Assessment and Treatment

Module code: AE1241

Module co-ordinator: Dr Tony Priest

This module will give you the skills and knowledge base to carry out a comprehensive substance use assessment. We will study the context in which assessment takes place - including the needs of assessor, client and agency - and the influence this may have on the assessment process. We will also explore the range of treatment options available and assess the ways in which these meet a client's need. We will consider the effects of difference and discrimination in the assessment process.

You will learn the differences between a screening, triage and comprehensive substance use assessment, and will learn how to undertake a comprehensive substance misuse assessment in role-play, identifying possible courses of action. You will also learn how to undertake a basic risk assessment, and how to use the Cycle of Change to assess a client's motivation to change.

Topics covered

  • Assessments linked to current assessment requirements in the drug and alcohol treatment sector
  • Key counselling skills for assessment
  • The Cycle of Change
  • Beginnings and endings
  • The therapeutic alliance and the therapeutic frame
  • Incorporating the biopsychosocial approach
  • Twelve-Step Therapy; AA and NA; the Recovery Model
  • Forming a hypothesis and agreeing a plan of action with the client
  • Treatment: detoxification, substitute prescribing, counselling, day care, rehabilitation, needle exchange
  • Personal, cultural and social discrimination
  • Electronically accessing scientific journals and databases
  • The relationship between scientific research and therapy: commissioning and delivery
  • The national administrative framework for commissioning treatment


This module is studied by distance learning.


  • Reflective essay, 1,000 words (30%)
  • Case studies, 1,500 words (40%)
  • Observed role play assessment session (30%)
  • 80% Attendance at Intensive Workshop is compulsory. Assessment marked as pass or fail only.