7 Things to Consider in Choosing a Substance Abuse Professional
Regardless of whether you choose our service or not, we recommend you consider the following 7 things in your decision process:
- Choose a professionally trained or supervised and credentialed substance abuse professional. This education, supervision and training provide the individual with the ability to legally make a diagnosis according to the diagnostic manual (DSM-5) recognized by state licensing boards. Courts and employers readily recognize the validity of diagnoses which are founded on the nationally and professionally recognized standard of the DSM and provided by evaluators in good standing with their state licensing board.
- Choose a timely service if you need an assessment. Confirm with your provider in advance about when to expect a report. This will help you avoid being rushed. If possible obtain your report within 72 hours from the time you have completed an interview and provided any information requested by the evaluator.
- Choose an experienced provider. More experienced providers are going to be less prone to poor judgment about your case. For assessment services, they also tend to be more timely and write the most professionally presentable reports. The depth of experience of the provider can make all the difference toward a positive outcome in reaching your goals.
- Choose a provider that will allow you to choose from a variety of providers in the event that follow up services are recommended. Many evaluators also provide additional follow up services. The most ethical and professional way to present those services to you is to only recommend them when they are clinically appropriate for your situation and also to make you aware that you have multiple options to pursue further services.
- Choose a provider with a strong professional reputation. You can learn more about a provider’s reputation in a variety of ways. First, look at how long the organization has been in business. You can verify this on most secretary of state websites by simply entering the business name. Second, ask for professional references. Finally, you can look at Better Business Bureau ratings and reviews for a credible complaint history.
- For more in depth assessments, choose a provider who can offer an online video conference interview so that you have the “face-to-face” element of authenticity built into the service. In many instances (basic assessments) telephonic services are adequate without video, but the non-verbal facial expression captured in a video interview can enhance communication and better approximate an in-person conversation.
- Choose a provider that provides confidential services and abides by Federal Confidentiality regulations (42 CFR Part 2) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA 45 CFR)