A high quality referral is essential in increasing the likelihood of successful linkage to services because of the collaborative, client centered approach. In order to have a high quality referral, the provider should collaborate with the client to ensure that the level of service meets the client's needs.
The provider should be aware of the ASAM criteria and make appropriate referrals based on an assessment of the client; taking into consideration underlying conditions and/or bio-psycho-social factors. This should also include possible barriers to treatment such as the client needing childcare, transportation assistance, etc. Whenever possible, the client should be present with the provider when a referral is being made (warm handoff). Due to each treatment provider having nuanced processes for referrals, it is best for the client to be present so they can provide answers to questions that come up and, to be an active participant in the referral process. This also increases accountability and the potential for a successful link to a treatment intake. If the client is comfortable doing so, they should disclose they are pregnant to the treatment provider as pregnant people are a priority population and can often access treatment quicker.
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