FAQ with a Licensed Addiction Counselor | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

FAQ with a Licensed Addiction Counselor

Date: 
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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According to a National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults battled a substance use disorder in 2017. Substance misuse is something that impacts people from all walks of life, regardless of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Has a family member raised concerns about your substance use, or has your use interfered with your personal relationships and job? Maybe you've noticed that your substance use is problematic and you're tired of choosing to numb your pain with a temporary fix, rather than acquire skills that will help you lead a fulfilling and healthy life. 

Fear of failure, uncertainty, unmet expectations, and change can hold us back from pursuing recovery. Recovery isn't easy, but the benefits that follow will change your attitude, relationships, and life for the better.

Tonya SorensonWhen you decide that recovery is right for you, you'll find that the starting point in seeking treatment at First Step Recovery is to undergo an evaluation. Clinical Supervisor Tonya Sorenson, MS, LAC, answers frequently asked questions about taking this first step.


What is the purpose of an evaluation?

Clients come to us when they might feel their substance use is interfering in their life. Clients refer themselves, or they may be referred by family members, social services, probation, court, or employers, just to name a few. We don’t judge on how our clients come through our doors; anyone can be successful if they choose. 

What should I do to prepare for my evaluation?

Paperwork will be provided to you from our client services team before your evaluation. We ask that you complete this paperwork, as it helps us understand what brings you to First Step. If clients have struggles with the paperwork, they can always come to our facility and have one of our client services team members help out. Please know that we understand coming through the doors can be scary, but it can also be life changing.

What happens during an evaluation? 

When you come to First Step, you will be checked in by our client services team. You will meet with a Licensed Addiction Counselor (LAC), who will go over your history, looking at all areas of your life and how they may be impacted by your substance use. This is different than a therapy session. As we are gathering information, our hope is to get a client into services to explore the depths of the substance use and struggles. 

What happens after my evaluation? 

After an evaluation is completed, the evaluation is staffed with several members of the clinical team. This is to ensure that we are making a team decision on your care. If services are recommended, we will help establish treatment or provide appropriate referrals in the community. Whether a client ends up receiving services from us or not, we will help with referrals. 

How long does it take?

From start to finish, an evaluation will be no more than two hours. At times we are not able to give treatment recommendations right away; we would then schedule a treatment recommendation session free of charge.

Am I being judged?

We never judge at First Step. We recognize addiction is a disease that impacts all walks of life. Everyone has an individualized treatment plan with client input; we want our clients to feel like they are in the driver’s seat.

What are the costs?

The costs are dependent on the type of insurance you may have and the services you receive. If you don’t have insurance, we can explore options or help establish Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Voucher money through the state of North Dakota. Everyone’s situation is different, and our business department will guide you every step of the way.

What happens if for some reason I don't follow through with treatment?

If clients are not ready or able to follow through with treatment recommendations, we always keep the door open. We understand treatment is a huge time commitment and not something to take lightly. We want our clients to explore the options with their loved ones and make sure they know that all they have to do is reach out when they are ready.


Adults who struggle with drug or alcohol use can find the education, support, and therapy they need at First Step Recovery. At First Step, we believe that everyone is capable of long-term recovery, and our Licensed Addiction Counselors and medical staff are here to walk alongside you in your recovery journey every step of the way. To schedule an evaluation or talk with somebody about our programs, call 701-451-4900 or contact us online today. 

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