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The Role of SUD Assessments in Addiction Recovery

Learn more about the benefits of comprehensive SUD assessments and personalized treatment at New Choices Treatment Center.


What is SUD?

Substance use disorder (SUD) describes the uncontrollable use of a substance despite harmful consequences. It can refer to addiction to alcohol, drugs, or even certain behaviors.

A comprehensive SUD assessment helps identify the specific substances a person struggles with, the severity of their condition, and any co-occurring mental health issues.

SUD Assessments

Underscoring the Need for SUD Assessments in Recovery

The power of comprehensive SUD assessments in treating addiction cannot be overstated. These assessments act as a personalized guide to help people through their recovery journey.

At New Choices Treatment Center (NCTC) in San Antonio, Texas, our mission is to provide tailored and effective treatment for those struggling with substance use disorders.

We offer various programs for individuals who need assistance with healing, including:
Our knowledgeable and compassionate team of experts will work with you or your loved one to determine the best path forward. We take into account your unique needs, goals, and symptoms.

Personalized Treatment Planning

Each treatment plan is customized to fit the unique needs of every client. SUD assessments are a crucial first step in understanding each person’s specific needs.
The goal is to support people at every stage of their recovery. This ensures they receive the care and resources needed for lasting sobriety.

Addressing the Root Causes of Addiction With Our Team

By evaluating these areas, New Choices Treatment Center can create a treatment plan that addresses the root causes of addiction and supports a person’s unique recovery path.
This lays the groundwork for a successful treatment experience and sustainable healing long after you’ve completed your designated program.

What Are SUD Assessments?

SUD assessments are a process used by medical professionals to identify and diagnose substance use disorders.
By learning about the person’s unique circumstances, the assessment can identify specific challenges that may affect recovery. This information helps in crafting a treatment plan that aligns with the person’s goals and needs during the healing process.1

Collaboration with the Treatment Team

SUD assessments also involve collaboration between the client and the treatment team. Collaboration ensures that the treatment approach is not only effective but also respects the client’s preferences and goals.

What to Expect During SUD Assessments

During SUD assessments, people can expect a thorough and structured evaluation process designed to understand their unique situation and needs.
Here’s a breakdown of what happens during SUD assessments:

Initial Screening

The purpose of the initial screening is to determine if there is a potential substance use problem that warrants a full assessment. During this screening, clients might fill out a brief questionnaire or have a short interview.

Detailed Interview

A detailed interview is completed to gather in-depth information about substance use history and its impact on daily life.
During this interview, a counselor or healthcare professional will ask detailed questions about:
  • Types of substances used
  • Frequency and quantity of use
  • Duration of substance use
  • Circumstances and reasons for substance use
  • Attempts to cut down or control use
  • Impact on personal, social, and work life

Medical and Psychiatric Evaluation

A medical and psychiatric evaluation helps identify any co-occurring physical or mental health issues. Mental health screenings will help identify any conditions like depression, anxiety, or trauma that may co-occur with substance use.

Behavioral Assessment

Following these evaluations, there may also be a behavioral assessment to understand how substance use affects behavior and daily functioning.
Questions will cover topics such as:
  • Changes in behavior and personality
  • Relationships with family and friends
  • Work or school performance
  • Legal or financial problems related to substance use

Assessment Tools and Questionnaires

Assessment tools and questionnaires provide a more objective assessment. Clients may be asked to complete standardized questionnaires, such as the Addiction Severity Index (ASI) or the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).2 These tools help quantify the severity of the substance use disorder.

Risk and Protective Factors Evaluation

This evaluation helps to identify factors that may influence substance use. The assessment will explore:
  • Family history of substance use
  • Personal history of trauma or stress
  • Environmental factors (e.g., peer pressure, work stress)
  • Helpful recovery factors, such as strong social support or personal resilience

Diagnosis and Treatment Planning

Based on the information gathered, a diagnosis is made according to the DSM-5 criteria for substance use disorders.
A treatment plan is then developed, which may include:
  • Detoxification
  • Residential or inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient programs
  • Counseling and therapy
  • Support groups and aftercare planning
SUD assessments are comprehensive processes that provide a clear understanding of a person’s needs and the best path forward for their treatment and recovery journey.

A Holistic Approach to SUD Assessments

SUD assessments at NCTC go beyond just looking at substance use. At NCTC, our assessments consider the whole person, including physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being.
This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of a person’s life are considered, providing a more complete understanding of their needs and challenges.

Goals of SUD Assessments at NCTC

One of the key goals of SUD assessments is to identify and address the underlying issues that contribute to substance use.
By understanding these underlying issues, our treatment team can develop strategies to help people manage and overcome their triggers, leading to more effective and lasting recovery.

Whole-Person Care at New Choices Treatment Center

New Choices Treatment Center also adopts a holistic approach to care, using various therapeutic methods to foster healing and growth in every aspect of life.
These methods may include:


Meditation practices help people develop mindfulness and reduce stress. By focusing on the present moment, they can gain better control over their thoughts and emotions.

Regular meditation can:3
  • Improve mental health
  • Enhance emotional regulation
  • Promote a sense of calm and well-being

Art Therapy

Art therapy provides a creative outlet for expressing emotions and processing experiences. Through drawing, painting, and other artistic activities, clients can explore and communicate feelings that might be difficult to express with words.

This therapeutic approach can help:
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Improve emotional resilience

Outdoor Adventure Therapy

This approach combines physical activity with therapeutic techniques. Engaging in activities like hiking, rock climbing, and team-building exercises helps build:
  • Confidence
  • Resilience
  • A sense of achievement
Outdoor adventure therapy also fosters a connection with nature, which can be calming and restorative for mental health.4


Psychodrama uses guided drama and role-playing to explore and resolve personal issues. Participants act out scenarios from their lives, gaining insight into their behaviors and relationships.
This method allows for the expression of emotions and can lead to greater self-understanding and the development of healthier coping mechanisms.5


Yoga integrates physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. It helps improve physical health by increasing flexibility, strength, and balance.

Additionally, yoga can:
  • Reduce stress
  • Enhance mental clarity
  • Promote emotional stability
This makes it a valuable tool for those in recovery.6


Sandplay therapy involves creating scenes in a sandbox with miniature figures. This non-verbal therapeutic method allows people to express and explore their inner thoughts and emotions in a safe and symbolic way.
Sandplay can be particularly effective for uncovering and addressing deep-seated issues that contribute to substance use.7

Music Therapy

Music therapy uses music as a tool for healing and expression. Listening to, creating, and reflecting on music can help:8
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Improve mood
  • Enhance cognitive and emotional functioning 
Music therapy provides a non-verbal outlet for emotions and can be a powerful aid in the recovery process.

Nutritional Counseling

Nutritional counseling educates people on healthy eating habits and the impact of nutrition on mental and physical health. Proper nutrition supports the recovery process by providing the body with the nutrients it needs to heal.
Nutritional counseling can help people develop healthier eating patterns, which can improve mood and energy levels.
By integrating these holistic approaches into the treatment plan, NCTC helps people receive support that addresses all aspects of their lives. This promotes well-being and long-term recovery.

Benefits of SUD Assessments

Some of the benefits of comprehensive SUD assessments include:


SUD assessments provide people with a clear understanding of their health and recovery needs. This process encourages them to take an active role in their treatment. This can foster a sense of ownership and responsibility for their recovery journey.
By being informed and involved, clients are more likely to stay committed to their treatment plans and achieve better outcomes. Empowerment through assessment helps build confidence and self-efficacy. These are essential elements for successful recovery.


Through SUD assessments, clients gain valuable insight into their:
  • Specific needs
  • Strengths
  • Areas for growth
This clarity allows them to understand the factors contributing to their substance use and identify strategies for overcoming these challenges. By recognizing their strengths, people can build on what they are already doing well, while also addressing areas that need improvement.


One of the most significant benefits of SUD assessments is the sense of hope they provide. Knowing that there is a structured plan and support system in place can be incredibly reassuring for those with substance use disorders.
SUD assessments prove that help is available and that they are not alone in their journey. This sense of hope can be a powerful motivator. It can inspire people to stay engaged in their treatment and work toward lasting recovery.
With the right support and resources, people can look forward to a healthier and more fulfilling future.

Types of Therapies Used for Addiction Treatment at NCTC

At New Choices Treatment Center, we utilize a variety of evidence-based approaches in addiction treatment to foster long-term recovery. This way, we can ensure that every individuals gets the care and support they deserve.

Some of these approaches include:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors. It helps people develop healthier ways of thinking and coping with stress, which is crucial for recovery.
This is often the cornerstone of many individuals’ care, and it provides a good foundation for furthering treatment.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

DBT combines cognitive-behavioral techniques with mindfulness practices. It helps people:

  • Manage emotions
  • Improve relationships
  • Develop coping strategies for distressing situations
This was originally developed for individuals with borderline personality disorder, but it has also proven to be helpful for individuals with other mental health or substance use disorders.

Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

REBT focuses on identifying irrational beliefs and replacing them with rational ones. This approach helps people understand the impact of their thoughts on their emotions and behaviors, promoting healthier decision-making.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)

EMDR is a therapy designed to alleviate the distress associated with traumatic memories. It uses non-invasive, guided eye movements to help people process and integrate traumatic experiences, reducing their emotional impact.

We also offer other trauma-based therapies for individuals who need help processing past triggers and situations.
SUD Assessments

Our Team Is Here to Walk Alongside You on Your Journey to Wellness

At New Choices Treatment Center, the commitment to partnership in recovery is paramount. Our team walks alongside our clients every step of the way, offering continuous support and guidance throughout their journey to wellness.

This collaborative approach ensures that clients never feel alone and always have access to the resources and encouragement they need.
By fostering a strong partnership, NCTC helps people stay motivated and focused on their recovery goals. This ultimately leads to a more successful and fulfilling journey toward health and wellness.

A New Beginning: Taking the First Step Towards Healing and Transformation

Embarking on the journey to recovery starts with a single, courageous step. SUD assessments at New Choices Treatment Center are designed to be that essential first step.
Through compassionate conversations, detailed evaluations, and collaborative planning, these assessments set the stage for successful and lasting recovery.

Your Path to Recovery Starts Here

If you or a loved one is struggling with SUD, don’t wait to seek help. Contact our compassionate team at New Choices Treatment Center today to take the first step toward healing and transformation.
Through personalized SUD assessments and a commitment to holistic, evidence-based care, NCTC is here to support you on your journey to a healthier, more fulfilling life. We will be with you during every part of your recovery journey.

Reach out now by calling (726) 888-7003 or by contacting us online to start your path to recovery and discover the power of a new beginning.