The term case management has appeared in social services literature more than 600 times in the last 30 years, referring to everything from the routing of court dockets through the judicial system to the medical management of a hospitalized patient’s care.
The Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 27) used in this course uses the term case management to refer to interventions designed to help substance abusers access needed social services. The use of case management for substance abusers who seek treatment provides support for other significant problems besides using psychoactive substances. Alcohol or other drug use often damages many aspects of an individual’s life, including health, housing, employment, and relationships.
Because addiction affects so many facets of the addicted person’s life, a comprehensive continuum of services promotes recovery and enables the substance abuse client to fully integrate into society as a healthy, substance-free individual. The continuum must be designed to provide engagement and motivation, primary treatment services at the appropriate intensity and level, and support services that will enable the individual to maintain long-term sobriety while managing life in the community.
Case management can ensure smooth transitions to the next level of treatment care, avoid gaps in service, and respond rapidly to the threat of relapse.