doing, they may be able to help you realize how far along in your substance abuse you have gone. Examples of the screening tools that they may use include:

a) CAGE Assessment

A four-question quiz, the CAGE Assessment is about 90 percent effective in the identification of alcohol use disorder.

b) MAST Alcohol Assessment

Another tool used for screening for substance abuse, the MAST Alcohol Assessment has 22 questions that can help detect the presence of alcoholism.

c) AUDIT Alcohol Assessment

This assessment consists of 10 questions. Developed by WHO - the World Health Organization - it can point out issues linked to alcohol abuse and addiction.

There are also other resources that addiction treatment facilities can use to help you evaluate your drug abuse habits and behaviors. Since continued substance abuse can lead to life-threatening and other dangerous effects, it is best to talk to an addiction treatment professional if you are concerned about your drug and alcohol use.

The Importance of Screening for Substance Abuse

Screening for substance abuse is useful because it helps to determine if you have a drug and alcohol abuse and use problem. It can also be used to monitor you if you already have an addiction problem. Further, some facilities will use these screening processes to ensure that you are in compliance with your prescription medications. Others will use them to evaluate and detect drug overdose and intoxication.

There are some instances when screening might be required. This could be when you start a new job or before you sign a new insurance policy. Some workplaces conduct random testing - as do athletic programs.

Courts might also mandate and order screening for substance abuse in some people who are brought before them. If you are pregnant, are going to receive an organ transplant, are going to receive a prescription for pain medications, or display the signs and symptoms of drug overdose and intoxication, these screening tests might also be used.

The important thing to keep in mind is that screening for substance abuse is not meant to harm or punish you. Rather, it is designed in such a way that professionals can determine if you have a drug or alcohol abuse problem. If it is discovered that you do, you may be required to go for addiction treatment and rehabilitation services until you achieve full sobriety.

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