Addiction Drug Evaluation
The evaluation of drug abuse begins with a medical history and physical examination.
The findings on physical examination can help a doctor determine the type of drug that has been abused.
Tests are necessary to detect the type of drug being abused, as well as the presence of complications due to the abuse.
Tests that may be used to evaluate drug abuse include:
- Drug screening:
- To detect toxic effects on the heart
- Chest x-ray
Less commonly performed tests that may be used to evaluate drug abuse include:
- CT scanning of the brain
- MRI scan of the brain
- SPECT scanning of the brain:
- A newer method that may provide earlier detection of stroke in some cases
- PET scanning of the brain:
- Detects levels of brain activity
For more information:
Continue to Addiction Drug Treatment
- Galea S, Nandi A, Vlahov D. The social epidemiology of substance use. Epidemiol Rev. 2004;26:36-52. 
- Isaacson JH, Hopper JA, Alford DP, Parran T. Prescription drug use and abuse. Risk factors, red flags, and prevention strategies. Postgrad Med. 2005 Jul;118(1):19-26. 
- Karch SB. Cocaine cardiovascular toxicity. South Med J. 2005 Aug;98(8):794-9. 
- Mattick RP, Kimber J, Breen C, Davoli M. Buprenorphine maintenance versus placebo or methadone maintenance for opioid dependence. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004;(3):CD002207. 
- Skiba D, Monroe J, Wodarski JS. Adolescent substance use: reviewing the effectiveness of prevention strategies. Soc Work. 2004 Jul;49(3):343-53.