- Diagnostic Evaluations

Diagnostic Evaluations

Whether you have started to question your personal relationship with alcohol and/or other drugs—or that of a friend, family member, colleague, or anyone else—our evaluation process may provide the answers you need. It is common for people in active addiction—or, those who continue to use alcohol or drugs despite loss of control and adverse consequences—to openly disclose any mental or physical diagnosis and use it to justify the consequences of their substance use disorder. For example, a 40-year-old spouse who is prescribed an opioid painkiller postsurgery, and then is diagnosed with major depressive disorder, begins falling asleep at odd hours of the day. He says it’s because of his depression. During our evaluation, we discover the truth: He’s falling asleep because he’s taking four times as many painkillers as prescribed.

This program is also designed to determine whether addiction is an issue for those working in safety-sensitive professions. These include physicians, pilots, dentists, political leader, and high-ranking business executives. The roots of profession-specific treatment models can be traced to the Human Intervention Motivation Study (HIMS), which was spearheaded by the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) in the 1970s. Since that time, the model has been adopted by other professional organizations with great success.

Diagnostic Evaluations with Dr. Harry

Diagnostic Evaluations with Dr. Harry

The outcome of the study brought about the first “professional’s program” model that actually sought to treat alcoholism and addiction as a disease, with treatment consisting of a triage stage, acute-care symptom management, subacute care, transitional services, relapse prevention, and self-managed recovery. Physician Health Programs soon adopted the core elements of the HIMS program for pilots and applied it to the treatment of physicians. Once again, at the very core of the successful programs is the diagnostic evaluation.

The diagnostic evaluation is a scientific process that uses a multidisciplinary team of experts who are tasked with identifying the presence or lack thereof, of a substance use disorder or any co-occurring disorder(s).

This is a team approach, where consensus takes precedence over all independent findings, and these findings must align with the current scientific diagnostic literature (DSM-V).

Outpatient service, typically takes 3–4 days and consists of some or all of the following assessment services:

  1. History & physical
  2. Addiction medicine evaluation
  3. Psychiatric evaluation
  4. Psychosocial assessment
  5. Assessment of collateral sources
  6. Biological testing
  7. Exit interview
  8. Polygraph (lie detector)
  9. Fitness-for-duty assessment
  10. Gathering of collateral information

The final step in the evaluation is the exit interview, where the findings are presented.