All service users with serious drug problems referred to the drug treatment system in Surrey will be offered an initial assessment. The initial assessment is part of the record of care and is stored in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and service protocols. The assessment will include:
 A brief assessment of the drug problems
 an indication of what, if any, specialist drug treatments and interventions the service user is likely to benefit from
 a risk assessment
 an interim care plan including onward referral to services
 a set of data which satisfied the reporting requirements of NDTMS and HALO

Assessment processes will always include a risk assessment. Assessing risk provides information that will inform the care planning process. Substance misuse risks that may need to be prioritised in assessment and care planning include risks around overdose, safer injecting and blood-borne virus transmission. Wider priorities identified may include risk related to vulnerability, self harm or harm to others.

A comprehensive assessment will be conducted at the outset of a treatment episode. Comprehensive assessment underlies planning and delivery of structured treatment and other interventions. It may be undertaken by the drug worker and service user or in conjunction with other professionals or services.

The result of the assessment process will be the development of a comprehensive care plan, describing the planned agreed actions aimed at addressing the needs and goals identified as part of the initial and ingoing comprehensive assessment.