12 Core Functions of Addiction Treatment

A crisis doesn't have to be the end of treatment.

What are the 12 core functions of addiction treatment and how do these relate to you as a patient or the loved one of a patient?

12 Core Functions of Addiction Treatment

Addiction treatment is different for everyone, especially at the start of the process. The 12 core functions of addiction treatment cover the gamut of everything that is needed to bring a person into a stable recovery. These functions are typically used for a treatment program or counseling center to assess a patient from start to finish. For everything from the treatment approach to crisis intervention, the 12 steps are a roadmap for success.

However, since there may be some bumps on the road, it can be helpful for you to learn about the 12 core functions and what to expect. Starting treatment can be very overwhelming for everyone, so becoming familiar with what happens behind the scenes can help make the transition smoother.

1. Screening

This is where a patient is screened by a treatment center to determine if its services are the most appropriate. Usually there will be a long list of criteria that must match with what you need from the treatment program. You may be asked to fill out a form or provide information in a short interview such as:

  • Your age and gender
  • Income level
  • Types of services needed

2. Intake

Next, you'll fill out an intake form. This means you're qualified for the treatment center and being seriously considered. Intake forms should be filled out as honestly as possible. There should also be a confidentiality form for you to sign. The intake might include everything needed to customize a treatment plan, including info about your:

  • Medical and mental health history
  • Current medications

3. Orientation

This is your chance to see the facility and learn more about the program and what it offers. During the orientation this is your chance to:

  • Ask questions in a more casual setting
  • Learn more about the rules and your rights as a patient

4. Assessment

In this stage, a counselor will assess your strengths, weaknesses, and any potential problems that might result from treatment. You should be ready to discuss an overview of your substance abuse history

5. Treatment Planning

This is your time for setting goals and deciding upon a treatment process. You may have to rank your problems in a written treatment plan and go over them with a counselor. Since this part of the 12 functions is very individualized, you'll want to make sure that all your needs are being taken into account.

6. Counseling

Next, you will participate in the actual counseling sessions that will help you to change and grow. This may be in an individual or group setting, and different approaches may be used.

7. Case Management

Any outside resources you need, such as having medical treatment or attending a job rehabilitation program, will be integrated as part of your treatment plan.

8. Crisis Intervention

In the event of a crisis, this is the plan for figuring out how to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. A crisis could be:

  • Overdose or relapse
  • Family or other emergencies
  • Pressure to end treatment too early

9. Client Education

This may include taking formal or informal classes. It could be done through self-help groups, community resources, or as part of counseling sessions.

10. Referrals

Unfortunately, sometimes a treatment process doesn't work out as expected, which means it's time to give you a referral to another counselor or even another facility. There are many outside support systems available that your facility should be able to share with you.

11. Record Keeping

Your treatment team will keep records of everything that goes on, including any measureable changes. This is to help you achieve your goals and also keep other staff members up to date.

12. Consultation

This is where staff members review your case with other members of the team. Likely you won't even be involved in this step because it is happening behind the scenes.

The Goal of the 12 Functions

These steps might be done in a slightly different order, but the goal is the same. A supportive and tailored treatment plan can help you obtain full recovery. Together you should work with your team, be honest about your progress, and utilize the help while it's available.

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12 Core Functions of Addiction Treatment