What is a Chemical Use Assessment or a Rule 25 Assessment?
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What is a Chemical Use Assessment or a Rule 25 Assessment?


What is a Rule 25 Assessment?


A Chemical Health Assessment is also known in Minnesota as a Rule 25 Assessment. It is a formal evaluation a person goes through to help determine if alcohol/drug treatment is appropriate for them. Additionally, it is called a Rule 25 Assessment because these assessments are part of MN Rule 25.


As such, these evaluations are mostly completed in Minnesota. Conversely, other types of tests may be done in different states. In turn, they may go by a different name.

Who needs a Chemical Health Assessment?


People typically obtain a Chemical Use Assessment under three conditions.


First, they are interested: These clients are considering addictions treatment. They are wanting to complete a comprehensive evaluation and, in turn, are looking for an objective opinion and a comprehensive plan. Also, they also may need advice in choosing the right treatment for them as inpatient addictions treatment is very expensive.


Second, they are required: The Court may order someone to complete a Rule 25 Assessment. This can be part of a legal judgement, a divorce proceeding, a lawsuit, or a settlement agreement.


Last, they were advised: Clients may have been advised by their attorney, their therapist, or some professional in their life to complete a Chemical Health Assessment.


In all three, there should have been someone, either the client or another, that observed problematic behavior related to Drugs or Alcohol.


A Rule 25 Assessment should not be seen as a punishment, nor should be used to coerce someone. Instead, a Rule 25 Assessment should be a private assessment and report provided to the client.


Who administers a Chemical Use Assessment?


While many different types of professionals can administer a Rule 25 Assessment, professionally licensed drug and alcohol counselors and social workers tend to do most of them.


Initially, in order to be qualified to administer a Chemical Health Assessment, one must go through a comprehensive training.  These trainings cover the purpose, scope, and limitations of the assessment.


It is important to note that Rule 25 Assessments are often used in connections with legal cases. As such, many Rule 25 assessors work in prisons, hospitals, county agencies, and psychiatric wards. Also, many Rule 25 Assessments are court-ordered. Many critics of Rule 25 Assessments argue that this puts the clients in a disempowered position, and the accuracy of the information and the report will be affected, often harming the client.


Lastly, there are private agencies that provide comprehensive Rule 25 Assessments. For a fee, clients can get a confidential and professional assessment. After that, they can also discuss the results of the assessment and decide next steps.



What happens when I get a Rule 25 Assessment?


There are 3 phases to a comprehensive Chemical Health Evaluation.


First, the client establishes a relationship with a provider. This is where the client finds (or is provided) a professional Chemical Health assessor.


Second, the client and the assessor meet privately to gather information. The Chemical Use Assessor takes the client through a series of questions and discussions to help gather the much-needed data.


Third, the Assessor compiles a comprehensive report. This report establishes whether the client has a Chemical Health Use Disorder. Further, they make a recommendations based on the findings. Additionally, if the client does not meet the criteria for a Chemical Use Disorder, this document will establish that. In turn, it will provide concrete justifications for this determination.


If treatment for a Chemical Use Disorder, or another type of Disorder, is recommended, the Assessor may even provide specific recommendations for treatment. This may include outpatient therapy, intensive outpatient therapy, partial hospitalization, or inpatient addictions treatment.


Rule 25 Assessmetn @ ALL IN


How much does a Rule 25 Assessment Cost?


The answer to that question is: it depends on who is providing it.


The State of Minnesota has a designated fund that provides free Rule 25 Assessments to those that are uninsured or underinsured. This is called the The Consolidated Chemical Dependency Treatment Fund (CDTF). These services can be provided by addictions treatment facilities, such as RS Eden, or can be found through Hennepin County.


Clients may also get a Chemical Use Assessment conducted at addictions treatment facilities. They have in-house staff that provide these assessments. It’s important to note that the providers of these assessments also work for the addiction’s treatment facility.



Some argue that provides a conflict of interest as Assessors often recommend treatment exclusively at their employer and may do so at higher rates than expected.


However, these assessments are also often covered by insurance and may be a low-cost and helpful option to many families.


There are also independent assessors, often working in private practice, or in clinics that do not offer inpatient addictions treatment. These may or may not be covered under your insurance.



Should I hire a Private Assessor?


Private Assessments are not billed to insurance or the state as the purpose of them is to provide the greatest extent of flexibility and privacy to the client. Thus, these are privately paid and confidential reports shared only with the client and whomever else they determine.



In many cases, a Private Assessment is unnecessary and a free assessment at a hospital or county service is sufficient. However, many people concerned for their privacy, or whom are worried about bias, may opt for a private assessment. Because of this, they desire their assessor not to work for a big addictions treatment center, and want their records to be theirs alone.



Ultimately, your decision on who administers your Chemical Health Assessment is yours.



Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives. We do this through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. Because of this, we write content for your own education. Also, our content is researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by licensed mental health professionals.  However, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Additionally, it should not be used in place of the advice of a qualified healthcare provider.

Written and reviewed by

Dr Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, ACS, LMFT

Dr. Kyle Zrenchik is the Co-Founder of ALL IN, the Creator of the Couples Erotic Flow model for treating sexual issues in individuals and couples, Designer of the Deep Dive programs at ALL IN, and is one of the most well-respected couples counselors in the Twin Cities.

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