What Is in a Substance Abuse Assessment?

Substance Abuse Assessment

If you want to enter a treatment facility for your substance use disorder, you will first undergo a substance abuse assessment. This allows the providers at the facility to better understand your condition, needs, and history.

This assessment will determine if you or a loved one has a substance use disorder. Many individuals in our society use alcohol and recreational drugs, but that doesn’t always mean they have a substance use disorder.

Sometimes the lines are blurred on whether or not someone might be abusing a substance. This assessment allows for health professionals to determine the level of use.

There is no need to prepare for this assessment. The best thing you can do is tell the truth and remain open with the clinician to create a treatment plan. Keep reading to learn more about substance abuse assessments and what to expect from them.

What Is a Substance Abuse Assessment?

A substance abuse assessment is a face-to-face meeting between an individual and an addiction care professional. This meeting is usually about an hour long and goes over various questions to learn more about that specific person’s relationship to substances.

It’s important for the healthcare provider to understand the patient’s family, social, occupational, legal, medical and mental health history, and substance use patterns. Past behaviors, such as driving under the influence or DUI and opioid abuse, should be shared to help form a more complete picture of your struggles — and help develop the best course of treatment.

The assessment session can better determine what level of substance misuse you are struggling with and to figure out the right treatment options to fit your needs. Depending on your needs and your schedule, you may be offered outpatient services over an inpatient stay, or a detox followed by weeks of inpatient care.

Your substance abuse story and your daily life will help professionals plot out the best course of action. The substance abuse assessment helps to place you exactly where you need to be so you can rise above your alcohol abuse.

What To Expect During a Substance Abuse Assessment

Substance abuse assessments are usually broken into two sections: the initial screening test and the actual assessment. As mentioned above, not everyone who uses substances has an addiction.

The first step in the substance abuse assessment process is to determine if there is an actual problem.

The Screening Process

The screening process allows whoever is administering the assessment to say: yes, this person has a substance abuse problem, or, no, this person does not misuse substances. This first step in the process allows for preemptive care.

During this time, the administrator might notice that the patient is seriously struggling and is open to receiving help. The substance use assessment is an important tool to getting relevant answers.

Different assessment tools that are used in this process include:

  1. CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool: This tool was initially created to better understand an individual’s alcohol use, but it can be adapted to drug abuse as well. The only issue with this is that if someone is trying to hide their substance use issues, these questions might not fully showcase the extent of the problem. It asks four questions:
    1. Have you ever felt you should cut down on your drinking or drug use?
    2. Have people annoyed you by criticizing your drinking or drug use?
    3. Have you felt guilty about your drinking or drug use?
    4. Have you ever had a drink or used drugs first thing in the morning to steady your nerves or to get rid of a hangover?
  2. Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI): A tool that helps determine whether substance use extends beyond social use into more serious levels. This tool also helps to determine how willing someone is to get help and how much they understand about their substance use.
  3. Alcohol Use Inventory (AUI): This tool is self-administered and can be used to track how much alcohol you are consuming. It asks you questions about your use, how frequently you use, at what points in the day you turn to alcohol, and if it’s affected your family members or friends.

Once you’ve undergone the screening process, you will either continue with the assessment to gain a more in-depth understanding or discuss substance abuse prevention strategies to avoid falling deeper into addiction.

The Assessment

If it’s been determined that you have a substance use disorder, the next step is a more in-depth assessment. During the assessment, your counselor is looking for direct evidence to back up their claims in order to help get a diagnosis.

The questions from the screening test will be asked again but in more depth. This will help you get a better understanding of your history and needs.

Some of the tools that are used during the assessment are:

  • Diagnostic Interview Schedule-IV (DIS-IV): This is a structured questionnaire that helps to determine if there is a diagnosis for substance use disorder the way that it’s defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The first step is usually an exact diagnosis to understand treatment programs better. Almost anyone can administer this test as you simply have to follow along with the questions, but it might not be as in-depth.
  • Addiction Severity Index (ASI): This tool is a semi-structured questionnaire that asks more personal questions about your substance use over the course of your lifetime. This is often more in-depth and asks detailed questions about family, friends, mental health, legal issues, emotions, and other histories to understand the diagnosis.

After the assessment has been completed, the providers will begin crafting an addiction treatment plan that is specific to your needs. This will offer you the best chance for success and recovery.

Entering Treatment at Soba Texas

In order to enter a treatment facility to treat your substance use disorder, the substance abuse assessment is required. It helps to determine your path through treatment and recovery, which is why it’s so important that you are truthful and upfront with your provider.

Here at the Soba Recovery Centers in San Antonio, Texas, we consider an assessment essential. It allows us better insight into your substance use history and helps us determine your needs.

Working towards recovery is not only your goal but ours. We want to help you succeed and reach recovery so that you can live the type of life you deserve. But we have to start somewhere.

At Soba’s treatment facility, that means undergoing a substance abuse assessment before we can move forward. If you or a loved one is potentially struggling with a drug addiction or other substance use disorder, reach out to a representative at our treatment center to learn more about the inpatient services offered.

It’s never too late to get help, and you can do so in the comfort of Soba professionals.



4 Screening and Assessment | Substance Abuse Treatment: Addressing the Specific Needs of Women | NCBI Bookshelf

CAGE Substance Abuse Screening Tool | Johns Hopkins Medicine

Alcohol Use Inventory (AUDIT) | University of Kentucky

Alcohol Rehab Insurance: How Does it Work?

Alcohol Rehab Insurance

Every day another person struggles with their alcohol addiction. It impacts their work life, close personal relationships, and relationships with themselves. Alcohol dependency can be debilitating, yet not that many people seek out treatment when they first become aware of their addiction.

It doesn’t mean it isn’t because they don’t want to seek help. Not everyone has access to good treatment facilities, which can be a major roadblock. Whether it’s because there aren’t any facilities close to you, you don’t have insurance or aren’t able to cover what your insurance doesn’t; treatment might seem out of reach to some folks.

If you have insurance, you might be wondering what access you have to alcohol rehab treatment but aren’t sure where to start. Keep reading to learn more about how insurance works for substance abuse treatment and what options might be available to you.

Does Insurance Cover Alcohol Rehab Treatment?

If you have insurance, it’s likely that alcohol rehab treatment services are either fully or partially covered. Health insurance will cover it because addiction is classified as a disease and requires medical intervention in order to get better.

Some insurance providers only cover so much and certain treatment programs, while some drug rehab facilities only accept certain insurance plans. It’s important that you talk to a representative with your insurance company so that you can learn about the insurance coverage you can receive for addiction treatment according to your plan.

In the same breath, reaching out to prospective treatment facilities about what insurance plans they accept and what options they might have for financial support can give you a better understanding of what to prepare for.

Once you’ve talked to both, you can begin to lay out a plan in order to receive the treatment you deserve.

Providers Who Cover Alcohol Rehab Treatment

There is health insurance coverage that will handle the costs of alcohol rehab treatment, but depending on the plan you’ve opted for, the exact services and costs might differ.

Some of the providers who are known to cover this kind of treatment are:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • Aetna
  • United Healthcare
  • Humana
  • Kaiser Permanente

Insurance Plans for Alcohol Treatment

In order to find the best treatment center for your needs and for your insurance policy, you should know what kind of plan you have opted for. Two common plans are Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).

HMO plans only allow you coverage to healthcare providers within the insurance plan and won’t cover anything outside of it. PPO plans are more flexible with the available health insurance providers, but you usually have to pay a higher premium for this kind of access.

This information is important to know as you start to look into different rehab centers so that you can limit your search to the treatment plans that will be covered.

Services Covered by Insurance

There are a variety of different alcohol rehab treatment services out there, and you might find that your insurance covers some rehab programs but not others. It also might be that your insurance provider only covers so much for a specific kind of treatment, leaving you to cover the rest on your own. It might limit your options, though not completely shut you away from them.

A few treatment options that are usually covered, at least partially, by insurance providers are:

  • Detoxification: The detoxification process is used when someone is heavily reliant on a substance to the point that it is dangerous for them to quit cold turkey. Medical detox at a treatment facility allows for constant monitoring so that you can stay safe and as comfortable as possible when undergoing withdrawals. This is usually the first step before entering inpatient and can be essential to the trajectory of your recovery process.
  • Inpatient Services: This is 24/7 care that allows you to focus on your recovery in a safe and encouraging environment. These mental health services are usually covered by insurance and include group therapy, individual therapy, activities, and exercises that can help you beat your drug addiction. Inpatient treatment is very structured in order to help get you back on track and hold you accountable.
  • Outpatient Services: For someone who might not be able to afford the full cost of rehab inpatient services, outpatient programs are a great option. You still live at home and can attend your job or school, but you go to the treatment facility on a schedule to participate in group and individual therapy and other activities. This allows for more flexibility while also allowing you access to alcohol abuse treatment.
  • Aftercare: Once you’ve undergone detox, inpatient, and/or outpatient treatment, you might still need some additional support. Insurance companies will often cover aftercare if it is going to assist you in your path to sobriety. These services help you to maintain sobriety and find ways to cope with life after treatment. This is an excellent time to enter AA or other support groups to keep holding yourself accountable.

Paying Without Insurance

Not everyone has the luxury of insurance, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get alcohol or drug treatment. There are public insurance plans that you might be eligible to apply for, including Medicare if you are over the age of 65 or disabled, Medicaid if you are in a state where it’s eligible, or even through the VA if you are an honorably discharged veteran.

If this doesn’t work out for you, you do have other options:

  • Payment plans might be available to you so that you can split up the total cost over a period of time
  • Some rehab centers might have payment options like sliding scales for how much you can pay to get a certain type of treatment
  • You can check out state-funded or free rehabilitation centers and services
  • You can apply for scholarships or grants that will help pay for the treatment services

You deserve treatment for your substance use disorder, and the lack of insurance shouldn’t stop you from seeking treatment. Don’t feel ashamed to ask your friends and family members to consider helping out and supporting you financially to allow you to recover. There is no shame in asking for help.

Alcohol Rehab at Soba Texas

At Soba San Antonio, we want to see you succeed. Alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that can bring lots of pain and suffering to your life. In order to get better, you have to commit to yourself and your sobriety. It can be difficult, but it’s always worth it in the end.

Soba Recovery Centers provide you with all kinds of behavioral health treatment options that are often covered by insurance. We help you undergo detoxification, through inpatient rehab and outpatient treatment, and even your aftercare. The recovery process is long and windy. We want to be there every step of the way.

If you or a loved one is considering entering treatment for their alcohol addiction or drug abuse, reach out to a Soba representative to learn more about if your health insurance plan will cover your cost of treatment.

We can help get you the treatment you deserve and work together to come up with a proper plan. Change doesn’t just happen overnight — but we can help guide you toward the right path!



Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy of Alcohol Use Disorder: A Review | NCBI

Type Of Plan And Provider Network | HealthCare.gov

Health Maintenance Organization | StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf

Medicare Preferred Provider Organization Demonstration: Plan Offerings and Beneficiary Enrollment | NCBI

Signs of Cocaine Addiction: What To Look Out For

Often glorified in movies and television, cocaine is a drug that is used by millions of Americans who may not understand its full potential danger. It’s highly addictive, with dependencies forming easier than one might anticipate. Cocaine addiction is a serious condition that requires intervention and commitment to getting better in order to overcome it.

If you or a loved one are struggling with cocaine addiction, finding professional treatment can help you through recovery. It can be difficult to ask for help, so having others recognize the signs of cocaine addiction can kick start the road to recovery.

Reaching out to your loved ones about problems they might be struggling with can be intimidating, but in the end, it is always worth it.

What Is Cocaine?

Cocaine is a stimulant that causes a person to feel alert and euphoric feelings. Cocaine is a white powdery substance that is often snorted, but it can be injected and swallowed as well.

There is also crack cocaine, which comes in rock form and is typically smoked. Regardless of how you ingest it, it can leave you feeling high for anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours at a time. This is just one reason why addiction to it is so prevalent – people use it frequently because the high wears off “too fast.”

Side Effects of Cocaine

When someone is using cocaine, many side effects can occur. The most prominent of these include alertness and euphoria. Others include:

  • Overconfidence
  • Paranoia or confusion
  • Runny nose or sniffles
  • Irritability
  • Anger and aggression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia or long periods of being awake
  • Increased heart rate

Signs of Overdose

Someone might have used too much cocaine if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Panicking and anxiety
  • Chest pains and trouble breathing
  • Tremors, shaking, confusion

What Are Signs of Cocaine Addiction?

Some people who abuse and misuse cocaine don’t develop into a full-blown addiction. Sometimes, there are immediate adverse consequences as a result.

Not everyone will develop a cocaine addiction. However, it can be very difficult for those who do develop an addiction to stop using cocaine.

Physical Changes

A person experiencing cocaine addiction might suffer from severe headaches and frequent bloody noses. They also might not be sleeping, further contributing to these symptoms. People who develop an addiction to cocaine might stop caring about their hygiene, like showering regularly or brushing their teeth daily.

You might notice rapid weight loss or an overall look of exhaustion, especially in moments of comedowns and periods without using. When a person is using, you might also notice erratic movements, wide eyes, and an overall sense of unpredictability.

Mental and Emotional Decline

When you struggle with cocaine addiction, you become dependent on that drug to keep you afloat. It can feel like you simply won’t be able to exist without it, but in reality, it’s causing you to wither away. Cocaine addictions can cause severe depression and anxiety to occur as well as intense mood swings.

When actively using, you might also suffer from delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia, especially in large amounts. Cocaine has a severe toll on your mental and emotional health because it becomes all-consuming. You rely on cocaine to do what dopamine should be able to do for you. If you already struggle with mental health, using cocaine could be detrimental.

Changes in Behavior

When someone uses cocaine, their behavior is almost the easiest to acknowledge. If you suspect that your loved one is using cocaine, you might notice a few signs first. A person might begin sneaking around behind your back more, not having direct answers to support decisions or actions, and lying more frequently.

If you notice that someone is becoming more secretive and uneasy during basic conversations, they might be trying to hide drug use from you. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but if you suspect that cocaine use might be happening, these are things to look out for.

People may also develop financial issues because they have to keep up with their addiction. It’s a fast-acting drug, so multiple uses throughout the day to keep the high going is not uncommon. While these are all things that someone might try to deal with on the back burner and not directly ask for help with, they are still signs that you could pick up on and assist with.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cocaine Use?

Someone who uses cocaine once probably isn’t subject to major long-term side effects. You might experience an uncomfortable come down after using, which may increase your anxiety and any depressive thoughts. You might feel run down the next day as well.

Long-term users might experience:

  • Consistent nosebleeds and the loss of smell
  • Respiratory infections
  • Asthma
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Heart-related issues, like heart attacks and arrhythmia
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including perforation of the stomach and intestines
  • Kidney problems
  • Easier time contracting blood-borne diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis C

Impact on Loved Ones

Cocaine addiction can seriously impact the relationships around you, which means it’s not just you that is affected by it. You might begin to pull away from your close friends and family members, lie and hide things from them, and potentially even use them for finances to help continue the addiction.

Many might notice that you are struggling but not be sure how to come to you about getting help. Entering a treatment facility like Soba Recovery Centers can allow for a safe place for you to deal with your addiction, surrounded by people who understand your struggles and want to help you.

Getting Help With Soba Recovery Centers

Treatment for one person may look different than your own treatment plan, but at Soba Recovery Centers, the goal is to craft an individual recovery plan that you can find success in. The three main kinds of treatment you can get are detoxification, inpatient, and outpatient.

Choosing to undergo a detox from the drug can help you begin recovery. While you can attempt to do this independently, you may begin to experience withdrawal symptoms and might relapse. When at a detoxification treatment, you are supervised and cared for to keep you safe. Once you complete your detox, you may be urged to participate in inpatient services.

Inpatient is when you stay in the treatment facility with medically trained staff and participate in therapy sessions, both individual and group, and recreational activities like yoga and meditation. This can last for a few weeks or several months, depending on how severe the addiction is.

Transitioning out of inpatient might seem scary, but with outpatient services, you can continue going to therapy and participating in activities at the facility while gaining your independence back. You might be able to start back up at your job while you continue to work towards your recovery.

Call a Soba representative today if this is something that you believe could help you or your loved one. Addiction is nothing you should be ashamed about, so let’s get you the help you deserve.


What is Cocaine? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

What Are The Short-Term Effects Of Cocaine Use? | National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Adverse health consequences of cocaine abuse. | PMC

Meth Addiction: Long Term Effects and How To Fight It

Meth (methamphetamine) is a drug that you only need to take once before risking an addiction.

It’s a highly addictive stimulant that produces a rush of dopamine that is not easy to obtain otherwise. Your brain cannot produce that much dopamine at once — after you use meth just one time, you can never achieve that rush again without it. This leads to cravings, withdrawal symptoms, and ultimately a methamphetamine addiction.

For this exact reason, millions of people suffer from a crystal meth addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, seek professional assistance immediately. It can be difficult to make that first step of asking for help, but you ensure that your future will look a lot brighter as you enter recovery.

The long-term effects of meth are extremely detrimental and cause both physical, mental, and social issues as you continue to use. Early intervention through inpatient and outpatient services can get you on the right path.

What Is Meth?

Meth, or methamphetamine, is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant that sends waves of dopamine to your brain. It was once prescribed throughout the United States to help with weight loss and as a decongestant, but in the 1970s, it was labeled a schedule II controlled substance.

Now, only one form of methamphetamine is prescribed in pharmacies today, and it helps treat severe attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and obesity.

The two most common forms of methamphetamines misused today are crystal meth and meth. Though chemically, they are made up of the same thing, they look different and are ingested slightly differently.

Crystal meth is a clear or light blue color coarse crystal that is typically used by smoking it. Meth is a powder that is usually white (sometimes pink, yellow, or brown) and used by smoking, snorting, or injecting the drug. Sometimes meth is cut with other drugs, which can make it even more dangerous.

What Does Meth Addiction Look Like?

Meth addiction can look like a lot of things to different people. No two people will have the same exact story, but you might find through therapy and meetings that many people share similar struggles. If you suspect that someone you love is struggling with meth abuse, it’s important to talk to them and encourage them to seek help.

If someone is using meth, they might become distant and stand-offish. They might become easily irritated or seem a bit paranoid about their surroundings. Someone who is using might sweat a lot more than usual and have dilated eyes. All of these are potential indicators of meth use.

What Are the Long Term Effects of Meth Addiction?

Meth addiction is not easy to overcome. Once you use the drug once, you could become trapped in the neverending cycle of finding your next dopamine rush through drug use. Short-term side effects of meth addiction include nausea and vomiting, dry mouth, dizziness, abnormal heart rate, high blood pressure, and tremors.

These short-term effects usually last for days at a time because a person might use meth for many days before giving it a break. It can be difficult to stop using once you start because you don’t want the high to disappear. Unfortunately, this leads to long-term effects that can be detrimental to your life.

On Your Brain

As soon as you begin using meth or crystal meth, your brain starts to change and morph to fit the feelings of the high. Continuous use further damages the brain and can trigger health-related issues. It negatively impacts the microglia, which supports brain health and protects the brain against infectious agents.

People who use meth for a long time might experience issues with concentrating and memory, daily functioning, and impulse control. Some people even experience paranoia and detachment that can put them into psychosis.

There are lasting effects on the brain, and these will stick around as long as you continue to use. Your brain can better repair itself when you aren’t using meth.

On Your Body

Not only does meth mess with your brain, but it also has negative impacts on your physical health long into the future. Many people who use meth experience a loss of appetite, which can lead to extreme weight loss. Skin sores and scabs can form on a person’s skin, easily attracting infections and bacteria when not treated properly.

People who use meth, especially those who smoke it, also experience severe dental issues. You might experience your teeth decaying, falling out, or developing gum disease. Over time, with meth use, you also risk organ failure.

On Your Relationships

When you use meth, you put intense stress on your personal and interpersonal relationships. You might struggle with yourself and your mental health — experiencing severe depression, anxiety, and mood swings. You might take less care of yourself, not participate in proper hygiene, or sleep poorly.

You might also withdraw from the people you love because the addiction is becoming shameful and out of control. If you find that you or a loved one are prioritizing a drug over the people that care, it’s time to seek out professional help.

Get Help With Soba Recovery

Meth addiction is a tough illness to suffer from. It takes a lot to seek out help, but getting treatment can help ensure that you are once again able to truly enjoy your life. There is so much more out there than a drug, and while it’s up to you to choose to seek those things out, we at Soba Recovery Centers are here to support you through your recovery.

Everyone deserves a chance at happiness, and you are no different! Meth addiction recovery requires a specific treatment plan catered to your needs. There are three treatment options that Soba Recovery Centers can help you with.


The first step to meth addiction recovery is undergoing a detoxification program. At Soba, we can help you undergo the detox stage to complete it safely. Detoxification means withdrawal, and your body will reject the idea of not using more meth. Our 24/7, around-the-clock staff is there to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible. At Soba, you are in good hands.


Once you complete the detoxification process, you will be feeling all sorts of things, both mentally and physically. By staying in a residential inpatient program, you have access to trained therapists that can help you unpack your addiction and other issues.

Being surrounded by people who are there to watch you succeed can be instrumental in your recovery process. You’ll attend individual therapy and group therapy — where you’ll meet others who share many of the same struggles. You’ll find the kind of community you never thought possible!


Once you’ve stayed inpatient, you aren’t just left alone to navigate the world outside. With outpatient services, you still attend group meetings and therapy sessions to work on your sobriety and recovery.

Holding yourself accountable and having a place to go where you can be safe will help you throughout your recovery. Your recovery is all about your individual treatment plan, and we can help you with that.

So what are you waiting for? Call a representative today and learn more about how Soba can help you or your loved one choose a life of happiness, health, and recovery from meth addiction.


Methamphetamine DrugFacts | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA

Know the Risks of Meth | SAMHSA

What are the long-term effects of methamphetamine misuse? | National Institute on Drug Abuse | NIDA