The use of assessment instruments in an evaluation of a client's substance use pattern, consequences of substance use disorders, and need for services can be very helpful in planning interventions. Whereas the clinical interview often used to form a diagnosis and develop a treatment plan is dependent on the counselor's background and experiences, a standardized assessment instrument is less influenced by these factors and, hence, more objective.

The choice of assessment instruments should be guided by the purpose of and goals for the assessment of the client as well as whether the instrument is normed for the client's gender, age, and ethnicity. The choice of assessment instrument can also be influenced by the client's drug of choice: Some assessment instruments have been developed specifically to evaluate ...

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