What Is a Rule 25 Assessment and Does It Apply for Alcohol Use?

Just exactly what is a Rule 25 assessment? And does it apply for alcohol use? First off, Rule 25 is a state of Minnesota administrative rule regarding chemical use assessment and treatment and the use of public funds.. When someone is seeking chemical dependency treatment and needs public funding to pay for the treatment, they must get a chemical use assessment by a state-approved assessor. The assessor gathers information from the client and others and applies a set of criteria to determine whether the person needs treatment and what sort of treatment would be best. Clients must meet both clinical and financial requirements to be eligible to have treatment paid for by the Consolidated Chemical Dependency Treatment Fund

Counties, tribal governments, and prepaid health plans or their designees must apply the same criteria when making a determination if someone needs treatment for substance abuse (in this case alcohol use) and if they meet the criteria to receive public funding of their treatment. Previously, the process of getting a Rule 25 Assessment could take 30 days between seeking help for substance addiction and actually being approved for treatment.

You may self-refer for a Rule 25 assessment, or the court may order you to undergo a chemical assessment after a DWI. In Minnesota, you need to undergo substance abuse assessment and complete treatment (if any) before being eligible for a restricted ignition interlock license.

Minnesota Rule 25 Assessment Criteria

For the Minnesota Rule 25 clinical assessment, the agency or addictions counselor will ask the person seeking treatment a number of questions, and assess whether the person is acutely intoxicated and at risk of withdrawal symptoms, and the severity of their addiction  The Rule 25 Assessment applies to alcohol use, drug use, or a combination of the two.

Standard questions include:

  • What drugs or alcohol do you use? How frequently? How much? When was your last use?
  • Do you have any medical complications and conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic pain, etc.)? How severe are these conditions?
  • Do you have any emotional, behavioral or cognitive conditions (such as anxiety, depression, bipolar, PTSD, etc.)? Do you have a history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse? Are these conditions ongoing, and how severe are your symptoms?
  • Why do you use drugs or alcohol?
  • Are you ready to beat your addiction? Are you ready to seek treatment and comply with treatment recommendations?
  • Have you tried to quit drugs or alcohol before? How did that go? Why do you think you relapsed?
  • Are you employed? Do you have the support of your employer, friends, and family in seeking substance abuse treatment?

There are many more questions that an assessor will ask before using diagnostic criteria to determine if someone has a Substance Use Disorder. Once the diagnostic assessment is complete, to receive public funding, a person must meet certain financial and residency criteria as well.

Based on the clinical diagnosis, the assessor may recommend outpatient or inpatient substance abuse treatment. Recommendations can also include attending a 12-step program like AA or an alcohol education program.

Minnesota Substance Use Disorder Reform

Minnesota is working on reforming the state’s substance abuse treatment system. The goal is to treat addictions like any other chronic health condition, and to provide the right level of service at the right time. This means moving away from the time-consuming Rule 25 assessment process to giving people direct access where they can go directly to a healthcare provider to be assessed for substance abuse disorder treatment. Instead of going to a government agency to be placed on a waiting list for a Rule 25 assessment, people can now go directly to a licensed drug and alcohol counselor for assessment. This cuts down on wait time and helps people get the addictions treatment they need in a more timely fashion. This new “direct access” system cuts up to 20 days off of the time between assessment and being approved for treatment.

July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2020, will be a transition from the old system to a new system. So depending on where you live, you will still need to seek a Rule 25 Assessment. But you may find addictions counselors in your area who can assess your needs more quickly.

If you or a loved one has an alcohol addiction or another drug addiction and you’re ready to seek treatment, getting a substance abuse assessment is the first step towards a new life.

An Ignition Interlock Device Can Help You Drive Sober

The Department of Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) will require you to undergo a substance abuse assessment and complete treatment (if any) as part of your participation in Minnesota’s ignition interlock device program. There’s not a whole lot of public transportation in many areas of Minnesota, so an ignition interlock restricted license is a great option to help you get where you need to be, rather than waiting out the full revocation period.

In addition, if you’re battling an alcohol addiction, or you’re a recovering alcoholic, having an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle can help you drive sober. Most times, people get an IID installed because the courts require them to after a DWI. But you can get an IID installed voluntarily. The costs for private use interlocks are lower than a court-mandated installation because there is no requirement to upload your results to the DVS.

Call us at 866-700-9300, or use our contact form to request more information. We have a number of ignition interlock device installation locations in Minnesota. You’re sure to find one that’s convenient for you.