Alcohol and Drug Addiction Assessment

Last updated: Monday, 26, September 2022

When receiving an assessment or evaluation in Canada to determine a substance use disorder, you or your loved one should receive multiple treatment recommendations. We have put together a listing of organizations that can provide assessments for each province. Also, most of them have addiction services which can be helpful to have everything in one facility.


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In Canada, drug and alcohol addiction assessments are provided through provincial health authorities, private medical clinics, mental health services, and addiction counseling clinics. provides a directory listing of some of these services for every province.

Finding quality addiction treatment in Canada begins with an addiction assessment. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine what help is best suited to your treatment and recovery goals. Our qualified professionals with perform assessments when helping you find addiction treatment and recovery care in your province.

There are thousands of addiction assessment options, whether in-person, over the phone, or online. Assessments are helpful because they provide specific information based on what you provide to the clinical practitioner. No one form of treatment is ideal for every person, making the initial evaluation essential

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What is a Drug Addiction Assessment or Evaluation?

An assessment is the first step in determining a person's needs for treatment. The professional conducting the initial evaluation will collect information from the person in order to put together a clear picture of their substance use and addiction history. It can be done with the person struggling with the addiction or with a loved one on behalf of that individual. Here are some situations where an assessment could be beneficial:

  • A person is seeking pain medication for the first time or would like an increase in their existing prescription.
  • A patient is exhibiting signs of substance use, like dental issues, hallucinations, lack of motivation or energy, and changes in behavior.
  • A pregnant woman is showing signs of an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs.
  • A young person discusses frequent substance use or acting out in a way that could be a sign of addiction.

An assessment is not a place to make the person feel shameful, guilty, or remorseful. It is simply intended to catch the addiction as early as possible before it spirals out of control. An assessment is usually done before treatment but can also be done during treatment in order to modify the services, and after the program is completed, so aftercare support can be recommended.

What is the Importance of an Assessment Before Substance Use Treatment?

There are many reasons why an assessment is essential before attending a treatment program for substance use and addiction. Let's go over some of them:

  • An assessment leads to the individualization of treatment and helps plan out the program for every individual.
  • It allows for an appropriate client-treatment matching and gives the person an opportunity to find the level of care that is right for them.
  • It can help monitor the attainment of goals during treatment and in recovery.

As we can see, assessments are extremely important in the recovery journey. It is normally the first time that a person or a loved one fully realizes that there is a substance use problem and confirms that help is needed and guides them toward the appropriate program. It accomplishes a lot and can truly change someone's life.

Terminology with Drug Addiction Screening and Assessments

Terms Definitions
Assessment Addiction assessments are a more in-depth evaluation of a person's issues with drug or alcohol addiction. The assessment identifies patterns around the individual's substance abuse and related behaviors.
Screening Addiction screening is specific to drug or alcohol abuse using validated screening methods to determine if drug addiction is the problem.
Evaluation Addiction evaluation is a clinical tool to determine what is going on with the person struggling with drug addiction. An evaluation includes questions to identify co-occurring disorders and physical health issues connected to addiction.


Marcel Gemme, DATS

Marcel Gemme, DATS


on September 26, 2022

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