When it comes to alcohol and drug use, Illinois takes a hard stance on any kind of substance abuse. If you find yourself needing an alcohol and drug evaluation in Illinois, there are certain things you should know. To start, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) requires a person to undergo an assessment process in order to determine the degree of their substance use. This evaluation is conducted by a licensed clinician who will assess the person’s overall mental health, substance use history, and treatment needs. Following the evaluation, the clinician will provide a report to the court or referring agency which will recommend the necessary treatment for the individual. In order for an individual to receive the most effective care, it is important to understand the process of getting an alcohol and drug evaluation in Illinois.
Overview of alcohol and drug use in Illinois
The good news is that alcohol use has steadily decreased in Illinois over the past few years. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), underage drinking accounts for the majority of alcohol-related deaths in the state. Recent data indicates that underage drinking has decreased by almost 25% over the last decade. However, the bad news is that drug use remains a significant problem. According to SAMHSA, the number of Illinois residents who have used illicit drugs within the last month has remained consistent over the past decade.
This is especially concerning because many illicit drugs are associated with a high potential for dependence. Heroin, methamphetamine, and prescription opioids, such as oxycodone, are all examples of highly addictive substances. As a result, many individuals in Illinois turn to alcohol and drugs because they are struggling to manage their mental health conditions. The SAMHSA data shows that the number of people who have used mental health services within the past year has increased by almost 40% over the last decade.
Who conducts the evaluation?
The type of evaluation you receive will depend on the situation in which you are referred for evaluation. If you are ordered to undergo an alcohol and drug evaluation by a judge, your probation officer, or the Department of Corrections, you will receive a court-ordered evaluation. This type of assessment is conducted by a licensed clinician who will review your criminal history, treatment needs, and current mental health diagnosis. The clinician will then create an individualized plan for treatment based on your specific needs. If you are referred for an evaluation by an agency, such as the Department of Human Services, you will receive an agency-ordered evaluation. This type of assessment is conducted by a licensed clinician who will review your social and medical history to evaluate your overall mental health. The clinician will also determine the degree to which you have been abusing alcohol and/or drugs. The process for agency-ordered evaluations is often the same, regardless of whether the person being evaluated is an adult or a minor.
The importance of an accurate report
Getting an alcohol and drug evaluation at the Counseling Center of Illinois is the first step toward receiving the treatment you need. Because evaluation reports are often used as evidence in future court hearings, it is important that the clinician conducting the assessment be as thorough as possible. An accurate report will help you to receive the appropriate level of care, as well as provide you with the best chance at receiving a lower sentence if you are in the middle of a court proceeding.
It is also important to remember that you do have the right to challenge any errors or omissions in the report. If you feel that the assessment is inaccurate, or if you disagree with the recommendations, you should discuss your concerns with the clinician. If you still have concerns following the conversation, you can ask for a review of the report by a second clinician. Additionally, if you feel the report is being used to unfairly affect your life, you can challenge the report in court.
Resources available in Illinois for alcohol and drug treatment
Depending on the needs of the individual, Illinois offers a variety of resources for alcohol and drug treatment. If you are entering treatment for the first time, you may be eligible for a short-term outpatient program (SOP). These programs are often structured as daily or weekly outpatient treatment that lasts from one to three months in length. An SOP is most effective when it is combined with aftercare services, such as 12-step programs or peer support groups. Illinois also offers an array of inpatient treatment options. Inpatient treatment is helpful for individuals who might benefit from a more intensive level of care.
There are fortunately many different programs available, including detox, residential treatment, and day treatment. Most treatment providers offer financial assistance, so be sure to inquire about your options. Additionally, you can also find treatment resources by contacting the Illinois Department of Human Services office.
What happens during an evaluation?
The exact process of getting an alcohol and drug evaluation in Illinois will depend on the situation. In most cases, an agency-ordered evaluation will begin with a phone call to the local Department of Human Services office. During this call, an intake representative will ask you a few questions about your mental health and substance use history. From there, the representative will determine if you qualify for an evaluation and will make an appointment for you to visit the office in person. If you are receiving a court-ordered evaluation, you will need to contact the judge’s office to obtain the necessary information to schedule an appointment. Once you receive the appointment information, you can expect to receive the following: A medical history questionnaire A request for medical record documentation A psychiatric evaluation In certain cases, a urinalysis or breathalyzer test
What is included in the evaluation report?
The report that the clinician creates following the alcohol and drug evaluation will include a few important pieces of information. The report will first include the clinician’s diagnosis of your mental health condition. Following the diagnosis, the report will include the clinician’s recommendation for treatment. If you are receiving an agency-ordered evaluation, the report will also include a recommendation for the appropriate level of services. Following the diagnosis, recommendation, and service recommendation, the report will also include the clinician’s assessment of your current level of substance use. The report will also include any previous treatment experiences you may have had. Finally, the report will include the names of any current mental health medications you are taking.
If you find yourself needing an alcohol and drug evaluation in Illinois, know that the process can be both thorough and helpful. The evaluation will provide you with a better idea of your mental health needs and a treatment plan that fits your needs. Additionally, the report will provide important evidence for your court case or for the services you are receiving from an agency. If you or someone you know needs treatment, know that there are resources available to help. Alcohol and drug use can cause significant damage to your mental health, relationships, and career. With the right treatment plan, you can overcome your substance use disorder and begin living the life you have always dreamed of having.