Drug and Alcohol in Mental Health – Addiction Example

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"Drug and Alcohol in Mental Health" is a perfect example of a paper on addiction. Screening for various drugs is a normal routine in hospital setups to establish the presence of various chemicals allied to the clinical manifestations of certain disorders. Examples of drugs screened for include alcohol to establish cases of its abuse. Patients whose screening tests turn positive are advised to take certain medications which act as corrective measures for their respective disorders (Queensland Government Australia, 2013). An Alcohol and Other Drug screening tool involves a number of modules that are coupled together to provide the required results in the assessment.

This includes a physical examination of the patient. The physical examination may involve a screen of his/her body fluids which is a likely location to find the drugs. In the pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of any drug, there are the pathways followed which differ from one drug to the other. The drug metabolism in the body gives rise to various metabolites which can be screened for and come to a conclusive report whether the patient had used the alleged drug (Teeson, Clement, Copeland, Conroy, & Reid, 2000).

The screening done for the various drugs involve two steps. The first step is the initial screen followed by the comprehensive assessment that should be able to establish the presence or absence of the various drugs being tested for. Alcohol is a normal drug being tested for (Judicial Commission of NSW, 2008). The basic screening done on the patients is important to help establish whether the patient needs a comprehensive assessment. The assessment involves a six sectioned core component which has Alcohol and Other Drugs, the medical history of the patient in question, the risks involved with the use of the given drug, the psychological and final case summary sheet.

In the final summary sheet, the results and information gathered from the initial stages are gathered. This will be important in the later stages when one wants to assess whether the patient is improving (Marsh, Dale & Willis, 2007). A review is done after this step and it can be done within a month after the initial start of the assessment. Onward referral of the patient requires this information and so it is important.

The steps highlighted above are not independent of each other. They rely on each other and the information collected from one is used to build the next. It is therefore advised that the assessment should be done keenly and anything detected documented to help in building the latter stages of the assessment. The screening is done as the last step in this assessment (Clinician Guide, 2013). The screening should be able to establish whether the recorded symptoms or behaviours are correlating with the drug may be found in the patient’ s system.

It is trusted and the results found whether positive or negative are critical in the development of the corrective measures. The rationale I have selected above has a number of limitations as well as advantages. First, it is ideal as through it, it is possible to establish whether a certain patient had used a drug and that can be used to correlate the symptoms seen and hence the corrective measures can be applied. One of the major limitations is the time factor as it requires much time before the results can be recorded.


Clinician Guide. (June 2013). The Adult AOD Screening and Assessment Instrument.

Judicial Commission of NSW. (March 2008). Mentally Disordered Offenders in the NSW Local Court.

Marsh, A., Dale, A. & Willis, L. (September 2007. A Counsellor’s Guide to Working with Alcohol and Drug Users. 2nd Edition.

Queensland Government Australia. (2013). AOD Clinical Assessment.

Teeson, M., Clement, N., Copeland, J., Conroy, A. & Reid, A. (March 2000). The Measurement of Outcome in Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment: A Review of Available Instruments. A National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre.

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