Assessment and Diagnosis


This essay will explore particular areas of addictive disorders and their treatment to analyze and assess which methods are the best concerning the treatment of these disorders. This will involve the screening, assessment, and treatment plan. An individual that is experiencing an addictive disorder must be screened and assessed to diagnose the type of treatment plan they require as per the results of these two processes (Viswam, 2018). There are various ways of screening for addictive disorders, and this is done by deploying specific tools. There are different types of addictive disorders, meaning that there are various tests that are implemented to determine the diagnosis. The types of screening are AUDIT used for alcohol disorders, CAGE, and also TCUDS II. 

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Several screening tools are globally accepted and have been used to assess and formulate a treatment plan for patients with addictive disorders. These screening tools are AUDIT, AUDIT-C, CRAFFT, NIDA Modified ASSIST Drug Use Screening Tool, SBIRT Clinical Tools (Kerry, 2016). All these tools are used for different reasons, but a person can have more than one screening tool being used on them, and this is due to the abuse of various substances. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) is used to screen persons with the risk of alcohol problems through the use of ten questions (Kerry, 2016). AUDIT-C is often used to identify persons with a hazardous drinking problem.

The Center for Adolescent Substance Abuse Research is used to determine to identify adolescents with high-risk alcohol and other drug use disorders together (Parhami, 2012). This is used for persons under 21, and it is done through a six-question analysis of the patient.

Assessment Process

These assessment process that is done once these tools are deployed is usually through questionnaires. By implementing these questionnaires, medical experts can be able to categorize the level of risk that the patient is experiencing. This enables the person administering the test to be able to know what type of treatment they are supposed to manage and the kind of therapy to conduct (Fleming, 2010). These tests are used for differential diagnosis, and they are also used in adolescents and adults in different ways. At times the questions that are asked are meant to analyze the psyche of the person and if there are underlying factors that lead them to drink heavily or substance abuse (Fleming, 2010).


Before administering these tools, several factors should be considered to avoid using the wrong tool kit on a person. This is because of the level of comprehension of the patient. The age is one of the considerations because adolescent and young adults could be unable to trace the root cause of their drinking and they are likely to attribute their addictive behavior to peer pressure (Joanne, 2017). These types of persons are unable to understand whether there has been a history of substance abuse in their family or even other factors such a psychological abuse which can contribute to a person engaging in addictive behavior (Joanne, 2017). Another consideration that needs to be made to administer these tools to persons who are committed. This is because one can lie when they are asked these questions, and it could end up giving an inconclusive result. This, therefore, ends up in the whole process being undermined by the patient, and it could lead to a wrong diagnosis and eventually, an incorrect treatment plan. 

General Overview of Criteria

The approach to these tests is through using questionnaires that enable the person administering the test to be able to have an insight into the type of abuse that the person is experiencing (Vowles, 2016). This eventually leads to a diagnosis, which in turn informs the kind of treatment that the patient requires at the time. This is regardless of whether they are into substance abuse or alcohol abuse. These tests are also able to determine the intensity of the patient’s addiction.

Potential Problems

There are specific problems that can be attributed to these tests, and they can mislead the person administering the test. Once the questions are being asked, the patient can decide to lie on these questions, and it may mislead the medical expert. Some people who undergo these tests usually enroll so that they can be given medication, which in turn they end up abusing (Viswam, 2018). The only way to avoid such issues from occurring is by administering other tests. These tests should be in the guise of the physical examination that tests the person’s blood and other things. These tests could be particularly hard to carry out mostly among adolescents because they are typically rebellious, and they act like they do not need help. Also, people who are not willing to undergo these tests cannot be coerced to do so because it may escalate their drinking and use of substances.


There are specific tools that are very commonly used by experts in both substance and alcohol abuse. The AUDIT and AUDIT-C and also the CAGE is widely used for persons with alcohol-related addiction (Viswam, 2018). As for substance abuse, the Texas Christian University Drug Screen II and the CRAFFT screening tool are mostly used for persons with substance abuse (Fleming, 2010).

Crisis Management

When working with some of these patients, one should be able to counsel the patient to prevent them from experiencing shock or falling into depression. These counseling should be done pre-testing and post-testing (Joanne, 2017). This enables the patient to be able to come to terms with their situation and that they can understand that they can be treated. This type of crisis management ought to be done mostly in young adults and adolescents because they are more fragile and less understanding of why these things are happening to them (Parhami, 2012). The medical expert should have had the training to be able to counsel these people because it is part of their work to give care to them and try and make them better through the treatment program that has been set up for them that could make them better.


These tests are essential in the treatment of addictive disorders, and they have continued to be extremely relevant for persons who want to be treated for alcohol and substance abuse. These tests can only be administered to persons who wish to be diagnosed, and it requires commitment. It would be pointless to operate these tools to persons who do not want to be diagnosed or to be helped to treat their addiction. These tests and tools are highly effective, but due to the apparent obstacles, they can end up not giving conclusive results, and that is why providing these tests to young adults can be quite challenging. They can end up undercutting the whole process, and therefore, it will end up not being ineffective.


 Baldacchino, A., Gilchrist, G., Fleming, R., & Bannister, J. (2010). Guilty until proven innocent: A qualitative study of the management of chronic non-cancer pain among patients with a history of substance abuse. Addictive Behaviors, 35, 270–272.

Joanne E., Giglio R, Keyes K, DiMaggio C and Guohua Li, (2017) Risk markers for fatal and non-fatal prescription drug overdose: a meta-analysis, Injury Epidemiology.

Kerry R, Goovaerts P, Vowles M and Ingram B (2016) Spatial analysis of drug poisoning deaths in the American West, particularly Utah, International Journal of Drug Policy, 33, (44).

Parhami I, (2012) Screening for Addictive Disorders Within a Workers’ Compensation Clinic: An Exploratory Study, Substance Use & Misuse, 47:1, 99-107Viswam, A., Nagarajan, P., Kuppili, P. P., & Bharadwaj, B. (2018). Cognitive Functions among Recently Detoxified Patients with Alcohol Dependence and Their Association with Motivational State to Quit. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 40(4), 310–314.

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