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Alcohol Evaluations and Addiction Services
Counseling, Psychological and Disability
Alcohol Evaluations: The Drinkers' Check-Up
Alcohol is an addictive drug. Our research and experience shows us that only about 1 in 10 who drink will turn out to have a problem with addiction. Predicting who will get addicted is really a highly developed science. We believe that every drinker would benefit from an individualized check-up to determine their risk for developing addiction. We provide such a check-up for every student referred to us for an evaluation and for any student who self refers. The Methodist University policy is to require students who have been ticketed for alcohol possession to have an evaluation at the Center for Personal Development by (or supervised by) an Addiction Specialist. We try to make this procedure as painless and as productive as possible.
The procedure is simple. Students are asked to fill out a battery of paper and pencil tests. We score those tests and develop an interview protocol for that individual. The information we gather in the tests and interview guides us in our collaboration with the student to work out a plan for safe drinking, should the student decide to continue to drink.
We usually think of illegal drugs when we think of addiction. Please don't take such a limited view. And if illegal drugs are an issue, remember that a student's confidentiality is fiercely protected at the Center for Personal Development. Addiction is simply one possible physical and biological outcome of a process every human brain goes through when exposed to certain chemicals. Alcohol and other legal and illegal drugs contain the chemicals which can cause a human brain to deteriorate. The brain deteriorates in such a way that there is less and less of a choice of whether or not to use the chemical. Along with the decrease in choice comes a decrease in functioning.
This process happens much quicker in some brains than in others and with some chemicals more quickly than others. For example, some people may use marijuana for decades before the addiction process culminates, others will get addicted to alcohol after only a few experiences of being drunk. Some drugs are more addictive than others. For example, nicotine and cocaine are more addictive than are alcohol and marijuana, yet all mind altering drugs are addictive under certain circumstances.
The path to recovery from addiction requires that the brain be given a "drug free" period of time to regenerate and heal. That "drug free" period is achieved in many different ways and lasts different amounts of time for different people. This is where addiction counseling comes in. The counselor and the individual seeking recovery collaborate and develop a plan to attain a "drug free" period and to attain healthy functioning. This process must be custom made for each individual. An addictions specialist knows how to facilitate the recovery process. Remember that confidentiality is protected and no one is ever reported for drug use when they seek help.