Alcohol and drug abuse are issues that plague many people in the U.S., for a number of reasons. Individuals may begin substance use as a way to deal with life’s stressors, to self-medicate from a range of mental health issues, as a pain outlet, due to a family history, and more.

If someone you know is battling drug and alcohol misuse, Hope’s Destiny can help. Our treatment programs provide tailored biopsychosocial assessments and other types of mental health and substance use care.

What Is a Biopsychosocial Assessment in Drug & Alcohol Treatment?

Biopsychosocial assessments are done early on in the addiction treatment process. They allow a clinician or therapist to assess the physical, biological, and psychological factors contributing to a patient’s issues.

At Hope’s Destiny, clinicians, therapists, and other providers can use biopsychosocial assessments to tailor a treatment plan specifically for a person’s life. You can then receive continually adjusted treatment based on your needs.

Biopsychosocial Assessments in Hope’s Destiny Recovery Programs

At Hope’s Destiny, all biopsychosocial approaches and psychiatric evaluations are conducted by licensed clinicians to create personalized treatment plans.

Patients receive biopsychosocial assessments when participating in our services to help their counselors understand how to move forward with treatment and adjust your treatment plan to your needs.

A biopsychosocial assessment may be used whether you are in a partial hospitalization program, an intensive outpatient program, or an outpatient program (our three levels of care).

These assessments are conducted by your therapist and help them understand how you are responding to the treatment thus far and identify issues that need to be better addressed, worked on, or which may need greater attention or a different type of care. 

Talk to Hope’s Destiny today to learn which program is best for you, and how biopsychosocial assessments can help us create a treatment plan.

What’s Included in Biopsychosocial Assessments?

The biopsychosocial model requires clinicians, substance abuse experts, psychotherapy experts, mental health professionals, and social workers to consider various factors. 

These include biological, psychological, and social aspects.

Biological Factors

Biological factors include health conditions, mental health history, physiology, genetics, neurology, and chemistry. 

To assess these factors, clinicians will ask questions about physical health, sleep habits, diet, and family history. 

If they discover problems that can and should be addressed, they will include medical treatments and referrals to address such issues in your treatment plan.

Psychological Factors

Psychological factors examine a patient’s thoughts, personality, and ensuing behavior and emotions during psychotherapy. 

To assess these factors, clinicians ask questions about stressors, coping skills, cognitive functioning, and mood. 

The answers to these questions will help psychologists and psychiatrists create a personalized treatment plan.

Social Factors

Social factors are environmental or interpersonal aspects that influence a person’s thoughts. 

Questions may address your financial stability, social context, family relationships, social circumstances, social support, and educational experiences. 

Clinicians may use your answers to design a treatment plan that addresses social factors causing or aggravating your quality of life and mental health symptoms, such as seclusion and lack of community activities.

What to Expect During a Biopsychosocial Assessment

A biopsychosocial assessment typically takes place during a single 45- to 50-minute therapy session.

Every biopsychosocial assessment is different. However, you can generally expect to be asked questions about how psychological, biological, and social factors affect your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

Questions You May Be Asked During a Biopsychosocial Assessment

The questions you may be asked during a biopsychosocial assessment depend on what factors your clinician is assessing.

They may ask you the following questions when assessing biological factors:

  • Do you have a family history of significant diseases or medical problems? If so, what are they?
  • What is your medical history and mental health history?
  • How is your well-being overall?
  • How well do you sleep most of the time?
  • How much alcohol and drugs do you consume, if at all? How would you describe your relationship with these substances?
  • Do you take any supplements or prescription medication? If so, what are they?
  • Do you have any medical issues that significantly affect your life?

A clinician may ask you the following questions when assessing psychological factors:

  • Do you have family members with psychiatric illnesses and substance abuse?
  • Do you have a history of self-harm or suicidal thoughts?
  • How do you feel, generally, about your strengths, weaknesses, and quality of life?

A clinician may ask you the following questions when assessing social factors:

  • Do you have a stable job? Are you satisfied with your job?
  • What is your educational history? Are you satisfied with your education?
  • What is causing you the most stress right now? How about in the past?
  • Do you find your parents a source of comfort or stress? Why?

Who Can Benefit from a Biopsychosocial Assessment?

Anyone who struggles with drug and alcohol addiction and misuse can benefit from a biopsychosocial assessment.

Symptoms of drug addiction or substance use disorder include:

  • Having intense urges for the drug that prevent you from having other thoughts
  • Feeling like you must regularly use the drug
  • Being obsessed with maintaining a drug supply
  • Continuing to use the drug even though you know it’s bad for you
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop taking the drug

Symptoms of alcohol addiction include:

  • Spending a lot of time buying, drinking, or recovering from alcohol use
  • Being unable to control how much alcohol you drink
  • Being unable to stop drinking alcohol, even though you know it’s hurting you
  • Using alcohol in unsafe situations, such as while swimming or driving
  • Severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking

Cost of Biopsychosocial Assessments

The cost of biopsychosocial assessments depends on the treatment center. However, it is often covered by insurance and is typically included in treatment plans when you enter a treatment center such as Hope’s Destiny. 

How to Prepare for a Biopsychosocial Assessment

People may get anxious when preparing to get a biopsychosocial assessment. 

Here are some ways to manage these feelings:

  • Determine what is making you anxious. The first step to conquering your fear is to identify what is causing you distress. For example, if you’re anxious about being questioned about your psychological factors, ask yourself why that is the case. Do you have a lot of shame about what drove you to become addicted to drugs and alcohol? Remember that clinicians and psychologists are here to help, not to judge.
  • Ask your own questions. You may have anxiety about the fact you’re getting drug and alcohol treatment since you have never gotten treatment before. You don’t know how extensive the treatments will be, and you may be afraid that you will relapse even if you follow all of the suggested recovery steps. To confront this fear, ask the clinicians, psychologists, and other providers your questions. Remember, they are here to help you. Additionally, relapsing is normal. Many people relapse on their journey to recovery.
  • Remind yourself this is the first step to recovery. Many patients are anxious about how long the recovery process takes when preparing for biopsychosocial assessments. To rein in this fear, remind yourself that a biopsychosocial assessment is the first step to recovery and that all journeys begin with a single step. A biopsychosocial assessment will inform the treatment process and help you in your recovery process so you can sustain recovery.

What Happens After a Biopsychosocial Assessment?

After a biopsychosocial healthcare assessment, you will stay in treatment. However, your treatment plan can be adjusted if needed. 

For example, the assessment may highlight the need for a more specific type of therapy, a more intensive care level (i.e., PHP or IOP over outpatient), or a greater focus on a certain problem area.

When Do You Need a Biopsychosocial Assessment?

You need a biopsychosocial assessment if you are seeking help for mental health and addiction problems.

A biopsychosocial assessment must be done before any mental health treatment. It is usually part of the intake phase. Otherwise, counselors, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals won’t be able to create a tailor-made treatment plan for you.

Learn More About Behavioral Assessments and Custom Treatment Plans

Behavioral assessment tools and custom treatment plans can help you identify triggers for your mental health and addiction issues, greatly improve your quality of life and symptoms, and help you sustain recovery.

At Hope’s Destiny, we provide addiction, social work, and co-occurring disorder treatment in Pennsylvania. We will help you take the first step on your journey to recovery.

Call us to learn more about how we can help you and your support network. To get started, just tell us relevant information about your mental health condition and presenting problems.

Biopsychosocial Assessments in Drug and Alcohol Treatment FAQs

What questions are asked during a biopsychosocial assessment?

Clinicians will present a questionnaire during the assessment. They will ask various questions about biological, psychological, and social factors. 

Here are some sample questions:

  • How much alcohol and drugs do you consume, if at all? How would you describe your relationship with these substances?
  • How well do you sleep most of the time?
  • Do you have family members with psychiatric illnesses?
  • What is your educational history? Are you satisfied with your education?

What does a biopsychosocial assessment consist of?

A biopsychosocial assessment consists of survey questions about the patient’s biological, psychological, and social factors.

Talk to Hope’s Destiny to learn more about what your biopsychosocial assessment consists of.

What are the 4 Ps of biopsychosocial assessment?

The 4 P’s of biopsychosocial assessment are:

  1. Predisposing problems are factors that contribute to the presenting problem, which is the primary reason or complaint the client is seeking treatment.
  2. Precipitating factors are events that have led to the client’s presenting problem. Examples include a car accident, the death of a loved one, or the loss of a job.
  3. Perpetuating factors are ongoing stressors that continually contribute to the presenting problem, such as caretaking for a loved one and addiction.
  4. Protective factors are the positive forces in a patient’s life that help prevent further decompensation and moderate the presenting problem’s impact. Examples include hobbies, a supportive family, and a long history of success at work or school.

How long is a biopsychosocial assessment?

A biopsychosocial assessment usually takes one single 45- to 50-minute therapy session. However, it may take longer or less time depending on your exact symptoms. Talk to Hope’s Destiny to learn how long your biopsychosocial assessment will last.