One common requirement or recommendation during the process of a criminal trial involving drugs or alcohol is that the defendant seek a chemical health evaluation. Sometimes this is mandated by the court after the arrest, while other times it is recommended by your defense attorney to help you get your life back on track. By getting a chemical health evaluation, it also shows the court that you take the charges seriously and that you are committed to making positive changes in your life.
But what goes on during a chemical health evaluation, and what can you expect from the process? As someone who has referred countless clients to these health services, we explain what you can expect from a drug or alcohol evaluation in today’s blog.
Chemical Health Evaluations
If you have been required or recommended to seek chemical health counseling, talk to your defense attorney. We have connections in the substance abuse community, and we can help get you set up with a counselor to suit your specific situation. Otherwise, you can get connected with a counselor in your area by calling the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services hotline at 1-800-662-4357.
Once you are connected with a counselor, here’s what you can expect. At the outset, they’ll ask for some personal and medical records. This will allow the counselor to get a better understanding of what you’re dealing with and what your needs are. Nothing you share here will be released elsewhere without your consent.
After the background information is taken care of, you’ll sit down for an interview with a drug or alcohol counselor. The session lasts about an hour, and there are two main goals:
- Conduct an evaluation and set a risk profile.
- Have the patient share their concerns, desires and questions about gaining control over their chemical dependency.
The conversation is back and forth in nature, with the counselor learning about the ways addictive behaviors affect you and you learning about new coping mechanisms to avoid falling back into old habits. Once your risk score is assessed, your counselor may recommend that you seek in-patient care, out-patient follow ups or no further treatment.
Be honest during the interview, because nothing you say can be held against you in the court of law or in any legal proceedings, and as we mentioned above, all the information will remain confidential unless you allow us to share it with other treatment centers should you head elsewhere for continued care. After the interview is over, you will have a written evaluation drafted and reviewed by a clinical director. They will send this evaluation to you with their recommendations, and they can also send the letter to your lawyer, the court system or anyone else who may benefit from seeing the evaluation, with your permission.
If you are interested in learning more about chemical health evaluations, or you need legal assistance with a drug or alcohol charge in Minnesota, reach out to Appelman Law Firm today. We can get you the legal and personal help you need. Call our office at (952) 224-2277 today.