SUBSTANCE ABUSE EVALUATIONS
Oftentimes, substance abuse and or dependence masks an underlying mental illness (es). Acute and chronic substance abuse can precipitate substance-induced psychosis, which can mimicthe psychotic disorders in the DSM-V. A substance abuse evaluation is given to determine the effects of a street drug and or prescribed medication(s) on an individual's social, emotional, financial, legal, academic and or occupational functioning. Given the high nature of substance abuse, especially opiates (e.g., Percocet, etc.), benzodiazepines (e.g., Clonzepam, Xanax, Diazepam, Lorazepam, etc.), psychostimulants(e.g., Adderall, etc.), street drugs (e.g., Cocaine, Crack, Molly, Crystal-meth, PCP, Cannabis, Heroin, etc.), Alcohol, and even Nicotine, substance related disorders can have deleterious effects on both the individual and on individual's within the person's life. Substance abuse evaluations can help determine the level of abuse and or dependency (both physically and psychologically), the stage of change the individual is in with respect to seeking treatment (e.g., see Freeman and Dolan Stages Of Change), physiological effects of both short and long-term use, neonatal effects (e.g., Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects, effects of psychotropic medications used during pregnancy and street drug use during pregnancy, etc.) and the individual's responsiveness to previous treatments for substance abuse and or dependence (e.g., detox treatment, naltrexone, antabuse, methadone, suboxone, etc.,). Substance abuse evaluations are useful for primary care physicians, psychiatrists, therapists, probation officers, and family members. Comprehensive psychological and or neuropsychological evaluations can help determine the effects of substance abuse or dependence, identify physiological and neurological effects of a substance and assess an individual's willingness to seek and benefit from substance abuse treatment.