What is a Substance Abuse Evaluation?
A substance abuse evaluation is a counseling session performed by someone trained in substance abuse therapy.
The professional will administer some paper and pencil tests to determine any related substance abuse thoughts and behaviors.
They’ll also have a conversation with you about your current legal issues.
This evaluation can be a one-time visit to identify possible issues.
Then, the counselor will give you insight into your test results and recommend follow-up therapy if necessary.
Facing charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.
What Kind of Therapy is Normally Recommended?
There are three popular options for substance abuse therapy:
- AA – Attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings is usually recommended by courts. AA uses the 12-Step Program to lead someone towards sobriety. The program consists of a varying number of DUI AA meetings (either online or in-person), where members anonymously interact with each other. In a support group setting, they usually discuss their struggles and work through the 12 steps.
- Outpatient Therapy – Usually, this consists of meetings with a trained substance abuse counselor. The sessions can be group or personal. These meetings focus on personal issues or broader, more generalized issues. Some topics may include learning to avoid triggers, prayer and meditation, the dangers of substance abuse, and learning to live a sober life. Many places offer outpatient therapy, especially hospitals.
- In-Patient Therapy – Sometimes, life becomes too much to handle. Or maybe your addiction has reached a breaking point. All of these things can cause you to enter into a residential treatment center. Patients usually stay for 14 to 30 days at treatment facility. A day at a treatment facility is filled with multiple group and personal meetings. These meetings focus on sharing experiences on mental health and substance abuse treatment.
The ultimate goal is to break the chain of drug abuse and implement new strategies/behaviors.
Sometimes, being taken out of the environment and staying sober for two weeks is exactly what someone needs.
Does it Matter Which Method I Choose?
Unless you’ve been otherwise advised by the court, attending any form of substance abuse therapy is a massive step in the right direction.
For some, the substance abuse assessment may show no issues.
Therefore, that person may not have a need for substance abuse treatment and can move on.
However, it’s best to address any issues the evaluation uncovers head on.
If your condition isn’t properly treated the first time, expect a second DUI in your future.
You’ll also continue to feel powerless over alcohol or drugs.
Addiction is a cycle that repeats itself.
Identifying possible issues and treating them will lead to a better outcome in your current case and future.
Choosing the Right Course of Action
Attending AA meetings for your DUI case is one way to possibly receive lesser charges or dismiss the case altogether.
However, it is not the only way.
You don’t have to make your treatment decision alone.
Incorporate your family and any friends into your decision.
Finally, consult with your defense attorney.
A skilled and compassionate DUI lawyer will advise you of the best treatment options to not only help your case, but your well-being.
At the end of the day, the goal is to get sober and back on a promising path.
You should never feel too afraid to ask for help.
Facing DUI charges? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.