Addiction Treatment Plan: Screening, Assessment, and Treatment

Addiction is a disorder of the brain that causes a person to act compulsively in activities that provide a rewarding sensation. An individual will continue to engage in reward-seeking behaviors even if they are experiencing negative consequences, such as the loss of a job, deteriorating relationships, or legal problems.

In many cases, people who experience a substance use disorder or addiction to a specific substance will continue to abuse the substance until a medical emergency or legal matter emerges.

In this article, we will explore the various stages of developing an addiction treatment plan, including the screening, assessment, and treatment process.

The Addiction Treatment Plan

Developing an effective treatment plan involves several steps, starting with a screening, followed by an assessment by a licensed mental health professional, and recommended path forward toward the most effective addiction treatment plan possible.

Here’s what you need to know about the various stages of forming an addiction treatment plan.


When you make the initial call to a treatment facility, you are asked several questions. Your answers help the representative determine if you need further assessment. This is the screening process. You will be asked the reason for your call, substances you are currently misusing, and mental health issues if any. You will provide basic information, like health conditions and medications prescribed to treat these conditions. 

After gathering intake and needs assessment information, you will be referred for an addiction assessment.


Treatment for successful addiction recovery involves multiple staff, including physicians, nurses, and licensed therapists. It combines various approaches to step down from intensive to less restrictive therapeutic stages.

Before creating a treatment plan, your treatment team must determine the type of addictive disorder, how long you have been addicted, and the adverse effects your addiction has had on your mental and physical health.

Psychological symptoms are also a focus of an assessment because addiction and mental illness co-exist. Too often, addicts find themselves self-medicating their mental illness with substances. When needed, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication to manage and control depression, anxiety, bipolar and other mental health disorders.

Your responses on the assessment can tell the treatment team if you need medical detoxification or detox on an outpatient basis. It can also help them decide if they would benefit from inpatient treatment, withdrawal medication assistance, intensive outpatient, anti-craving, psychiatric medication management, sober-living, or other therapeutic options.

Treatment Planning

There are many parts of a treatment plan, including the approaches to be used. Treating addiction can range from detox treatments, intensive outpatient, individual and group therapy, and anti-craving medication.

You may receive more intensive services in the beginning. This is a time when more support is beneficial. The stronger you become in your recovery, the less treatment you will need.

Identifying issues to be addressed, goals, objectives, and measuring success are also essential parts of treatment planning.

Treatment plans are not meant to be concrete orders. As you heal and grow emotionally, your needs may change. Your treatment plan must be easily adapted to various programs and activities, including the ones below.

Treatment Options

There are many different approaches to treatment available today. For the best results, it’s always best to consult a mental health professional for an initial assessment. Once assessed, your mental health professional will be able to recommend the best path to treatment and recovery.

Below are the most common approaches to addiction treatment:


Detoxification is the process of eliminating toxic substances from your body. This must happen before you can continue with other treatment options. After detox, your mind becomes clear, allowing you to learn new skills that will help you remain sober.

Some choose outpatient detoxification. In this program, your withdrawal symptoms are significantly reduced with the help of anti-craving medications administered by a medical professional. These can benefit anyone addicted to one or more substances.

Inpatient Rehab

Inpatient rehab is a higher level of care for those who need intensive, structured care. Some need medication-assisted treatment to ease withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient is a program with 24-hour medical, therapeutic, and peer support.

Inpatient care addresses these issues. It may take a few weeks or a few months. You will reside at a treatment facility with around-the-clock medical and clinical supervision during this time.

If you need help controlling withdrawal symptoms in the middle of the night, it is there. If you need personal counseling on the weekend, you can receive it.

Inpatient treatment works even better when followed by a partial hospitalization program. While some prefer one over the other, true success comes when combined.

Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP)

Partial-hospitalization programs (PHP) offer twenty or more hours a week, with most participants attending the program five days a week. The goals of a PHP are the same as an inpatient, to teach early recovery and relapse prevention skills, build a support system, address mental health issues, and learn how to cope emotionally.

Intensive outpatient programs

Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are recommended when withdrawal symptoms do not require medical supervision around the clock. When a person does not meet the criteria for inpatient treatment programs, IOP is a great option because it provides many of the same services as an inpatient program, just in a different setting. IOP provides between nine or more services each week.

Individual counseling

Individual counseling is a process in which you work with a licensed mental health professional to resolve negative symptoms and other issues related to a mental illness. When you begin individual counseling, your therapist will perform an extensive evaluation to develop the best treatment plan. You may discuss alternative and holistic therapies that can help you progress, like acupuncture, meditation, equine, art, or music therapy. 

Other treatments used to help someone overcome a substance use disorder include the following:

  • Family therapy
  • 12 Step facilitation groups
  • Mental health support groups
  • Alternative and holistic therapies

Factors that Influence Screening, Assessment, and Treatment

Every person with a substance use disorder has unique qualities. Therefore, screening, assessment, and treatments must be individualized. Below are some factors to consider.

  • Culture and ethnic background
  • Language barriers
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Insurance or payment method
  • Physical health and disabilities
  • Thought of self-harm or harming someone else
  • Mental health
  • Spirituality or religious practices
  • Sexual/ gender identity or orientation
  • Pregnancy

Also considered in your treatment planning are your strengths or traits that can help you overcome substance use disorders.

Outcomes Evaluation

When discussing screening, assessment, and treatment, something not often mentioned is probably one of the most critical factors, evaluating outcomes. You and your treatment team must measure your progress towards your goals and objectives. The outcomes evaluation can help you do this.

It can also provide valuable feedback to the treatment facility, telling them which programs work and for which people.

If you think you may have a substance use disorder, let us help you start the process of recovery. Call us for a screening today.