FAQ: Mental Health Evaluation at a Chemical Dependency Rehabilitation Center

When it comes to seeking help for yourself or someone close to you, there’s no question that asking questions is the best way to ensure you connect the person with the services they need. Here are a few frequently asked questions to get you started.

What is a psychiatric hospital and how is it different from a “normal” hospital?

While the medical, or general, hospitals we’re all familiar with provide emergency and non-emergency care for people with a wide variety of ailments, a psychiatric, or mental, hospital specialize in treating people with serious mental illness. Often general hospitals include a psychiatric hospital or ward as a separate unit in the same building.

How is behavioral health care different from mental health care?

Actually, the term “behavioral health care” is used synonymously with “mental health care” and “psychiatric health care.” All of these terms refer to the care of people with issues related to the health of the mind, whether that means managing symptoms of depression, counselling for people recently diagnosed with serious or chronic illness, or understanding their drug addiction.

What is involved in a “full psychiatric evaluation?”

While the finer details may differ from one behavioral health care center to another, is is always essential to fully assess each person’s medical and psychological health before a treatment plan is determined.

This mental health assessment, performed by a licensed psychologist, uses several different techniques, with the goal of understanding the whole-picture health of the person being referred, and gather information that will help determine the best plan for treatment. The assessment includes some standardized testing, interviews with the person being referred and possibly parents and teachers, observations of the person interacting with others in their day-to-day life, along with other informal tests as needed.

It may seem odd that a chemical dependency rehabilitation center would be concerned with medical records, personality, or how many close friends they have at school, but because all this information helps shape the person, it necessarily shapes the person’s treatment plan as well.

How do I know if I should take myself (or my teen) to the mental hospital?

There is no reason to wait until you are so ill you need help getting to the hospital. If you are afraid you or your teen might hurt yourself or someone else, or attempt suicide, it is time to get help. You can come to our facility in person or call 877-663-7976 for a free, confidential assessment. We are open, and answer our phone, 24 hours every day. You may also contact us online, if you prefer.

What is an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)?

Inpatient care is where a doctor formally admits someone to stay at the hospital for one or more days. Outpatient care is where a person comes to the hospital to receive a service, such as a checkup or simple procedure, and then leave the hospital within the same day. An Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is one where many visits to the hospital are planned in advance to for more consistent monitoring and training than would be possible with now-and-then outpatient visits.

What is a Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program (CD-IOP)?

A Chemical Dependency Intensive Outpatient Program (CD-IOP) is specially designed for those receiving treatment for drug and other similar addictions. People referred to this program will receive counselling and specialized training on skills such as managing stress, sober living skills, and drawing on the support of helpful family members and friends. Once completed, the person receiving treatment will transition to another less intensive program for continued support.

What can I do to learn more about the addiction recovery process?

Learning about the addiction recovery process is a wonderful way to support yourself or a loved one on the ongoing journey that addiction recovery always will be. The internet can lead to mixed-up “facts” and harmful opinions. Here are a few sources that can help you better understand the addiction recovery process:

  • Support groups for parents, families, and for those receiving treatment themselves are priceless, as support from others is essential in the recovery journey. When you struggle to stay on track and keep your head up when so many things seem impossibly hard, it helps to have a friend to call who knows you and knows where you’re coming from.
  • Nonfiction Books such as Chemical Dependency: A Systems Approach by C. Aaron McNeece can be a good source of no-fuss info on what is going on in the human brain and body dealing with chemical dependency.
  • Memoirs such as Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff can help you feel - and rightly so - that you’re not alone in our ongoing journey through the recovery process.