Alcohol and Drug Assessment and Counseling

Individual alcohol and drug therapy is a key par of BHIC’s Charlotte substance abuse treatment, employee assistance programs, and addiction counseling. Although it is mainly used in outpatient treatment centers, inpatient rehabilitation in Charlotte also uses this substance abuse treatment on their patients since it is more practical and comprehensive. Drug counseling goes a long way in getting addicts back on their feet and into the real world again. Although it is hard on patients during the first few weeks of treatment to stay on the right track, individual drug treatment therapy gets them there anyway. With the right drug counselor, it is easy to navigate through the world of being sober since you have someone to talk everything over with and feel no judgment or condemnation.

Of course, there are many options for drug treatment at the addict’s disposal in Charlotte, but at the end of the day, individual substance abuse treatment, employee assistance programs, and addiction counseling works best. The importance of curbing addiction in the bud is that you get to avoid major health problems such as liver cirrhosis and eventually death. A drug counselor comes in very handy since they are in a better position to give you information that would help you in the fight against alcohol and drug addiction. You want to ensure that when you get back on track, you cannot relapse. Having individual therapy and an employee assistance program goes a long way in making sure of that. Unlike group therapy, your needs, faults, triggers of addiction and fears are addressed specifically during the drug addiction counseling session.

This part of the drug and alcohol assessment is when the counselor determines the appropriate diagnosis for the current drug and alcohol use. Common diagnosis include Alcohol Use Disorder, mild and moderate, Cannabis Use Disorder, mild and moderate, Stimulant Use Disorder, mild, and Opioid Use Disorder, mild. The mild, moderate, and severe designations acknowledge the intensity of the drugs affects on the individual’s lifestyle.  Most of our Charlotte substance abuse treatment and addiction counseling patients we see are below the severe mark and can benefit from the services we provide. Patients with sever drug or alcohol problems may need an inpatient treatment facility.

The ASAM Criteria Approach

The ASAM criteria are a national placement set of standards that were found in the 1980s as a result of a collaboration that began around that time. The ASAM criteria are described as addiction treatment standards that were set to provide comprehensive services to individuals. The aim was to deliver effective drug treatment to addicts and ensure results were observed from the treatment.  ASAM criteria are as best as it gets when it comes to placing individuals and adolescents who are using drugs into a certain treatment regimen. A question of how often you see a drug counselor is pretty much determined by the guidelines that will be used in your assessment. With its requirement being needed in almost every addiction treatment center, the ASAM criteria aids in:-

  • Placement of addicts according to their level of addiction.
  • Monitoring of a patient to determine whether they are getting better and should be released, continue staying the program or be transferred in another institution.
  • Determine patients with co-occurring conditions and what not.
  • Determine the approach of treatment for a patient after relapse or during admission.

These ASAM’s guidelines are best used by professionals who is in the line of rendering treatment options to addicts. The procedure best describes which treatment option works best for a certain client and why it best suits them. Individual-based drug counseling is always an option during the placement but what matters is how often or how comprehensive does a supposed client needs these counseling sessions.

To provide comprehensive individual treatment, adolescents, and adults are placed differently and individually in the treatment for the patients to get the help they need. A treatment plan is immediately crafted out following the findings during the ASAM criteria addict determination and placement session. The drug treatment assessment for both adults and adolescents is practically developed over six multidimensional drug treatment levels that are established from the:-

  • Structure of medical treatment provided.
  • Degree of medical management given in the treatment provided.
  • Safety and security rendered in the treatment provided.
  • The intensity of the treatment provided.

In every treatment plan that a professional decides their addiction patient needs, safety and security should be the first key element that they look at in the form of treatment they have suggested. Some patients can be allowed to go for outpatient programs while others strictly need to be rehabilitated to get better. This is the multidimensional drug treatment assessment that the ASAM criteria use in the determination to aid addiction patients to get better:-

First Dimension: Acute Intoxication and Withdrawal Potential

This dimension looks at all the possibilities of whether the individual is struggling with acute intoxication and how bad the addiction is. A drug counselor comes in handy depending on the outcome of this dimension and the information that will be uncovered. The professional handling this assessment will also check for the potential of withdrawal and related symptoms.

Second Dimension: Biomedical Conditions and Complications

The second dimension is focused on the individual’s health condition; their history or lack there-of some conditions while considering their current physical health. Having this information helps in aiding the individual in getting through their addiction by mentioning such factors during drug counseling. A drug counselor is in a better position to address the patient while having as much information as possible.

Third Dimension: Emotional, Behavioral or Cognitive Conditions and Complications

During the assessment in this dimension, the individual is asked about their mental history and whether they have had any mental problems in the past. This dimension explores emotional and mental problems that might affect the individual during the drug treatment. This stage of assessment is nothing close to the rest since it is very intimate since it also focuses on the thoughts of the individual. Drug counseling is majorly scheduled depending on the findings at this stage.

Fourth Dimension: Readiness to Change

This is assessment is done to check on the readiness and possibility of the individual to change. This dimension explores the option of whether the individual feels inclined to change their behavior or not. A drug counselor is required to twist the individual’s thoughts and show them why they should change and what it can do for them, and their loved ones.

Fifth Dimension: Relapse, Continued Use or Continued Problem Potential

This dimension is specific to the ability of the individual, or the lack of one to stay in their abstinence journey, leading to relapse or any related problem. Of course, the drug counseling might work for some time during the drug treatment until the individual stops working on themselves and fall back into the same addiction pit. This assessment procedure puts things into perspective and helps the individual to focus on the goal; which is staying sober.

Sixth Dimension: Recovery and The Living Environment

The last dimension is focused and fixed on the recovery of the individual. It is known that for the drug treatment to work, and the drug counseling sessions to pay off, the living surroundings of the individual have to be closely monitored. The people that the individual interacts with, or the environment they live in should not contain any triggers for their environment or anything negative, to begin with.


The ASAM criteria happen to be one of the most useful tools that professionals used to help individuals who are suffering from alcohol and drug addiction. It helps in figuring out which drug treatment individual therapy works best and aids in the placement of patients according to their addiction levels. A drug counselor is actively involved in the drug treatment of an individual to aid them in getting their life back and living an addiction-free life. The ASAM guidelines ensure a patient is treated according to their problems, triggers, faults, weaknesses, strengths, and everything else. Individual therapy has been proven to be more effective compared to group therapy, and that is a lot of people have embraced it and its possibilities.