Evaluation Locations

Scheduling a Chemical Health Evaluation in MN

Most people call up their local Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center, or “rehab,” for their Chemical Health Assessment appointment. According to a team of respected addiction researchers from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University in New York City, treatment center evaluators often lack the advanced education to provide quality evaluations and misdiagnosis a person as an “alcoholic” or “drug addict.” Another problem is that treatment center evaluators possess a strong bias for recommending intensive treatment at their facilities because they serve as “recruiters” for their intense programs, which are sometimes a year or longer in length. Common complaints from people who complete their assessment at a treatment center is "feeling pressured into treatment" and "feeling that their recommendation was for lengthy, costly treatment was excessive." Worse yet, if a person has court involvement then they are expected to follow through with the treatment recommendation that they are uncomfortable with.

It is important to meet with a "Private" Chemical Health Evaluator with advanced training for a variety of reasons:

  1. Meeting with a Private Chemical Health Evaluator that has advanced training helps to ensure you are not misdiagnosed or pressured into treatment.
  2. Private Chemical Health Evaluators work for you, not a 3rd party treatment center. Therefore, Private Evaluators provide a comfortable experience, will listen to your wants and needs, and provide recommendations that utilize your feedback and goals.
  3. Private Evaluators act as your personal advocate, not a treatment center, “rehab,” or governmental agency representative. Working with a private evaluator with advanced education ensures you do not get mislabeled and/or feel pressured.
  4. Your Chemical Health Evaluation can be kept away from your permeant medical record when working with a Private Evaluator.
  5. If you are seeking alcohol and drug counseling, Private Evaluators are more likely to refer you to the best available treatment statewide; whereas, a treatment center evaluator is more likely to refer you into their narrow rehab program - even when it is not the best fit. For example, you may have the goal of learning how to moderate your drinking, but a treatment center evaluator will typically refer you into their “abstinence-based” program, which would increase profits for that center, but provide inappropriate care to you.

Who provides Private Chemical Health Evaluation in MN?

Michael,   612-249-3656, is a medical professional working in private practice through Avitity Health.

Michael received his addiction medicine training and psychology degree from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He authored, A Frenzied Mind: Clarifying the science behind addictive disorders. He is an experienced MN- and court-certified Chemical Health Evaluator and will serve as your personal advocate.

Selecting Michael to complete your Chemical Health Evaluation has many benefits:

 Collaboration will occur. Michael cares about your wants and needs. He will complete the assessment with recommendations that interest you.
 Your goals take priority, not a treatment centers profit margin.
 Your assessment can be kept off your permanent medical record.
 There’s no risk of being mislabel an “addict,” “alcoholic,” having a chemical dependency issue, substance abuse problem, or substance use disorder.
 There’s no risk of excessive or inappropriate “rehab” or addiction treatment recommendations, which would be expensive and require time away from your family and/or job.
 If you’re seeking help to moderate or quit chemical use because of substance abuse or chemical dependency concerns, Michael can refer you to the most effective, professionally-ran clinics based upon your specific goals.
 Direct, after-hours access to Michael.
 You will secure a personal advocate who will go above and beyond for you. If desired, Michael will write a professional opinion to Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, or Dakota, or other County Court judges. This is especially impactful for criminal charges – such as DWI or DUI - or family court-ordered assessments.

What is the purpose of a Chemical Health Evaluation in MN?

Chemical Health Evaluations are meant to determine if a person has a substance abuse problem or chemical dependency issue. As of 2013, these medical problems are now called “Substance Use Disorders.” For example, if a person has a serious alcohol misuse problem, a medical professional would refer to that illness as “Alcohol Use Disorder.”

How is a Substance Use Disorder treated?

The good news is that there are more “evidenced-based” treatments available than any time in history. The bad news is that, according to research, it is unlikely you will receive the best treatments. This is because “rehabs” and treatment centers are staffed with counselors who lack advanced education and training on the most modern, effective therapies. This is also because many treatment centers fail to provide access to evidenced-based medications and instead rely solely upon “talk therapies.” Furthermore, most Alcohol and Drug Counselors lack “treatment fidelity,” which is adhering to the actual talk therapy treatment manual. Instead, they modify the therapy to their liking, which makes the evidenced-based therapy less effective. Lastly, a worrying trend is group size. Instead of individual or small group therapy, treatment centers or “rehabs” typically have group therapy sessions with 10 to 20 - and sometimes more - clients in the room. While this is profitable, it is not effective treatment and makes individualized care nearly impossible.

Call Michael,   612-249-3656, a Harvard-trained addiction specialist who can help you get the best counseling and medications available. He possesses a deep understanding of the available treatment options in your area. If you are seeking help in quitting or moderating your alcohol/drug use, he will provide referrals into the best programs based upon your goals.

Michael’s Locations for a Chemical Health Evaluations

Michael provides private, court- and Minnesota-certified Chemical Health Assessments to individuals in St Paul, Minneapolis and the surrounding metro. He can be reached directly at 612-249-3656.

Links and Resources

Steps to complete a Chemical Health Evaluation

  1. Schedule your appointment by calling 612-249-3656.
  2. The day of your appointment, bring your photo identification and court documents (such as a letter from MN Driving and Vehicle Services or a DUI or DWI citation).
  3. Meet with your Assessor for the Chemical Health Evaluation interview.
  4. Provide contact information for “collateral contacts,” which are the people that need to be involved in the assessment.
  5. After the assessment, a recommendation letter will be sent to you with your chemical dependency evaluation results.

Patient rights during a Chemical Health Evaluation in MN

  • You have the right to respect – the same courtesy that you expect from any other medical professional.
  • You have the right to not to be pressured into treatment or “rehab.”
  • You have the right to agree to or decline any recommended treatment services. You are the ultimate authority of your own health care.
  • You have the right to a second opinion if you disagree with your Chemical Health Assessment.
  • You have the right to have your health information kept private and secure as regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).