What a Clinical Evaluation is not supposed to be...

Some evaluators will take up to 2-3 months to perform your evaluation.  One in particular that I know, claims that the lengthy amount of time is so that they can administer as many as 6 random drug tests, at $25. per visit.  They claim that this is done so that they can determine the ASAM level of care required.  That's not how an evaluator determines a level of care.

During this 2-3 month period, if the person needed treatment, they would be without.  If the person is testing positive for an illegal substance during this time.....they should have already been in treatment.  However, this counseling service / evaluator allows the person to continue using the illegal drugs while this evaluator's business continues to collect $25. per drug test.

Again, this is not how an ethical evaluator would conduct an evaluation.  A person's symptoms or lack there of, history, cognitvie ability, support system or of lack of, and current use or non-use of alcohol and drugs , all investigated using proven evaluation instruments, and the knowledge and experience of the evaluator is how you determine the level of care / treatment.  The diagnostic impression is derived from evidence gathered during this process and comparing this evidence to the diagnostic criteria in the American Psychological Association DSM IV (manual).  Not by drug testing for 2-3 months.  The level of care / treatment is determined by analysis of this evidence and using the information gathered to select the level of care based on the criteria described in the American Sociaty of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) manual.....not 2-3 months of drug testing.

Everyone may not need treatment.  Some may only need an early intervention (ASAM Level 0.5).  Some may need ASAM Level 1 counseling and psycho-educational activies.  Some may need referral to higher levels of care or detox.  You do not string someone along for 3 months and then determine that they only needed a 3-4 day DUI course, or perhaps they actually may have needed intensive out-patient treatment for the past 3 months while the evaluation was taking place.

To be a bit sarcastic, ....there is no machine or computer that you pour a person's bodily fluids into and then receive a computer generated treatment recommendation.
Beware of evaluators that keep you coming back and coming back while all the time paying over and over again.  This is not how it should work.

Also, one last warning; beware of an evaluator who claims to have a close relationship with the courts, or even has the name of their businsess pre-printed on court orders.  You may find that this relationship allows them to be abusive.  You DO NOT WANT an evaluator who is too connected to the courts.

You want someone who can be objective.  You DO WANT someone who is knowledgeable and familiar with what the law requires and what courts expect, and someone who can provide services that courts usually order.  There is a difference.  For example, at one of my businesses, we offer all of the classes, counseling,  and programs, such as DUI School, that we know the actual laws and courts require, but, we are not connected to the courts in a way that may be a conflict of interest.  The "Court Services" in Person-Centered Court Services, LLC is not because we are connected to the court, it is because we offer ALL of the services that courts typically order people to participate in as a result of a pre-trial agreement or a conviction.

If you are not allowed to pick your evaluator from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health Registry, which you can find at www.mop.uga.edu , then beware.  Write your State Representative, write the Governor.  Don't be abused by a court-connected evaluator.  Insist that you choose the evaluator, as it should be.