Why proper assessment is crucial


The proper assessment of any individual referred for the treatment of chemical abuse or dependency is crucially important for determining the level of care required to insure that the safest, most effective and appropriate facility is utilized.

This issue has become more pronounced in recent years with escalating health care costs, the impact of managed care and proliferating facilities of both an outpatient and inpatient type.

Treatment programs are not created equal.

The optimal assessment of a patient requires evaluation by professionals with addiction specific training to address the multi-dimensional aspects of the presenting problems. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the numbers of patients presenting with psychological problems and psychiatric conditions co-existing with their chemical dependency. However psychiatry, psychology and traditional social work are not disciplines that typically have effectively treated chemical dependency.

At KPC, the patient will be interviewed by an experienced skilled counselor trained in chemical dependency. A detailed drug and alcohol use history is obtained along with a personal and psychosocial history. This interview covers areas related to the client’s social, family and environmental factors, past and current medical and psychological problems and attitudes towards treatment and recovery.

If this interview indicates significant areas of psychological distress, the patient will be seen by either our Medical Director, Dr. Maltin, or our psychiatric Nurse Practitioner to further explore and clarify the patient’s psychological problems and other concurrent issues that must be considered in formulation an effective treatment recommendation.

We then gather collateral information from family, employers (if an EAP referral), treating doctors, etc. in order to gain a comprehensive picture of the presenting issues. When assessing for a level of care, numerous factors must be considered such as:

  • Past treatment efforts
  • Level of motivation
  • Severity of problem
  • Nature of support systems
  • Available therapeutic leverage
  • Living arrangements
  • Accompanying psychological problems
  • Physical health
  • Cognitive functioning

We will not admit a patient if we can not provide the most appropriate level of care. The patient's health and safety are our primary consideration.