Addiction is a complex disease. It is frequently described as the compulsive continuation of substance use or other addictive behavior despite negative consequences. In the United States, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) serves as the supreme authority for psychiatric diagnoses, including substance use disorders. The DSM-5 uses three levels of severity for SUDs determined by 11 diagnostic criteria.
A SUD does not necessarily result from drug and alcohol use alone. Many addiction professionals and psychiatrists believe that addiction is a biopsychosocial phenomenon. That means biology, sociology, and psychology all play important roles in understanding addictive behavior.
Drug and alcohol misuse has to be viewed in the context of social setting, life experiences, substance dosage, psychological profile, and many other personal, biological, and cultural variables. Co-occurring conditions such as anxiety, depression, and trauma are often the driving forces behind the substance use. Consequently, each case of addiction has to be carefully and thoroughly assessed by a highly qualified clinician in order to be able to treat it effectively. With so many important factors at play, neglecting one or more aspects of the condition can lead to treatment failure.
In order to provide individualized, medically, and therapeutically appropriate treatment, patients and therapists have to explore the deeper reasons for substance use. An accurate assessment is critical in order to establish an understanding of the client’s condition, past treatment experiences, physical health, mental state, and other relevant factors.
The diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder in the DSM-5 evaluate primarily the severity of the drug and alcohol abuse of the patient. Successful recovery begins with a much wider profile, however. A thorough examination of the patient’s addiction problem requires answers to a wide range of questions.
Have there been other cases of addiction in the family of the client? What kind of relationships does the patient have with family members and romantic partners? When did the patient start using drugs and under what circumstances? What is the primary substance used? Has the patient been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, depression, or other mental illness? Has the patient experienced traumatic events in his or her life?
Detox and Assessment at University Park
In addition to medical-supervised detox services provided in Colorado Spring, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, NM, University Park Behavioral Health offers a comprehensive assessment that gets to the root cause of the substance misuse. During the residential assessment phase, clients participate in group, family, and individual counseling sessions and behavioral health education seminars. Typically, the combined Detox + Assessment Program takes no longer than two weeks.
The detoxification process at University Park is supervised and supported by medical doctors and registered nurses around the clock. Withdrawal symptoms are medically alleviated in a comfortable environment with private rooms.
Once the patient is stabilized, physical, psychological, and psychiatric evaluations can be conducted to help understand the underlying issues driving the patient’s SUD. Once the problem is carefully analyzed, an appropriate treatment plan and recommendations for further treatment, if needed, are put together. This comprehensive assessment is critical to ensuring that the University Park team can provide the best, most individualized addiction treatment recommendations for each client. Only a sophisticated and comprehensive evaluation can reveal the full picture of the patient’s substance use disorder and lead to effective ways to treat it.