Substance Abuse Evaluations

Substance Abuse Evaluations

Drugs Addiction

Each person struggling with addiction carries different levels of dependence and physical conditions. To form the most effective treatment plan, a substance abuse evaluation plan takes place to assess the individual addiction level. The evaluation helps to customize treatment plans that have a higher chance to succeed.

What to Expect at a Substance Abuse Evaluation?

Prior to program entry, substance abuse evaluations are fundamental to ensure appropriate treatment is given. There are two types of substance abuse evaluations: voluntary and court-ordered. In both cases, the evaluation gets insights into addiction history, consumption levels, lifestyle and psychological condition. Presenting all conditions to the treatment facility helps in identifying patients’ needs and defines the safest path to recovery.

The substance abuse evaluation determines if in fact, treatment is necessary for the alcohol or drug problem. After addiction conditions are proven, diagnosis paves the path for the most effective treatment towards a successful recovery. The evaluation is an administrative process defined by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA,) consisting of two steps: screening and assessment.

Substance Abuse evaluations Screening

Screening is the initial step of the process and usually consists of brief or direct yes-or-no type questionnaires. Because of the basic nature, the screening step can be conducted by professionals such as counselors, social workers, therapists, doctors, psychiatrists or social workers. This step helps in identifying if the drug and alcohol problem exists and if the situation requires an in-depth analysis. Today, this part of the process can be submitted online.

Substance Abuse evaluations Assessment

The assessment is a detailed step that relies on the screening results. After a risk of addiction is detected, patients go into the details about substances usage and lifestyle circumstances that brought them towards usage. At this stage, the patient is being interviewed to assess mental and medical conditions. With two types of interviews, structured or semi-structured, the interviewer gets a wider picture of the individual’s drug or alcohol use and abuse.
A structured interview gathers information from administrative personnel. During the semi-structured interview, a professional skilled in addiction treatment, ask questions that gather helpful details of the person’s substance abuse.

Two modern resources are utilized during the assessment process:

●    Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS-IV) – Structured questionnaire that diagnoses alcohol and drug abuse and life circumstances that brought a person to this stage.

●    Addiction Severity Index (ASI) – Semi-structured interview that inspects alcohol and drug use, medical and mental conditions, social and family status, employment, and support. Long term implications, not just recent terms of drug abuse is taken into consideration.

Support from the family and loved ones contributes greatly towards successful rehabilitation. In some cases when a person’s substance abuse is evaluated, family members contribute with accurate information. Especially when patients suffer from mental health problems, they tend to provide false information. Beyond the accurate information gathering, it’s important for the treatment facility to know what kind of support patients will have during the treatment or during a relapse stage.

Treatment Facility Evaluation

Addicted Child

After the substance abuse evaluation is complete, patients receive a customized treatment plan to address their personal needs. Without knowledge about your addiction, our professional team will have difficulties in supporting a successful path to recovery. Getting to a stage of sharing substance abuse behavior is difficult, but please remember that detailed information benefits our patients. In addition, all patients’ information remains confidential.

Choose Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center to Help You Succeed

At CNT, we have proven that outpatient or ambulatory care have higher recovery success rates. Outpatient treatment for addiction is more acceptable by patients because it does not uproot them from the home environment in order to access treatment. Our experienced, friendly staff creates a safe space for our patients to express and process their emotions. Our clinical team is highly experienced in treating addiction to all substances.


Outpatient Detoxification Programs

You’ve come to terms with the fact that you suffer from substance abuse addiction and need help. But the thought of staying away from your loved ones or taking time off work is putting you off from reaching out and seeking help to fight your addiction.

How about exploring treatment plans for drug rehab in NJ, particularly the option of outpatient detox? You do not have to incur expenses in the form of child care, take a salary deduction, or explain long absences from work, as outpatient detox programs let you continue working and attending to your family obligations while getting high-quality treatment at the same time.

Before you start wondering what these programs offer and whether they are suitable for you, read on to get a comprehensive overview of the treatment options, benefits, and timeframe that you have to bear in mind prior to enrolling yourself for drug rehab in NJ.


What is Outpatient Detox?

Typically, an outpatient drug detoxification program comprises medically-assisted detoxification to help patients overcome the physical as well as psychological dependence of substance abuse; it is often the first step in recovery and attaining sobriety for individuals suffering from substance use disorders. Patients are monitored and treated for withdrawal symptoms, co-occurring medical issues, and psychiatric disorders. The objective of these programs is to help recovering patients attain a drug-free state and progress to relapse prevention programs and long-term rehab.

A clinical team including doctors, nurses, counselors, and therapists conduct an initial assessment to understand a patient’s medical history, physical condition, drug abuse history, and the severity of the addiction. Before starting treatment, a customized detoxification plan is developed. The length of a drug detoxification program depends upon a number of factors like the age and gender of a patient, the severity of the addiction, the substances abused, physical health, and co-occurring mental health conditions.

Acute withdrawal symptoms are assessed and monitored during the initial sessions; patients are given detox medications to reduce withdrawal symptoms that can range from mild to severe. After the acute symptoms are brought under control, education and counseling sessions are started for long-term drug rehab.


Who is a Right Candidate for Outpatient Detoxification Programs?

For patients with mild-to-moderate addiction, a safe and stable environment at home, reliable and easily accessible transportation, and a strong social support network of family members, friends, and colleagues, an outpatient detoxification program is the right choice for embarking on the path to recovery. This leads to the question: who is not a suitable candidate for these programs?

Outpatient detoxification programs are not for individuals who do not have transportation to travel daily to a treatment facility, suffer from severe substance use disorders, are suicidal or pose a homicidal threat, have to deal with disruptive family or work situations, suffer from significant co-occurring physical or medical or psychological conditions, face life-threatening complications of withdrawal symptoms, have undergone multiple prior failed outpatient detox attempts, or have a history of chronic relapse. Such patients need supervised, more intensive, and around-the-clock care and monitoring in an inpatient setting.

Benefits of Outpatient Treatment

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These programs offer structured treatment sessions to patients who want to achieve sobriety while maintaining their daily activities in terms of work and family commitments. A majority of patients receiving treatment for addiction or substance abuse spend a considerable amount of time in some form of outpatient programs, whether it’s counseling, support group participation, medically-assisted treatment, or therapy.

Outpatient drug rehab centers realize that attaining sobriety in the long-term involves not just recognizing and addressing the physical attributes of addiction but also treating a patient’s medical needs along with his/her spiritual, emotional, and psychological requirements. Some advantages of outpatient detoxification programs include:

  • Incurring Fewer Expenses: There is no hospitalization required. Hence, patients do not have to pay hefty bills, as compared to a residential or inpatient treatment program
  • No Disruption to Daily Routine: Patients do not have to put their lives on hold and can continue working or maintain their commitments to family, attend a school or pursue other activities
  • Maintaining a Link with Family and Friends: Patients do not have to stay away from their loved ones, especially their children. They can return home each night and have access to support systems in the form of family members and friends. They can stay in close proximity to their near and dear ones and support network
  • Allowing Flexibility: Patients can attend scheduled treatment sessions in the day, evening, or weekends as they have the freedom to choose the timing and balance their day-to-day activities with their treatment program
  • Higher Level of Privacy: Patients do not have to take leave from work or explain long periods of absence to their bosses or peers. They can attend the programs discreetly and achieve their goal of attaining sobriety
  • Developing a Support System: These programs encourage people to shed their inhibitions and develop a support network of peers to share their success stories and, most importantly, their struggles, and also to learn from the experiences of others

Course of Outpatient Treatment

If you are trying to guess the timeframe of completing an outpatient detoxification program, you need to understand that there are several underlying factors that help the clinical team to assess, analyze, and draw up a treatment plan for each patient. An individual’s risk of relapse and other factors (like the degree of addiction) determine the process and intensity of treatment in outpatient detoxification programs. Tools are designed to help patients maintain abstinence and avoid cravings based on the criteria defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). The forms of outpatient detoxification treatment include:

  • Standard Outpatient Treatment: This program targets patients who have the lowest risk of relapse. According to the ASAM Continuum, adults are required to attend less than 9 hours of treatment each week, while teenagers need less than 6 hours a week. The program is suitable for patients with mild symptoms of substance abuse, high motivation levels to finish the treatment and maintain abstinence in the long run. It is also beneficial for patients who suffer from cognitive difficulties.
  • Intensive Outpatient Treatment: Patients who have a slightly higher risk of relapse can benefit from this program. Treatment involves attendance for more than 9 hours on a weekly basis for adults and more than 6 hours per week for adolescents. This form of treatment is also suitable for patients with co-occurring conditions and where the level of addiction is relatively mild to moderate.
  • Partial Hospitalization: This is suitable for patients who do not require 24-hour supervision or residential care, yet have a higher risk of relapse. Such patients require at least 20 hours of treatment each week. Patients who have a stable social support system, moderate issues of substance abuse, and a strong degree of motivation can benefit from this form of treatment.

Therapies Used in Outpatient Treatment

There are several therapies used in outpatient detoxification programs suited to a patient’s needs. Some of these therapies include:

  • Pharmacotherapy or medically-assisted treatment
  • Psychosocial Interventions like Behavioral Therapy and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Group Sessions & Individual Therapy, Motivation Enhancement Therapy (MET), Mindfulness Therapy, and Contingency Management Therapy
  • Relapse Prevention Programs
  • 12-Step Groups, Peer Support Groups, or other Focused Support Groups
  • Recovery Support Services

If you or your loved one struggling from alcohol or drug addiction, please reach out to an outpatient detoxification and rehabilitation center as soon as possible.Please contact us for an easier road to recovery. Call us for a cost-free consultation today or submit this form.

Middlesex (732) 560-1080
West Orange (973) 731-1375
Freehold (732) 431-5800
One of our addiction treatment experts will get back to you shortly.


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Best Strategies to Battle Opioid Addiction

Best Strategies to Battle Opioid Addiction

Strategic Plan

Opioid addiction is a serious and debilitating condition that can have potentially disastrous effects on an individual’s physical and mental wellbeing. It also causes problems like relationship difficulties, social withdrawal, financial stress, and more. In addition, the actual process of battling addiction can be a long and stressful one. But before we delve into withdrawal treatments and outpatient detox programs, let’s first understand the issue in a little more detail.


A wide range of drugs are classified as opioids. Some of them are medically prescribed, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, and codeine, to name just a few. Certain illegal substances like heroin or fentanyl also fall into this category. In simple terms, opioids primarily block pain signals to the brain and are widely used for pain relief. However, they can also induce a feeling of euphoria, often referred to as a “high.” As a result, they are extremely addictive and are often exploited to create different kinds of street drugs. They come with a range of side effects and can be very harmful if abused. In the case of prescribed opioids, overdose is a major risk.

The good news is that the issue of opioid addiction has gained significant awareness in the past few years, and there are a number of proven strategies to help wean addicts off their debilitating habit.

Suboxone, or Buprenorphine with Naloxone, Treatment

When it comes to dealing with opioid addiction, suboxone (a brand of generic buprenorphine with Naloxone added) is an extremely important drug. Interestingly, suboxone is also based on opium but they work rather differently from, say, oxycodone or heroin. Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and naloxone. You can think of buprenorphine as a partial agonist, which does not provide the high, or euphoria, that pure opioids provide, but address withdrawal symptoms and cravings: it provides individuals suffering from an addiction to opioids relief from cravings. The naloxone in the medication provides a line of defence against overdose in case the individual tries to get high by using opioids. Together, this combination has been more successful that other options tried before when it comes to weaning patients off opioids.


Of course, quitting cold turkey is not an option when it comes to opioids, due to severe withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone helps individuals addicted to opioids take the first step. However, some treatment providers view medication assisted treatment as substitution of one drug with another. This is a false statement as Buprenorphine, or Suboxone does not provide the euphoria provided by heroin or fentanyl. At the end of treatment, individuals have to be weaned off of Suboxone, as it may sometimes elicit withdrawal symptoms such as mild nausea, fever, chills, sweating, headaches, and irritability. It also makes the person anxious as they are giving up the medication that has kept them sober and aided their recovery. Experts advice that the best way to deal with this is by working with an experienced medical professional or detoxification facility. The clinical team will be able to chart out a detailed plan to taper off the dosage so that the body experiences minimal withdrawal symptoms, while addressing anxiety.


Drug Rehab or Detoxification Centers

Drug rehabilitation or detoxification centers are recommended for more serious cases of addiction. The primary goal is to put the addict in a safe space where they can get all the help and support they need. A number of treatment strategies are employed, including medicine-assisted detox (through suboxone and other alternatives), therapy, and counseling. However, the efficacy of drug rehab centers is often under-appreciated. A good drug rehab center will not only focus on treating its patients but also helping them shape a stronger, healthier and more action-oriented lifestyle while living in their home environment. If you are looking for a center for drug rehab, NJ (New Jersey) has a range of different centers that cater to addiction to all substances. Many of them provide their patients with customized care that is tailor-made to suit an individual’s needs. In general, most of them focus on helping individuals addicted to drugs or alcohol detoxify their bodies, work on their mental health, and build a healthier lifestyle. Along with medication assisted therapy and counseling, patients are also given the tools to reintegrate themselves into society. Studies indicate that while individuals suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol manage to deal with their addictions well in rehab, the pressures of the real world can often cause them to backslide. As a result, it is important to engage in detoxification and other follow-up treatment in an outpatient setting, so that the patient does not have to adjust back to the home environment after treatment in an isolated inpatient setting.


Outpatient Detox


Getting admitted to an inpatient rehab facility is not the only option. A number of detox centers have now started offering what is known as an outpatient detox program for all substances. This gives patients the opportunity to continue to live with their families while dealing with their addiction problems. In general, outpatient detox programs are usually a good option for individuals with a strong and stable family environment to help deal with the withdrawal process. Outpatient treatment is more well covered by private health insurance providers.

In summary, battling an opioid addiction need not be a lonely struggle. Individuals with addiction issues need a strong support system along with quality professional care in the form of medication, therapy, and counseling. Approaching a treatment facility is the first step – along with a strong personal commitment to beat the addiction.


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