In the event that drugs or alcohol are involved in a charge, a substance abuse evaluation may be ordered by a judge. Evaluations are conducted by agencies that are certified by the state and may be required as part of mandatory sentencing procedures in some states. A substance abuse evaluation is typically required when charged with offenses such as DUI, DUID, MIP, drug or alcohol possession, disorderly conduct, public intoxication, or using a false ID.
When attending the court-ordered evaluation, certain documents are required such as a copy of your NEEDS assessment if you went to a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program, a report of your driving history from the Department of Driver Services or Department of Motor Vehicles, any criminal history or arrests, and a copy of the arrest report. During the evaluation, which typically lasts between 60-90 minutes, a substance abuse treatment professional will conduct an in-depth review of your substance abuse history and the documents you provide.
The purpose of a court-ordered evaluation is to determine if an ongoing condition such as substance use disorder (SUD) is present, or if there is not enough evidence to support a diagnosis. Even if there isn’t enough evidence, many states may still require you to complete various programs or treatment obligations as determined by the court.
Depending on the state, the incident/sentencing, and the recommendations of the agency that evaluated you, you may be required to attend DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Programs, random drug and/or alcohol urinalysis, AA or NA meetings, substance abuse education classes, substance abuse counseling sessions, or an inpatient or outpatient treatment program.
Although these circumstances may not have been your choice, it is beneficial to start the process immediately. Not only does this show the judge and prosecution that you are taking your responsibilities seriously, but it also helps coordinate the care and support you may need.
A substance abuse evaluation is ultimately for your own benefit. Treatment professionals need to know your history of substance abuse or addiction in order to develop an effective plan. This is also a time for you to be honest about any other factors that may influence your recovery options. If you are truthful about your habits and information, you increase your chances for a healthier life.
If substance abuse is negatively impacting your life, or the life of someone you know, don’t hesitate to contact Recovery Awareness. Our secure and HIPAA-compliant platform provides Substance Abuse Counseling and Assessments via Telehealth to connect individuals conveniently and effectively with our professionals.